9/08/2014

Convent Trail: Introduction

Trying to keep up with some goals I had established for myself when I came back from the UK, on Saturday I finally got to visit the Convent Trail that I mentioned last week:  I live in a state that has all the oldest convents in the continent. The first one ever dates back to 1533, only 10 years after the Conquest was finalised. How cool is to live about an hour away from such a place?

There are around 16 convents, most of them grouped rather closely, with a couple scattered away to the South. We left those for another day and focused on the ones located to the North-West, including, yes, the one from 1533. Three of them I already know, one from having visited about a year ago, the other one because it's my hometown's Cathedral, and the third one lies in a very near town, very touristic, to which I've been about a million times. I promise to visit soon and take pictures for you. For the time being, we also left them out of our tour.

The 16 convents were built by three different friar orders: Franciscans, Dominicans, and Benedictine. You can tell the differences from the decorations and the vaults, although now all of them officiate  Catholic masses and don't function as convents anymore. Their atrium are public parks (lucky people!), and the cloisters are used for teaching catechism, having pre-marriage talks, and as offices for the priests and local community.

Since I took way too many pictures for a single post, I decided I will write one post per convent. That will also give me more space to tell you a little bit of history for each place, and also confuse you less as to which convent is which. That will also help me to keep them apart in my mind.

How was your weekend?

Convent Trail Morelos Mexico
A map of the convents in Morelos, frescoed in one of them

Estoy tratando de cumplir algunas metas que me puse cuando regresé de Inglaterra. Una de ellas es conocer más de mi estado y mi país, y el sábado finalmente pude conocer la Ruta de los Conventos. Morelos contiene algunos de los conventos más antiguos del continento; el primero de todos, de hecho, data de 1533.

En total son 16 conventos, la mayoría ubicados al noreste del estado, y algunos pocos hacia el sur. Dejamos estos últimos para otra ocasión, igual que otros tres que ya conozco: el de Jiutepec, que visité hace un años, la Catedral de Cuernavaca, y el Templo de la Natividad en Tepoztlán. Prometo en otra ocasión visitarlos y escribir sobre ellos. Esta vez nos enfocamos en los conventos de los Altos de Morelos.

Los conventos fueron construidos por tres órdenes de frailes: franciscanos, dominicos y benedictinos. Las diferencias se notan en la arquitectura, jardines y en los frescos, aunque hoy en día todos ofician misas católicas y ya no se usan como conventos. Los atrios son parques públicos y en los claustros se realizan eventos y se dan clases de catecismo.

La verdad es que tomé demasiadas fotos para una sola entrada, así que estaré escribiendo sobre cada convento en lo individual. Eso me permitirá, además, escribir un poco sobre la historia de cada uno, además de evitar confusiones sobre cuál es cuál.

¿Qué tal su fin de semana?




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