Church of San Jeronimo El Real 

The Church of San Jeronimo El Real is located in Calle Moreto, 4, behind the Prado Museum. This church was part of the old Hieronymite Monastery of San Jeronimo El Real on the road to El Pardo, and was founded by Enrique IV in 1464. The monastery was transferred by the Catholic Kings to Madrid in 1503. The church became important in the city and was used for the investiture of the Prince of Asturias as the heir to the throne. The first prince to have his investiture at the church was Felipe II in 1528. The last to do so was Isabel II in 1833. Felipe II moved the Spanish court to Madrid in 1561 and he then ordered a room to be built by the church where the kings could rest and meditate. 

In 1808 during the War of Independence against the troops of Napoleon, the priests were expelled from the convent and the French troops occupied the convent and caused severe damage to it. After the war, the priests returned to the convent. However in 1836 the government expropriated the convent and the priests were again expelled. The site was used as the Artillery headquarters. At the second half of the 19th century, the church was restored by the architect Narciso Pascual y Colomer between 1848 and 1859, and the two towers were added. This was because Francisco de Asis Borbon, the husband of Isabella II, was interested in restoring old churches. In 1879 the architect Enrique Maria Repulles y Vargas undertook another restoration and the church was opened in 1883. 

The church was declared a National Monument in 1925. The church has the Isabelline Gothic style and uses the Latin Cross floor plan. There is one central nave, a crossing, and five chapels on each side of the nave. The façade has the Neo-Gothic style, and this was created by the architect Ponciano Ponzano. The painting behind the altar was created by Jose Mendes. The church was used for the wedding of Alfonso XIII. The Baroque cloister designed by Fray Lorenzo de San Nicolas is no longer part of the church and has been incorporated into the Prado, during the enlargement of the museum in 2007 by the architect Rafael Moneo. This enlargement has been called Moneo’s Cube. 

The church has sculptures by Benlliure as well as the Cristo de la Buena Muerte by Juan Pascual de Mena. There are paintings by Jose Mendez and Vincenzo Carducci. The stained glass windows are quite impressive. This church was the official royal church before the Cathedral of La Almudena was built. The church is used for high society weddings today.






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