The Royal Monastery of the Holy Trinity of Valencia is a building of remarkable historical and artistic importance. Built on the left bank of the River Turia, near the beginning of the street Alboraya, it is undoubtedly the oldest monastic city that retains its initial use. The foundation was made by Mary Queen of Castile, wife of Alfonso V the Magnanimous and regent of the kingdom during the long absence of her husband, on the site of a Trinitarian convent established in 1256, care of the attached hospital of San Guillén. The queen was buried in it, in a beautiful stone sarcophagus, which makes this foundation in the only Royal Pantheon located in our lands.
During the second half of the fifteenth century and early sixteenth century the monastery underwent a period of great brilliance, becoming a cultural and spiritual focus and a very important social reference for the city of Valencia. During this time was abbess, between 1463 and 1490, the famous writer and humanist Sister Isabel de Villena, the most famous writer of our literature. In those years was a doctor in the community the great poet Jaume Roig and professed there and was buried the infant Maria de Aragon, natural daughter of Ferdinand. The traveler and humanist renowned German doctor Jerome Muenzer, after visiting Valencia in 1494 and referring to this Monastery, said that: I never saw church such as the number of rich and magnificent altarpieces and ornaments that decorated. Cause this show the greatest admiration.
During the following centuries until the eighteenth, the presence of the Monastery of the Trinity in the social and religious life of the city remained important, despite the restrictions imposed by the edicts of the Council of Trent to religious establishments. Blessed Brother Pedro Nicolas Factor, mystical ecstasy of great prestige, was confessor of her nuns from 1539 and attended several disciples here. At that time, the solemn civic procession, which Juries organized in honor of the Guardian Angel of the city, came to the monastery, and, inside, venerated University, founded in 1499, the image of their patron Ntra. Sra. of Wisdom, going there for it in showy retinues, which involved all graduates with their academic robes. From this community of Poor Clares also they left various religious groups to establish or amend other convents in: Teruel, Barcelona, Mallorca, Tortosa, Onda and Xàtiva.
In the early seventeenth century, Maria de Corella, Countess of La Puebla, belonging to the aristocratic family of the Counts of Cocentaina, enriched with valuable works of art and sacred relics Choir Under the monastery, which, between 1695 and 1700, saw coat inside his church with sumptuous baroque decoration, executed by Felipe Serrano. But after the conflict of the War of Succession, was the Napoleonic invasion the worst time of destruction and decay for this institution, as the location, outside the city walls, monastic made it more susceptible to looting and occupations which affected notably their movable property and even its Gothic factory.
The policy disentailment nineteenth century monastery deprived of their income in times of painstaking restoration and despoiled even part of the original building. New damage brought the twentieth century, with the destruction and looting suffered during last at least seven major civil war and violent flood of 1957, postrera to date of, this monastery has suffered since its foundation.
During all this time and despite the strict monastic enclosure, the monastery has been the subject of interest and study by all relevant historians of the seventeenth century onwards, as well as our contemporaries who have given continuity to the first studies by chroniclers Franciscans, to Augustine and Joseph Teixidor Sales in the eighteenth century and those of almost all the nineteenth-century historians. The Poor Clares have always provided and on all occasions the work of these numerous researchers as well as making all kinds of partial studies, surveys of plans and inventories of cultural property.
In 1990, the excellent thesis unprecedented degree developed by Carlos Martinez Perez brings the most interesting and documented studies on the structures of the early Gothic building, now deformed, abundant graphic material and various ideal reconstructions, which allowed the development of a large LIGNEA model , which today is kept in the monastery refectory, where the appearance of the buildings is presented in the fifteenth century. The edition in 1998, on the initiative of the Consell Valencià de Cultura, a monograph, several times reprinted with additions, largely spread knowledge about this remarkable institution. The book presents the reader now collects this completely revised and greatly expanded study also adding an important documentary appendix, many new illustrations and set their biography.
National Monument since December 22, 1982, the monastery was declared of cultural interest the February 4, 1983, which has led some restorations carried out by the Ministry of Public Works, under the direction of architect Jose Luis Leno, they are just the beginning of interventions requires valorization of many parts of the monastery. The Generalitat Valenciana for its part has contributed to the restoration of some paintings and furniture objects and the start of some previous work of archaeological and defended with excellent judgment excavation, according to the opinion of the Consell Valencià de Cultura, the integrity of the monastic complex at the time to redesign the built environment. Thus, to preserve the building’s entrance, compass, is the cobbled courtyard, now surrounded by houses, old Gothic cloister of brick, which gives the monastery its characteristic secluded environment, allows you to keep your privacy and appropriate modesty Conventual time contributing to: safeguard the historical memory of the city.
But most importantly, as very significant part of Valencian cultural heritage, is the fact that the Monastery of the Trinity has been maintained for over five hundred years in the role for which they were created their buildings. The religious community, sometimes in a heroic way, has managed to save and protect the most important in very difficult circumstances, such as those that have affected the life of the institution in all those many years of its existence. They have been preserved, maintained and resturado these goods at all times also facilitating the work of researchers and opening its doors, in the limits of their possibilities and the monastic rule, who wished to contemplate its beauties. Because they are in fact the most precious cultural asset, because in them familiarly memory remains astonishing way past customs and rituals that give life to the stones and objects are preserved.
Valencia has the “mummies” fossilized some great monasteries of the past, many capital historical importance have disappeared or are pitiful shreds of what they once were. With the Charterhouse of Portaceli, the Monastery of the Trinity of Valencia is the last of the great Valencian historic monasteries that stays alive. Foundation and Royal Pantheon, where he is buried one of the most egregious queens of the Crown of Aragon, who held the government of Valencia in the most glorious period in its history. A place closely linked to memory and to the work of Isabel de Villena. As I recalled the Consell Valencià of Culture in 1996: Serious convenient mantenir l’ocupació de l’edifici per this religious comunitat. Més faces, lime reconéixer the importance of mantindre the sentit Autèntic i Fonamental the monument.
I do not fit in my head, a vital issue for the history and culture of our country, other acceptable attitude to collaborate in preserving this treasure, because, as indicated by the Consell: the seua protecció és responsabilitat of tots. We may be able to fully preserve this wealth that many would envy. Because cultural goods are not only material objects, some of which are appropriated to traffic, considering his. Cultural patrimony are primarily people who keep the memory and activities, which represent a living example of the civilizing efforts of those who came before us. That effort to transcend deleterious barbarism and transience; that eternal struggle of memory and history against death and oblivion that shapes us as human beings and how the humanistic roots of our culture.
Daniel Benito Goerlich
Professor of Art History
Curator of Cultural Heritage
University of Valencia