San Benito Convent

The convent was founded by Doña Teresa de Meneses, a nun who was the widow of the sixth lord Rodrigo de Orellana. She requested authorization from Rome in 1528 to create a convent in Orellana together with her daughters: one separated, without integration in a religious order, and the other, who became prioress of the convent.

The Bishop of Plasencia issues the licenses and the works will take some years to start. Economic problems led their benefactors to live in houses in the village, in a state of almost precariousness. For this reason, they sued the convents where they had been and left the large dowries with which they entered.

The justice system proved them right and they obtained the money to carry out the construction.

PATRIMONY
WORSHIP
Calle del Convento
924 867 804
Monday to Saturday
16:30 – 19:30

We do not know if there was a previous construction, but it is certain that the place chosen is the exit of the town by the road to Orellana la Sierra, known as the Colada de los Cogolludos.

The design is typical of Convents and Monasteries… this time, it would have a church, which would be of large dimensions, even larger than many of the main ones in many nearby towns. The temple serves as the side of a large square that is closed as a small castle by other buildings, in the middle is a large courtyard.

The church has a single nave, with a polygonal apse, without great decorative features. The doors, windows and the upper part of the chancel are made of brick, the rest of the walls are made of slate masonry. In terms of construction techniques, there are two stages.

At the foot of the church is the Trascoro, a place for the nuns to follow the religious services away from the rest of the town. It is a very large room, almost an extension of the church. It is profusely decorated with paintings and sgraffito depicting zoomorphisms and mythological animals. The original floor is preserved.

At the back of this back room there is a well-cistern full of mysteries, it seems to be excavated in the rock, it is shallow, the bottom is tiled and there is a gallery that no one knows where it goes, which brings water.

The patio, with its artistic porch, seems to be the most suggestive place of the whole. The slender arches are joined by the colorful green garden and the blue sky, forming an ensemble that invites to the mysticism of the Convents. The Order of Nuns followed the Order of Saint Dominic and played an important role in local life.

Only the disentailment of church property by the State in 1836 put an end to the presence of the nuns in Orellana. The passage through private hands ended with the splendor that reached the set, the deterioration of the set became extreme in the most palatial aspects it had.

The City Council of Orellana la Vieja decided its recovery. Since then it has had several interventions aimed at the conservation of the remaining remains and the integral rehabilitation of the building for the use and enjoyment of the population. It is currently a Cultural Center that allows the realization of events; with an auditorium with capacity for 120 people, it also houses the Municipal Library, an Exhibition Hall and a Multiple Services Room.

Important events such as conferences and congresses are held there, and it is open to the public every day.