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Convento de San Esteban. Church and museum

A few minutes walk from the cathedrals of Salamanca, this elegant convent and church welcomes any visitor with its impressive façade. The convent is not amongst the top 5 sights in Salamanca, but it is with no doubt a master-piece example of churriguesco style.

A Dominican monastery built by Juan de Ribero 1590. It has arcades at ground level, wide windows and medallions on the first floor and Gothic windows and pinnacles on the second floor, all of which display Italian influence. The church is of particular interest. It was designed by Juan de Alava in 1524, and later extended by a number

of architects including Martin de Santiago Rodrigo Gil de Hontañón and Juan de

Ribero. It is single-aisled with side chapels. The fine Plateresque façade is highly ornamented and beautifully proportioned.

The relief over the portal depicts the Stoning of St.Stephen and was completed by Ceroni in 1610. The interior is also impressive. The high altar has gilded columns

wound around with tendrils and is the work of José Churriguera. The middle section contains a painting by Claudio Coello.

The choir stalls were made by Alfonso Balbás in 1651-8. The choir also contains a painting attributed to Rubens and a large fresco of the “Triumph of the Church (1505) by Palomino. The left transept contains the altar of St.Dominic by Joaquin Churriguera, which has a sculpture of the saint by Luis Salvador Carmona. The altarof the Rosary is also by Joaquín Churriguera, and the painting of the Coronathe Virgin is by Villamor. The sacristy and the chapterhouse are 16C, by the architect Moreno, The ‘Escalers de Soto’ (staircase) dates from 1533 and was designed by Martín de Santiago. The Claustro de los Reyes was built by Sardiña between the beginning of the 16C and 1591. It has two storeys of arcades; the lower level has English late Gothic vaulting. The late 15C Claustro de Colón also has a double row of arcades.

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