The Monastery of Descalzas Reales in Madrid occupies the old palace where the daughter of Emperor Charles V and Isabel of Portugal, Joanna of Austria, was born in 1535. Widow of Prince Juan Manuel of Portugal, Joanna came back to Spain and founded in 1557 this Franciscan convent of Poor Clares Discalced. She is buried in the chuch of the monastery, a praying funerary sculpture by Pompey Leoni over her tomb.
In this monastery for ladies of the royal family, lived Dona Juana and also her sister Mary, Dowager Empress, who died here in 1603. Seventeenth century frescoes are preserved in the main staircase and in the Chapel of the Miracle, and there are also notable tapestries woven in Brussels from cartoons by Rubens, representing the Apotheosis of the Eucharist, commissioned for the convent by the daughter of Philip II, the Infanta Isabel Clara Eugenia, Governor of the Netherlands.
Descalzas Reales Monastery opening hours:
Tuesday to Saturday: from 10.00 to 14.00 and 16.00 to 18.30
Sundays: from 10.00 to 15:00
Closed: Every Monday, and on 1st May, and 24th, 25th and 31st December.
For more information on bookings and ticket prices for individuals, tourist groups and educational groups, see the museum official website: www.patrimonionacional.es