Courtyard of the Carmelites Descalces Convent

The Carmelites Descalces Convent of the district of Jesús is located on the edge of the town on the road that goes to Xerta and Gandesa. From the main entrance you follow a path through fields with fruit trees to the convent buildings, catalogued as a Cultural Asset of Local Interest and also forming part of the Inventory of the Architectural Heritage of Catalonia.

It is a religious building with convent quarters, a small cloister, a central courtyard and a church. In the first place, we find the convent’s caretakers’ house, then the church and finally the convent itself, with the cloister and the inner courtyard. The original building is fairly low, consisting of a ground floor and sometimes ground floor with a first floor, and is covered with a slightly inclined roof.

Founded by Mr. Enric d’Ossó on land that used to have an old chapel dedicated to Santa Teresa, the convent dates from 1877, only a year after the start of the works. At that time, the State forbade cloistered convents and for this reason it was set up initially as a nursery school. For many years, both activities worked together.

During the Civil War the convent remained unoccupied and was used as a soap factory. Even though it did not suffer any important damages, we should note the loss of the artistic stained glass of the church windows. Inside the church, the only changes were in the ornaments; large canvases painted in oil were placed to decorate the side chapels, which had been made by one of the sisters on old sheets. In the convent, the position of the entrance and the torn (a revolving door set into the wall for handing over packets to the cloistered nuns) was interchanged, meaning that the torn is now in the main area and the entrance at the side. Once the war was finished, and in response to a request made by some local mothers, they decided to build an entrance that was appropriate for a school, made up of a small linear cloister with four semicircular arches, square bases, circular pillars and capitals decorated with floral motifs. In this space we can find a window that was initially part of the school but now belongs to one of the convent’s rooms.

Location: Ctra. de Xerta, 169

Author: Unknown

Year: 1877

Architectural style: Popular construction. Historicism

Current use: Convent

Covered courtyard area: 5.9 m2

Uncovered courtyard area: 9.8 m2