The Sacromonte Abbey
The Sacromonte Abbey Granada Reviews
Jun 02, 2003
Sacromonte is the (former) gypsy quarter of Granada. It is certainly worth a visit just because of the area is wonderful to stroll around. Apart from that, there is the abbey to admire. This building was constructed on the Valperaiso mountain and looks down over the city.
In the late 16th century two men came to the place (there wasn't anything build back then), to look for a treasure. They never found it, but instead they noticed a cave in which they found some lead plates with Arabic inscriptions. Those lines told the story of the martyr "Sint Tesiphon", and when the archbishop heard this he ordered investigations. More plates were found, telling different parts of Tesiphon's story and the story of two other saints: Cecilio and Hiscius. Apart from that an oven with ashes was discovered as well. People assumed that this was the place were the holly men were murdered, and decided to build an abbey to honor them.
Two years after the first plates were found, money was raised for the constructions. The symbol of it was a star, still visible everywhere in the building. When the archbishop was send to Sevilla in 1610, construction works were stopped... But inside the library one can see the original plans, which were never executed. Later on a college was added to the building, so now there are three parts: the seminar, the abbey and the school.
In the museum many artworks are to be admired, among which the leaden plates and some valuable paintings. There is a statue for every martyr, under which the ashes are preserved. The catacombs under the church can be visited as well. You'll find some small chapels here, the oven in which the martyrs are said to be burned, and a collection of paintings and sculptures. Remarkable is the stone of which is said that every woman who kisses it, will find a husband in the next year. It didn't work for me though, but I go back there in some weeks, so who knows... I might get a second chance ;)
Part of the Spain 2003, backpacking through Andalucia travel blog
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