Convento de San Esteban (Convent of St. Stephen), Salamanca
The Dominicans settled in Salamanca in about 1255, but their original monastery was demolished to construct the parish church of St. Stephen in 1524, at the initiative of Cardinal Juan Álvarez de Toledo. Construction took until 1610, and involved Martin de Santiago, Rodrigo Gil de Hontañón, Juan Ribero Rada and Pedro Gutiérrez. However, the layout and design are by Juan de Álava, who began the work in 1524, as evidenced by a plan in his possession.
Rodrigo Gil de Hontañón was involved with the transepts and the dome. Although the church is considered to be an excellent example of the Plateresque style, the long period of construction explains the mixture of styles ranging from Gothic to the late Baroque, the latter not so noticeable in the architecture but very apparent in the reredos of the main altar by José de Churriguera. According to tradition, Christopher Columbus stayed in this monastery (actually in the earlier building it replaced) when he came to Salamanca to defend his idea of reaching the Indies by sailing west, against the geographers of the University.
During the Counter Reformation it was an important center for the Dominicans who founded the School of Salamanca, headed by Francisco de Vitoria.
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Convento de San Esteban (Convent of St. Stephen) on Map
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