The Venue

The monastery of San Miguel de los Reyes is located in the city of Valencia and was founded in the 16th century by Fernando de Aragón, Duke of Calabria, on the site of an old monastery of the Cistercian Order. It is a very important work of the Valencian Renaissance which, according to some authors, can be considered as a precedent of the Escorial monastery, being, like the latter, a Hieronymite monastery, a cultural focus, and a church commemorating the memory of its founder. After its disentailment, the building was put to various civil uses, and for many years it was used as a prison.

It is an architectural ensemble built according to the new Renaissance guidelines, with the participation of important architects, master builders and artists of the time. This monastery is an exceptional work on the Valencian artistic scene. The project was an exceptional work of art, which introduced inquiries that had been developed mainly in the courtly sphere, as well as the built work, which, as often happens, is an accumulation of experiences that are added to and substituted for each other. The result is the result of the abbey of Sant Bernat de Rascanya, founded by Brother Arnaldo Saranyó in 1381, of the initial layout of 1546 and the sum of other parts, which mainly belong to the Classicist period and were contributed by masters of French descent, as well as for monks and laymen.

The foundation of the monastery was due to the intention of Na Germana de Foix, wife of Fernando de Aragón, Duke of Calabria, to be buried in the monastery. Father José de Sigüenza narrates that for this purpose the Dukes chose a place in the vicinity of Valencia, on the royal road to Morvedre, where there was a monastery of the Cistercian Order that was in spiritual and material decadence Only archaeological remains remain of this primitive monastery.

The first stone was laid in 1548 by the bishop and the duke and was engraved with the arms of its founder. The Duke’s death in 1550 resulted in the bequest of his money, jewelry, and very rich library to the monastery. This bequest would have been used for the continuation of the works, but his palace was ransacked on the night of his death.

It currently houses the historical collection of the Biblioteca Valenciana Nicolau Primitiu.