Many people from Segovia know this building as the “Convento de las Oblatas”. The reason for this is the Oblate Sisters were the last religious group to inhabit this unique space. They did so until 1996, educating the girls sent to them from the juvenile courts. In 1996, they left the convent, which changed hands to a company that transformed it into a luxury hotel, and the first five-star accommodation establishment in Segovia.
Before the Oblate Sisters arrived, the ecclesiastical confiscations of Mendizábal saw the convent turned into a military headquarters and an artillery school until 1929. Back in 1637 when it was first built, the founders of this monumental construction were 120 Capuchin monks - followers of Saint Francis of Assisi - whose masters included Antonio de Contreras, González Bernardo de Quirós and his wife, María de Amezqueta y Guzmán.
Like good ascetics, the monks from the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin chose a location with beautiful views of the Eresma Valley. Surrounded by palaces, Romanesque churches and other religious convents, they lived in a building that consisted of a church, convent and residence. As was traditional in Segovian constructions in the 17th century, these formed an austere Baroque ensemble with walls constructed using limestone and reinforced with ashlar in the corners.
The constructions were arranged around the single-nave, barrel-vaulted church and the old cloisters facing east. The façade of the Plaza de Capuchinos was then partly recessed with granite lintels and crowned by a triangular pediment and oculus on its tympanum. The upper body has a niche with an image of Bonaventure topped with a curved pediment. Above this, there is a porthole, and to the left and right are the crests of the temple's founders in marble.
Situated in the historic centre of Segovia, at Plazuela Capuchinos, no. 2, next to the Academia de San Quirce, the present-day Hotel Aurea Convento Capuchinos 5* has preserved its original façade. Inside, the church has been converted into a restaurant and the other two areas have been transformed into bedrooms and communal facilities in the hotel.
The old vegetable patch is today a fabulous garden with expansive terraces and wonderful views of the Eresma River and the Alameda, making this one of the largest estates inside Segovia's walled old town.