Monday, September 17, 2012

Guadalajara: still more on Santa Mónica

At one time there was a spacious convent at Santa Mónica.  In the 19th century however, the nunnery precincts were secularized and most of the buildings demolished.  

Fortunately, parts of the elegant cloister were salvaged, notably the arcades, including the sculpted archways and columns, and the ornate entry to the stairway
These remnants were removed and re constructed, albeit on a smaller scale, as an annex to the popular pilgrimage church of  San Sebastián in the Guadalajara barrio of Analco.

Known as the Patio of the Angels in honor of the team of masons who reportedly undertook the laborious transfer and rebuilding without payment—some even say they were actual angels— the cloister is now used as a community center and gallery.

Stubby fluted Corinthian columns support round arches densely carved on the outer and inner faces with alternating rosettes and quatrefoils. 
Stairway entry detail
The imposing baroque entry to the stairway is also from Santa Mónica, complete with intricate foliated relief decoration, although some inscriptions on the oval cartouches and frieze have been erased.

Several surplus columns, possibly from the second story, are still lined up outside the church.

text © 2012 Richard D. Perry.  cloister photographs by Niccolo Brooker & Enrique López-Tamayo Biosca.  
all rights reserved

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