Guadalupe

Guadalupe is famous because of the Royal Monastery of Santa Mariá. The Monastery has been placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1993. The Monastery was constructed from the 14th through the 18th centuries and is a mix of building styles as there are Gothic, Moorish, Renaissance, Baroque and Neo Classical elements. The outside gives the impression of a fortress.

The situation of the Monastery in Guadalupe is as the result of a legend. At the end of the 13th century, or the beginning of the 14th century, it is said that a farmer, Gil Cordero, found a statue of the Holy Virgin Maria. Before then the statue had been exposed, together with San Lucas' body, in Rome and Sevilla until the year 714. During the Moorish invasion the statue was hidden close to the river Guadalupe, until the discovery by Gil Cordero. The hundreds of years in its hiding place did it no good, and turned the face of the Virgin from white to black and since then it has been called the Black Virgin, and has become the saint-protector of Guadalupe.

Inside the Monastery are several interesting sections. For example the Monastery of the Wonders, with remarkable architecture.
In the centre of the patio you find a little temple, build in 1405 for Brother Juan de Sevilla, with walls covered by paintings of the life of Maria.
The Museum of Bordados, in the former dining room, presents circa 200 art pieces, made in the monastery itself.
At the same location is the Museum of Illuminated Books - one of the best museums in the world where you can see illuminated manuscripts dating, from the 14th until the 18th century.
You can also see paintings of Luca Giordano and Zurbarán.