City heritage: The Convent of the minimum
The Order of the Minims was founded by San Francisco de Paula in the Italian region of Calabria on the year 1435, and after expanding in Europe, came to Spain in 1492.
The relationship between the religious order and the town of La Fresneda originates in a beautiful legend that end up determining the construction of a convent 6 km from city center, dedicated to our Sra. de Gracia, and then the urban convent that today is the Hotel & Restaurant The Convent***.
This legend has a shepherdess found an image of the Virgin in a rock section, in a rough mountain in the Valley of the silence. He took it to the neighboring town of Valljunquera, where she was originally, to recite and worship. But within days, the image disappeared from the place. The search from the pastor begun and ended in the same place where it all started: on that same remote rock away from the village of La Fresneda.
After that incident, nearby residents began to frequent the sacred rock and called "Grace" for all they received.
All this led to the village of La Fresneda decided to build a chapel on site, which was commissioned to the Order of Trinitarians. However, the harsh and inhospitable valley made them desist in maintaining the order, and finally the village of La Fresneda and the Order of Calatrava donated it in 1581 to the Order of Minims Padres San Francisco de Paula.
Next to the chapel, the friars built a new church and a simple convent. But again the harshness and austerity of the time were the causes for which they decided to leave it and move it to the town, for which in 1593 they began the construction of the new convent that ended in 1613. The Convent now was a reality.
However, for years they were attending the two religious centers at the same time. And in the eighteenth century they decided to build a new convent next to the original chapel and adjoining it, a new church with three naves completed in 1795, which completed a major monuments used until 1865, when the confiscation order arrived giving end to it.
Currently from the convent of Our. Sra. De Gracia and the church are only left some impressive facades and ruins. But it is worth visiting it closer and seeing it for yourself.
From the urban convent of 1613, which today houses the Hotel & Restaurant The Convent***, remains the standing church building (no roof, no altar, no bell, but with intact chapels and part of the original paintings), the well of the cloister, and numerous remains of walls and paving, who have been rehabilitated to become part of the current complex.