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Monastery of Santa Teresa de Jesús

The Baroque-style Santa Teresa de Jesús Monastery was founded on a house-palace in 1615 (the construction of the temple began in 1673), after several unsuccessful attempts to found it in the capital of Granada.

It is a very austere Carmelite-style temple with a very simple composition, which actually gives it great beauty. In addition to the architecture itself, the monastery holds important treasures inside, altarpieces, sculptures or paintings, and, most importantly, an authentic bibliographic treasure: the manuscript of the Spiritual Canticle of Saint John of the Cross, also called the Codex of Jaén.

The Codex of Jaén is not a Saint John autograph manuscript, but it is a direct copy of the writing of the mystical poet, arriving at the monastery of the capital of Granada through Ana de Jesús who gives it to Mother Isabel de la Encarnación. She always carries it with her until it is sent to the new foundation in Jaén, where the manuscript has remained ever since. The manuscript, therefore, has been in the monastery since its foundation and has been kept since the beginning of the 20th century in a silver case in the form of a finely carved box and this, in turn, protected by an oak box.

The Codex of Jaén is a true literary relic, being the most important of all those found in the convents of this province, and one of the most valuable in the entire Carmelite world, as it has an exclusive stanza, Stanza XI.

Stanza XI
(…) If on that thy silvered surface

Thou wouldst of a sudden form the eyes desired Which I

bear outlined in my inmost parts!

Spiritual Canticle. Saint John of the Cross