Convent de St. Domènec

St. Dominic Monastery

HISTORICAL-ARTISTICAL MONUMENT.  CLOISTER AND GOTHIC CHURCH. XIVth - XVth CENTURIES

St. dominic's Monastery Map. Click to enlarge.

Located beside Sant Miquel's (San Michael) bridge on the Segre River, in the beginning of the Urgel Street. In the square in front of the church there is a nice boundary cross. The cloister used to be opened all the day, but now it is closed to the public because of architectural problems.

The church is open only in the hours of cult. For collective visits one address to the convent or the Tourism Office, in the City Hall, Mercadal Square, 1 or through the telephone number 973 446 606.

The Sant Domènec's (St. Dominic) monastery, declared historical-artistical monument in the year 1966, was begun in the year 1323 when the Count - King Jaume II could obtain license from the Pope Juan XXII.

After the war of the 1413 the convent was converted into a ruins heap. With the help of the monarchs the convent and the church were restored. Successive wars and, in greater scale, the Succession one, the Independence against the French and the Seven Years one caused large damages to the buildings.

The XIXth century was a time in which the monastery went from some hands to other until the Franciscan Monks occupied it definitely. During this time it was a Charity House (1849), Missions House under the Jesuits (1853), a hospital (1868) after the expulsion of the Jesuits, a military quarter (1872) and a Franciscan monastery since the 12 of October of 1881.

At present times we find, in former properties of the convent, facilities and services as a geriatrics residence, a third age center, a kids' school and a cultural building (in the former primary assistance center).

Within the convent's ensemble we can emphasize the Catalan Gothic style church. We can se it in her details from XVth and XVIth centuries, mainly in flamboyant windows, in the ribs and in the well joined rosette or keystone, closing the edges or voussoirs of the apses.

Also we can remark the magnificent and open cut of the three ogival windows that give light to the church, opened in the three central walls of the apses, and the delicate profile of the fret and filigrees in the central column that supports them. Its plant is of a single nave with lateral chapels and a seven faces apses, the central three with stylized windows.

As a consequence of the Succession War disappeared two of the chapels and the former Gothic facade, it was replaced by a simple revoked wall, with a Renaissance gate finished in a triangular fronton with a niche in the center.

The current cloister is sustained by arches and ogival columns, on a hammered stone base of about one meter of height. The simple columns, very lengthened, support arches noted with a trilobulated fret. This cloister, formed by four galleries, can be qualified as a square (30 by 31 meters), with a gallery of somewhat more than three meters and a half of width. It was built in the XVth. century and it is very similar to the one in San Francisco of Mallorca.

The boundary cross, of Gothic style, is in the square that is opposite of the church. It is polygonal, of stone with hexagonal plant steps on which is lifted the shaft crowned with a knot or lantern that supports a carved stone cross. The cross is very sculpted, with a series of human figures related to the life of Jesus and crowned with the image of Jesus in the cross.

Beside the convent is the monument to the Count Jaume II of Urgel, the Unfortunate, last count of Urgel. In this place is accomplished the offering in the 11 of September, national holiday of Catalonia.

The San Miguel's (St. Michael) bridge, over the Segre River Segre, was built over the former Gothic Bridge destroyed during the Civil War.

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Church of "Sta. Maria" (St. Mary). Art at St. Mary's. Walls and Gates.
Ancient Neighborhood. "Mercadal" (Market) Square. Jewish Neighborhood.
"Castell Formós" ( Beautiful Castle). Sanctuary of the "Sant Crist" (Holy Christ).
Convent of  "Sant Domènec" (St. Dominic). "Davant Balaguer" ( Modern Neighborhood).

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