THE LONG HISTORY OF A TEMPLE
The year 1388, the Barcelonian princess Maria d’Aragon and Anjou, daughter of King Jaime II of Aragon and Blanca de Naples, ordered the construction of the first female monastery of the Dominican order, with the support of King Peter II and Cardinal Nicolau Rossell . The building, which was named the monastery of Sant Pere Màrtir, was built near the Royal Shipyards of Barcelona and was occupied by a group of Dominican nuns from the Languedoc.
But this location was outside the walls and on the seashore, which made the community very exposed to Saracen piracy. Thus, the monastery was moved inside the wall.
This new location was only eventual and, in 1423, they moved to the old convent of the Augustinians, Santa Eulàlia del Camp, which had a facade to the streets of Mont Sió and Portal de l’Àngel. The new monastery received the name of Santa Maria de Montsió and was growing to be an enclosure of never seen dimensions, with the construction of a Gothic church with an 82 warheads cloister.
The community resisted the historical events that Barcelona lived and, in 1835, with the confiscation, the nuns were expelled and an opera house, which would be the first precedent of the Liceu, was installed in the monastery. Eleven years later, the sisters returned, but with the revolution of September 1868, which put an end to the reign of Isabel II, they were again exclaustrated.
When they returned in 1875, the convent was in such ruinous conditions that the community decided to move again, this time to the corner of Rambla de Catalunya and Rosselló street where in 1890 they took, stone by stone, the church and the cloister, under the direction of the architect Joan Martorell. The works concluded in 1888.
In this location they had to suffer the “setmana tràgica” in 1909 and the spanish civil war (1936-1939) during which the convent was desecrated and burned, and turned into a barracks.
After the war, the community was reconstituted but they decided to move, again, the convent, this time in Esplugues de Llobregat, annexing the Gothic cloister once again transported to a manor house of Domènech i Montaner.
The old church of the Rambla de Catalunya was acquired by the Barcelona’s Archbishopric, and dedicated it to San Ramón de Penyafort, Dominican, as a parish church as a sign of gratitude to the sisters for all their work developed in the service of the city.