“La Victoria” convent
Vera - Almería

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The Convento de la Victoria is now one of the major classical music venues in the Almeria Levante area, but history has made the current Municipal Auditorium share its walls with the Museum of the Order of the Padres Mínimos. The building, also known as the Convent of San Francisco de Paula, was refurbished by the Padres Mínimos in the early seventeenth century. Works continued until 1836 when it was confiscated. Since then it has hidden a treasure that was not uncovered until its last renovation.

The building is located near the main square, within the grid that occupied the first walled city in the sixteenth century. At first it consisted of a single building, but a renovation of the convent church roof allowed the construction of a new Chapel next to the main temple, forming a Latin cross plan. The work was completed in 1790.

The convent was demolished in the late nineteenth century and the church continued to be intended for worship until 1936. From that moment the deterioration of the building accelerated until it became practically a ruin. Some walls collapsed, roofs caved in, the choir, flooring and carpentry disappeared. This led to its renovation as a multipurpose room to accommodate all types of events: concerts, theater and exhibitions. The reform also included the construction of a small new building to house the dressing rooms and toilets. This was built in a small adjoining plot that was formely occupied by the sacristy.

This project not only brought back this building into public use but the restoration uncovered a pleasant surprise, a little known treasure that had been hidden over the centuries. As you will be able to see for yourself, the convent walls are lined with treasured paintings, drawings and reliefs dating from the early eighteenth century as indicated by the date written on one of the frescoes. These have not been enjoyed by the public until the latest reform took place. The building also preserves the headstones of burial crypts where noble families were buried.