One of the finest examples of Catalan Gothic-style architecture in Barcelona, this marvellous monastery is actually a convent. A famous sight in Barcelona, highlights of Monestir de Pedralbes, meaning ‘white stones’ in Latin, include the three-storey cloisters and beautiful gardens within the monastery grounds plus an insight into the daily life of the nuns who resided here.
Monestir de Pedralbes (Monastery of Pedralbes) was a convent administered by nuns under the Franciscan order of Poor Clares and established in 1326 by Queen Elisenda. On the monastery grounds there is a church, which houses the tomb of Queen Elisenda as well as the final resting places of the Reverend Mothers who resided in the monastery. St Michael’s Chapel, within the church, is a small space with frescoes depicting the life of Jesus and Mary. You can also view the kitchen, dining hall, utility rooms and day cells of the nuns as well as where they used to pray. One of the storerooms contains a series of dioramas depicting the life of Jesus. The peaceful gardens contain a Renaissance fountain in the courtyard and plenty of leafy trees to provide shade, ambience and respite from the summer sun.
The monastery museum, formerly the nuns' dormitory, now displays religious art including paintings by Rubens and Velasquez, furniture and liturgical objects from the 14th to the 20th century and also hosts temporary exhibitions. Also of note are the wall inscriptions and some graffiti written by a nun. A community of nuns continued to reside in the monastery until as recently as 1983 when the complex was opened to the public. Today, the nuns live in an adjacent building.
Adult admission to Monestir de Pedralbes is €7 and children under 16 years are free. The closest Metro station is Reina Elisenda and then it’s an eight-minute walk to the monastery via Passieg de la Bonanova.