Monastery de nuestra señora de las dueñas.
Madres Benedictinas

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Cultural heritage. Castles

Monastery de nuestra señora de las dueñas. Madres benedictinas

The first Monastery of the MM Benedictines in Alba de Tormes had its settlement near the town, in the area of extramuros and is dated from the thirteenth century.

In 1565 and 1566 the Monastery had among its members two edifying nuns: Major and Maria Ovalle, sisters of a brother-in-law of Saint Theresa. At this time the child Beatrice of Ovalle and Ahumada, niece of the saint, was educated in the Monastery.

On May 12, 1769 she moved to the place that today occupies inside the Villa being abbess Dª Benita de Oviedo, nun of great talents and belonging to one of the most distinguished families of Alba.

The Community lived a few critical years at the time of the War of Independence with the publication of the Laws of Confiscation, but after those years, the fervor of monastic life was recovered.

The doorway of the church, moved from the previous convent, is composed of two Doric pilasters that frame a semicircular arch and support an entablature with a frieze. At the ends of the frieze appear two medallions, a warrior with a helmet and a lady, two carved slates with the staff and the mitre of the bishop, and in the center the bust of Saint Benedict.

In January 2019, major restoration works were completed.

Craft

"Idleness is the enemy of the soul; therefore, the brethren are engaged a few hours in manual work and others in divine reading". With these words St Benedict wrote in chapter 48 of his Rule a maxim of life for the Order of Benedictine Mothers.

With the motto Ora et Labora, the Mothers continue today to do artisan binding work in their small printing house, as well as illustrations with Christmas images or prints in the workshop. They also do beautiful work in ceramics.

The sweet workshop of the Reverend Mothers is famous for hazelnuts, buds, bitters and almonds, which already have a century and a half of tradition and which continue to sell through the conventual winch. At Christmas time they also incorporate artisan polvorones.

At present, the visit to the convent and the church is outside, being able to buy the artisan products through the convent lathe.

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