Convento de San Esteban
Convento de San Esteban
4.5
Historic SitesArchitectural BuildingsReligious Sites
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  • Vadim
    Murmansk, Russia33,993 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
    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.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 16 March 2024
  • Travelingjohn123
    Peterlee, United Kingdom3,057 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Better than the cathedral
    I enjoyed this convention more than the cathedral. It’s €4.50 so much cheaper but just as much to see. Architecture nearly as good and the balcony around the courtyard very good. It’s a bonus to be able to go to the choir and have a raised view of the church. Would recommend
    Visited April 2024
    Travelled with friends
    Written 22 April 2024
  • ANGELO V
    Milan, Italy4,262 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Convento de San Esteban
    Convento de San Esteban is part of the UNESCO heritage site "Old City of Salamanca". It was built from 1524 to 1620, to replace the former convent on the same site, and it is in Plateresque style. The imposing façade of the church is flanked by a portico giving access to the convent. There are several areas to visit: the church, the upstairs choir, the Soto stairs, the new and old chapterhouses, the "Royal" or processional cloister, the sacristy: all these are strikingly beautiful. There is also a small museum where the pieces on exhibition mostly come from missions around the world. For some reason, it looks like this convent is off the tourist beat, and there were only a few visitors the day I went.
    Visited May 2024
    Travelled solo
    Written 21 May 2024
  • Unpretentious Foodie
    Los Angeles, California21 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Special Place
    So enjoyed our visit. Not crowded at all which was appreciated. Felt like we had the place to ourselves and could really soak it in. Feels like a holy place, not just an historical or architectural site, though it is both of these things as well. Generally understated except for the baroque altar which does not appeal to me but did not offend either. I loved the art, the little museum, the cloistered halls, the sacristy, the church inside. All are amazing to see, the architecture, attention to details, general design. Don't miss a thing, it's all very doable in 1 hour and everything will likely be of some interest.
    Visited June 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 11 June 2024
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Unpretentious Foodie
Los Angeles, CA21 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Couples
So enjoyed our visit. Not crowded at all which was appreciated. Felt like we had the place to ourselves and could really soak it in. Feels like a holy place, not just an historical or architectural site, though it is both of these things as well. Generally understated except for the baroque altar which does not appeal to me but did not offend either. I loved the art, the little museum, the cloistered halls, the sacristy, the church inside. All are amazing to see, the architecture, attention to details, general design. Don't miss a thing, it's all very doable in 1 hour and everything will likely be of some interest.
Written 11 June 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.

ANGELO V
Milan, Italy4,262 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Solo
Convento de San Esteban is part of the UNESCO heritage site "Old City of Salamanca". It was built from 1524 to 1620, to replace the former convent on the same site, and it is in Plateresque style.

The imposing façade of the church is flanked by a portico giving access to the convent. There are several areas to visit: the church, the upstairs choir, the Soto stairs, the new and old chapterhouses, the "Royal" or processional cloister, the sacristy: all these are strikingly beautiful.

There is also a small museum where the pieces on exhibition mostly come from missions around the world.

For some reason, it looks like this convent is off the tourist beat, and there were only a few visitors the day I went.
Written 21 May 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.

Travelingjohn123
Peterlee, UK3,057 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Friends
I enjoyed this convention more than the cathedral. It’s €4.50 so much cheaper but just as much to see. Architecture nearly as good and the balcony around the courtyard very good. It’s a bonus to be able to go to the choir and have a raised view of the church.
Would recommend
Written 22 April 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.

Vadim
Murmansk, Russia33,993 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, UK158 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
21 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, MD1,484 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, Australia13 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.

Brad
Hong Kong, China173,427 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, Australia672 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.

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Convento de San Esteban, Salamanca

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