St. Stephen's Convent (Convento de San Esteban)

St. Stephen's Convent (Convento de San Esteban)

St. Stephen's Convent (Convento de San Esteban)
4.5
Historic SitesArchitectural BuildingsReligious Sites
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Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles1,031 reviews
Excellent
774
Very good
229
Average
22
Poor
2
Terrible
4

Vadim
Murmansk, Russia26,903 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Solo
The Dominican Monastery of San Esteban is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is due to both historical and aesthetic reasons. The Dominicans chose Salamanca in the 50s of the XIII century. The current monastery is already the second in this place. Columbus stayed in that first monastery in the early 90s of the XV century, when he came to Salamanca to prove to university geographers the possibility of reaching India by sailing West.. Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon did not just give money for the expedition... The current monastery was built from 1524 to 1610 according to the project of Juan de Alave. The coolest thing about it is the facade of the monastery church in the form of a title page-an altar forming a triumphal arch. San Esteban is St. Stephen, especially appreciated in the Catholic Church, because he has the status of a First Martyr. In the middle part of the facade, sculptor Seroni depicted at the beginning of the XVII century the torments of St. Stephen, who, as is known, was stoned in Jerusalem. Above Stephen is Golgotha with Jesus, modestly reminding that there was a more significant character before the first martyr. Above the arch are the coats of arms of Cardinal Juan of Toledo, reminding who was the initiator and customer of the construction of this Plateresco masterpiece. In the evening, the monastery was closed and I did not see the main altar by Jose Benito de Churrigera, the sacristy of Alonso Sardinha and Juan Moreno and the stairs of de Soto. They deserve a visit.
Written 16 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AL_reviewer_2014
Weymouth, UK152 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Solo
This place is just stunning. The architecture is incredible. I had the place to myself, which obviously helped as it was really peaceful. It cost €5, I think, so if you can't afford €10 for the cathedrals, then just come here.
Written 31 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

babette m
13 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Couples
Fascinating example of catholic Spain at its best. The Architecture and history are impressive at par with Jeronimos in Lisbon but much more accessible
Written 10 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

EC13091
Ellicott City, MD1,248 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
Four our money, this was the best of the churches in Salamanca. Several things were unique. The massive sacristy was used on average by 180 monks. The choir loft was wonderful. And the cloister was lovely.
Written 9 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Noeleen H
Port Macquarie, Australia3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023
A must see..when in Salamanca.

This is an absolutely beautiful church, in some ways even better than the main Cathedral.
Written 5 June 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BradJill
Hong Kong, China1,60,065 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023
St. Stephen's Convent (Convent de San Esteban) is an important Dominican monastery located at Plaza del Concilio de Trento in the heart of the historic centre of Salamanca. It is open from 10am to 2pm & 4pm to 8pm daily and entry is (€4.50 per adult). Visits include access to both lower and upper floors of the cloisters as well as the main church building.

Historically, the Dominicans have used these grounds since being provided by the Bishop of Salamanca in 1256. The buildings you see today were constructed from around 1524 to 1610 and represent fine examples of Plateresque architecture as well as Gothic and Baroque features. The church facade in particular is a masterpiece of Plateresque.

There are information panels located around both floors of the cloisters to help you understand what you are seeing when viewing the building architecture, items of antiquity and seeking to learn a bit of the monastery's history, including the role it played in spearheading missionaries to the Americas and Philippines as well as the history of Francisco Vitoria and his role in shaping evangelical efforts overseas by the Dominicans.

After visiting the cloisters, you enter the front of the church nave near the alter. The church is laid out in the shape of a latin cross with a tall narrow nave with ribbed vaults. The heavily gilded reredos screen created by Jose de Churriguera (1692) is remarkable. The upstairs choir area (accessed through the cloisters) is also impressive. From here you can view the lower section of the nave and Churriguera's reredos quite well. As mentioned earlier, the exterior facade of the church is well worth spending some time to enjoy as well.

Overall, we really enjoyed the hour we spent viewing the cloisters and main church at St. Stephen's Convent. This was one of our favourite places visited during our short stay in Salamanca and a place we'd quickly be interested to visit again the next time we are in the city.
Written 31 May 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CPC1911
Sydney, Australia522 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Couples
Definitely worth a visit including the towers. Glorious OTT church, beautiful cloisters and fabulous views from the tower. The history is fascinating but the tours are only in Spanish. I speak Spanish but found it hard to keep up the translation for my non Spanish speaking husband as the tour guide really hurried through the narrative and the tour.
Written 15 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

George S
Miami Beach, FL1,107 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022 • Couples
A very imposing church with a beautiful carved facade depicting the martyrdom of St Stephan and the Crucifixion. Though it has a convent attached, the church is very grand and is the main focus. It has a beautiful high altar in gold with several opulent side altars. It also has a huge sacristy. A great photo op from the choir loft on the upper floor. Its facade looks even better at night when it is all illuminated. Along with both cathedrals, this church is a “must see” in Salamanca.
Written 19 October 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jbinnacle
77 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
One of the most impressive Plateresque buildings in Salamanca. The cloister is amazing, and the façade has an unbelievable amount of detail - imagine being able to carve all that in stone! I'd say it's even nicer than the cathedrals!
Written 5 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cipsontheroad
Rome, Italy67 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022
By far the most interesting and particular historic site to visit!!!!
Incredible cloister, choir and unique staircase. Notice the chruch's altar piece columns that reproduce Bernini's baldachin at St. Peter's basilica in Rome.
Written 1 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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