Every now and then you find a hidden gem. This is what it felt like the first time I visited Monestir de Pedralbes. Tuckled away from the crowds, in the upper part of Barcelona, this gothic monastery was home to a comunity of Poor Clares.
Monestir de Pedralbes was founded in 1327 by Queen Elisenda de Montcada, now it’s open to the public as a living testimony of Barcelona´s history. The three-storey Gothic cloister is probably the most stunning part of the visit and it will lead you to most of the rooms in the monastery. You can visit from here St Michael’s Chapel (under renovation until 2018), the refectory, the kitchen, infirmary or abbey room; plus, storerooms and various cell days.
Considered the largest gothic cloister worldwide, it has two galleries decorated with twenty-six columns on each side, and a third upper gallery that was added at a later stage. From this space, you can step into history visiting the infirmary, dating from the 16th century, the chapter house from the 15th century, the refectory or the dormitory.
The monastery kitchen is probably the place where you can see better how the building lived through the years. It was in use from the 14th century up to 1983 and it evolved through the years. During the visit you will see the different tools used for chopping and grinding, the wine barrels, pans, pots or even the cold room.
Next to the Monastery the church, also dating back to the 14th century, is worth a visit. Its presbytery houses the tomb of Queen Elisenda. This, together with the stunning medieval stained-glass windows is a real must see.
Monasteries and history can be a bit boring for the young souls. Therefore, Monestir de Pedralbes offers an adapted audio guide for families and family friendly activities for all ages.
If you are visiting with a stroller, you will find an access ramp at the monastery entrance and a lift to the first floor of the cloister.
Monestir de Pedralbes practical information
Opening times: From October to March, open Tuesday to Friday from 10:00 to 14:00. Saturday and Sunday open until 17:00. From April to September, open Tuesday to Friday from 10:00 to 17:00 and Saturday until 19:00 and Sunday until 20:00.
Prices: General admission 5 euros
Discounts: Reduced ticket price at 3,5 euros for unemployed, students under 30, groups over 10 people, pensioners, BCN Express users.
Free admission: Sunday afternoon from 3pm onwards. First Sunday of the month all day. Under 16s (accompanied by an adult), Professional Tourist guides, accredited teachers and journalists, Barcelona card Holders. There’s also free admission on special days such as 12th February (Santa Eulàlia), 18th May (international museum Day) and 24th September (Mercè).
More information about the monastery of Pedralbes at the official website.
How to get to Monestir de Pedrables
You can get to Monestir de Pedralbes by public transport either by FGC (L12) getting off at Reina Elisenda or Metro (L3), closest stops being Maria Cristina and Palau Reial. If you are taking the Tourist Bus, there’s a stop on the blue route at the monastery.