Miraflores Carthusian Monastery

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Miraflores Carthusian Monastery is among the most important monuments in Burgos. It was first built in 1401, when Enrique III, King of Burgos commissioned the construction of a palace that would serve as a hunting residence. In 1441 his son, Juan II, entrusted the building to the Carthusian monks, with a view to converting it into a Royal Pantheon. In 1452 a fire burned the building to the ground. Its reconstruction, commissioned to Juan and Simón de Colonia, began in 1454 and was not completed until 1484. 

The monastery has two cloisters with enclosures and a church. The high walls show buttresses and pointed windows, characteristic of the Gothic style.

The church, inaugurated in 1499, was built in the Isabelline style. Its exterior shows a geometrical design, crowned by fleches and pinnacles set on the buttresses. Access to the temple is via a portico that includes a Gothic doorway. Its tympanum represents the Virgin of Miraflores. The interior consists of a single nave divided into three sections, with a magnificent ribbed vaulting. The chancel, with a polygonal floor plan, is slightly wider than the rest of the temple. The elaborated ribs on its vaults set off the beauty of the chancel. The original stained glass panels were brought from Flanders in 1484, but were restored in 1657.

The choir stalls, from 1558, are a remarkable example of Renaissance art, with reliefs on the back panels, representing saints and symbolic figures. A wall shows small Baroque retables, presided by the extraordinary painting of The Announcement, created by Pedro Berruguete around 1500. Next to it is the choir of the Carthusian fathers, with richly elaborated Gothic stalls, executed between 1486 and 1489.

The chancel of the church contains works of art of extraordinay artistic merits, such as: the Altarpiece, the work of Gil de Siloé, dated between 1496 and 1499. Diego de la Cruz contributed to the polychromy of the retable. In front of it is the mausoleum of Don Juan II and Doña Isabel of Portugal, also executed by Gil de Siloé between 1489 and 1493. The alabaster mausoleum is in the form of an 8-pointed star and has vertical walls. It contains many architectural elements and statues.

The interior of the monastery contains other artistic treasures, such as a triptych of the Crucifixion -a Flemish work from the late 15 C-; a beautiful chalice of golden silver, a gift from Juan II, with enamelled royal arms and embossings; a remarkable panel of the Ecce Homo by Juan de Flandes; and another of Santa Lucía.