Sunday, April 2, 2017

Las Huelgas

Las Huelgas was a Royal convent of Cistercian nuns… Until a few years ago one was only allowed to step into the huge bare church and look through the grille into the nuns’ choir. Now the convent of Las Huelgas has been opened by Papal permission, and it is one of the most magically beautiful places in the world. 
…no less extraordinary were the experiences of the commission who came to open the convent… a day or two before the commission left and its work was done, a feast was given to them by the abbess and the nuns. It took place at some strange hour, three or four o’clock in the morning, recalling accounts of audiences given by the Dowager-Empress of China which were at that hour; and the dishes, I was told, were either of an intolerable nastiness, or else quite exquisite in taste but entirely unfamiliar being from probably thirteenth-century recipes.
— Sacheverell Sitwell, Monks, Nuns and Monasteries (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1965), 125 & 127.

No comments: