Restoration in the monastery of Guadalupe
Dating of the building: 14th century.
Applicant: World Monuments Fund.
Reason for the award :
For the restoration of the monastery, and in particular the cloister of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
The monastery of Guadalupe, one of the most important in Spain, both for historical importance and artistic wealth, was restored in 1992 sponsored by the World Monuments Fund.
The monastery of Guadalupe, the second-largest in Spain after El Escorial, was founded in 1340 by Alfonso XI in thanksgiving for the Victory of Salado over the Moors. There was already a hermitage that commemorated the appearance of the Virgin to a shepherd in the area. The growing importance of Marian cult led to various extensions in the monastery, producing an amalgam of styles ranging from Gothic to Baroque, through Mudejar and Plateresque giving the monastery its distinctive hallmark. The monastery´s fame was so great in the 15th century that the first Indians brought by Columbus from America were baptized there, and Queen Elizabeth called it “my paradise”.
Many are the riches of movable art preserved in the current monastery museum. Outstanding is the set of eight works, painted for the sacristy that Zurbaran, famous Extremaduran painter, started in 1638. At the end of the same century, Lucas Jordán, another of the big names in Spanish Baroque painting, decorated the Virgin’s dressing room with nine works. Testimony to the elegance of the building is the superb cloister, with a clear Andalusian Mudejar influence. The restoration works were undertaken under the patronage of the World Monuments Fund in 1992 and consisted of cleaning, rehabilitating, and replacing all the elements damaged by centuries of the inclement Extremadura climate. In 1994 the monastery of Guadalupe entered the select group of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.