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Archive for October 11th, 2019

Saint Teresa of Ávila was a Spanish noblewoman who chose a monastic life in the Catholic Church and was a scholar, writer and mystic with a lot of influence during and also after her life. In our latest news, we wrote about her magnificent story and this blog post is about presenting the destinations of our “St. Teresa of Ávila” program, for all who wants to wander in the footsteps of this remarkable woman.

Salamanca

St. Teresa arrived in Salamanca on 31 October 1570 one cold All Saints night, which she narrates in great detail in her book “The Foundations”. Her presence in Salamanca, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988, can be seen from Plaza Mayor square to the University. In the square you can see a medallion dedicated to her. The University of Salamanca made her doctor honoris causa in 1922. It was the first title
the university awarded to a woman for the quality of her literature, spirituality and reformist values. In – nowadays called – “the house of St. Teresa” she lived for 4 years and it will go down in history as the place that inspired her poem “I live without living in me”.

Further interesting hotspots are the Cathedral of Salamanca, where one chapel in the new church is devoted to her or the Convent of San Esteban, he supported St. Teresa in her time in Salamanca.

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University of Salamanca

Alba de Tormes

Alba de Tormes is located less than 20 km from Salamanca and it was the seat of the ducal states of the powerful Álvarez de Toledo family (Duke and Duchess of Alba). In 1571 St. Teresa founded a monastery – The Carmelite Convent of the Annunciation – in this old medieval town. The monastery has Renaissance and Neoclassical elements and it is the place where Saint Teresa spent the last 15 days of her life. Travellers can visit her tomb, like thousands of pilgrims, who come every year to be able to pray in front of her incorrupt heart and arm.

The Carmelitano Camus Museum is also worth a visit, because it houses a rich artistic spiritual heritage, including Santa Teresa´s relics. Alba de Tormes offers a unique view of the town on the banks of the river Tormes and invites visitors to walk along the route of las Aceñas or Isla de Garcilaso or take a trip on the river to enjoy the countryside.

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Tomb of Saint Teresa

Ávila

Ávila is the city of Saint Teresa and a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1985. It is the city of Teresa’s childhood, youth and maturity, years of enthusiasm, projects, starting point and turning point of her foundations. She was born in Avila on the 28th of March in the year 1515. Nowadays travellers can visit the Church and Convent of St. Teresa, which was built on the ground where once the birth-house of Teresa stood. The large vaulted burial crypt underneath is home to the museum of St. Teresa.

Teresa spent her childhood in Ávila and as a young woman she joined the Convent of Nuestra Señora de Gracia. She spent there about 30 years of her life and prepared during this time the reform of the Carmelite community and the monasteries that she would establish in the future.

The Monastery of San José was the first convent founded by St Teresa and it is characterised by its simplicity and austerity. The convent rooms have been conserved and the spirit of St Teresa is still abound. It was designated a National Monument in 1968.

Other monuments of artistic and cultural interest regarding the history of St. Teresa are the Church of San Juan Bautista, the Convent of Our Lady of Grace, the Monastery of La Encarnación, the Royal Monastery of Santo Tomás and many more.

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Monastery of San José

Segovia

In this World Heritage City (since 1985), known for its Roman aqueduct, Saint Teresa founded her ninth convent in 1574 – the Convent of the Discalced Carmelites. The opening mass was led by Saint John of the Cross, whose remains can be found today in the convent’s church. It was originally located in a smaller nearby building and later, in 1579, it was moved to its current location. The exterior shows a masonry wall covered in mortar with two doors: one that leads to the convent, with two decorated doorjambs; and another larger door that leads to the church.

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Convent of the Discalced Carmelites.

Medina del Campo & Valladolid
St. Teresa founded the Monastery of San José in Medina del Campo, the second home of the reformed Carmelite order and meeting place with San Juan de la Cruz. From that moment, the saint’s relationship with Medina was to be constant, as shown in the thirteen times she visited the town.

In Valladolid you can find the fourth convent founded by Saint Teresa – a convent with exceptional works of art in the cloister and the choirs. In what used to be her cell you can also see the original handwritten text of her main literary work, “The Way of Perfection”, and many of her letters.

If you choose to wander in the footsteps of Saint Teresa with our program, you will travel to all this destinations and a few more to learn everything about Saint Teresa as well as about the Spanish culture. Write us today for your very own blessed experience:   info@across-spain.es

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