Cultural heritage. Museums


Historical background

Santa Teresa de Jesús founded the Carmel of Alba de Tormes on January 25, 1571, with the presence of Saint John of the Cross in that foundation. Here we have the tomb of the Saint since her death in 1582. The Order of the Discalced Carmel wanted to found a male convent in Alba de Tormes in order to take care of the Teresian cult.

In 1692 the foundation was made, becoming the first church and the first convent in the world dedicated to San Juan de la Cruz.

Vitor Teresa

Throughout these centuries of history, there have been many events in this house. We highlight as an important milestone in the history of the same the Teresian Jubilee Year celebrated in Alba de Tormes, occasion in which it was realized, in collaboration with the Diputación Provincial de Salamanca the great exhibition Vitor Teresa which took place between the months of July 2018 and January 2019, crossing borders beyond the Teresian Jubilee Year itself and which developed with great success, being considered the most important cultural act of this event.

Teresiano Sanjuanista center

After this event in the village of Alba de Tormes, the spaces of the ground floor of the convent of San Juan de la Cruz have been reorganized under the name Centro Teresiano Sanjuanista, creating several permanent exhibition rooms that house art pieces of great interest.

The building itself is included in the area of cultural interest and is declared a monument. This reason is enough to make an interesting visit to it, forming part of its structure of the so-called Carmelite baroque art, typical of the Order of the Discalced Carmel in the seventeenth century. It is an exponent of this artistic style very well preserved after the cleaning tasks carried out recently.

San Juan de la Cruz church

It is worth visiting the church of San Juan de la Cruz in whose side chapel the Carmelite relics have been installed in the convent of San Juan de la Cruz are preserved, among them the most notable is that of the index finger of San Juan de la Cruz. Most of the relics are of Santa Teresa de Jesús and San Juan de la Cruz, placed in reliquaries of the seventeenth century.

Sacristy Major

From the church you can access the main sacristy, a room that offers in its warmth, different works of art worthy of being contemplated by the visitor. The walnut chest of drawers, made by carpenter friars, shows, in its simple and austere layout, the elegance that can be seen throughout the architectural ensemble that occupies us.

 Conventual Cloister

Especially striking is the cloister with the central well in its courtyard and the cistern of the 17th century. In the corners of the cloister are preserved representative pictures of scenes from the life of San Juan de la Cruz and Santa Teresa de Jesús.

In addition, in this space you can see different works of art ranging from the sixteenth century to the twentieth century.


Of particular interest is the old refectory that preserves tables from the 16th century and was set at the time of the convent’s foundation.


In the area of the goal you can see the beautiful image of Santa Teresa de Jesús from the Carmel of Ledesma. In the hall we can see four reliefs of good quality with scenes of the life of Santa Teresa de Jesús, in addition to the beautiful model of the Teresian basilica made by the sculptor Jerónimo Cotobal Castro.

Convent Garden

The convent garden is a very pleasant space in its disposition and is dedicated to San Enrique de Ossó for the intimate relationship of this great diffuser of Santa Teresa de Jesús with Alba de Tormes.

Houses of the Ovalle

From the landscaped space we access two other exhibition rooms that are in the space that once occupied the houses of the Ovalle, relatives of Santa Teresa inhabitants of the ducal village. Two autograph letters by Santa Teresa de Jesús are of particular interest and show their unique graphic design.

Here you can also see the reproduction of the cell of San Juan de la Cruz recreating the aspect typical of the sixteenth century.

It is striking the urn with the whole body of San Juan de la Cruz since the seventeenth century and that keeps on one side one of the first portraits made of this saint; at the same time, it attracts special attention the sculpture entitled "Glorification of Santa Teresa", which has been recently restored and belongs to the Neapolitan baroque.

Sculptures of the school of Gregorio Fernández of beautiful invoice, pieces of ivory, religious goldsmith of great value, valuable documentation of archive, engravings, books, the edition prince of the Works of San Juan de la Cruz of 1618, brought recently from Madrid, representative paintings of the great mystics of the Discalced Carmel, objects of everyday life... can be seen in these rooms.

All the artistic pieces included in the permanent exhibition rooms have been titled and dated and each of them has its corresponding informative poster. In addition, throughout the exhibition we can read different information panels that bring us closer to the Biography, works and aspects related to these great characters in order to know them more deeply.

Thanks to the determination of the Discalced Carmelites of Alba de Tormes to spread the figures of Saint Teresa of Jesus and Saint John of the Cross in the Villa Ducal, tells the Villa Ducal with the Teresiano-Sanjuanista Center. Its permanent exhibition rooms serve as a lure to Albenses and to pilgrims and tourists who can approach these two great figures known worldwide and so closely related to Alba de Tormes.

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San Juan de la Cruz convent