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Royal Convent of Santa Maria de Pedralbes

The convent church

Consecrated on May 3 1327, the church, an outstanding example of architectural unity, epitomises the specific features of the Catalan Gothic style, that is, great sobriety and  monumentality, while also featuring  the characteristics of mendicant architecture from Southern Europe. 

The building has a single nave with side chapels between the buttresses and covered with ribbed vaults. The seven sections of the nave are surmounted by vault keystones which represent couplets in honour of the Virgin, with the coronation and the royal coat of arms in the presbytery area, and at the opposite end, a rendering of Christ resurrected, showing the stigmata. 

Three choirs have been preserved: the top, the bottom and the central one or friars’ choir. The top choir was reserved for the enclosed nuns and connects with the dormitory through the Angel room. The bottom choir, also for the nuns and separated by a wall and a railing from the church, is still used today for daily prayers. The stone choir with pinewood seating located in the middle of the church was built for the friars who accompanied the masses with their chants. The presbytery houses the tomb of Queen Elisenda, dressed in a cape and royal attire.

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