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UCAM undertakes the epic restoration of the cloister of the Los Jerónimos Monastery

The San Antonio University Foundation has earmarked over one million euros to enhance the beauty and restore the originality of the cloister, which is an essential part of the 18th century historical-artistic monument, home to the Universidad Católica de Murcia

In the centre, María Dolores García, president of UCAM, and the architect Juan de Dios de la Hoz.
In the centre, María Dolores García, president of UCAM, and the architect Juan de Dios de la Hoz.

The Monastery of Los Jerónimos is the headquarters of the UCAM Campus in Murcia, considered as ‘one of the most beautiful universities in the world’ by international magazines. Its restoration and refurbishment by the San Antonio de Murcia University Foundation in 1996 to house UCAM is now complemented by the restoration of its cloister, in accordance with the project approved by the founder of the University, José Luis Mendoza. This project will also provide it with monumental lighting and energy efficiency criteria, all under the direction of the architect Juan de Dios de la Hoz.

The project was presented to the members of the UCAM Governing Council this morning by the President of the University, María Dolores García, who stated that ‘it is a great joy that this moment has arrived, as it was José Luis' wish to undertake the restoration of the cloister of what is known as the Escorial Murciano.’ For his part, Juan de Dios de la Hoz emphasised that ‘it is an honour to be undertaking this project; this monastery is a marvel.’

The restoration of the cloister includes its façades, carpentry, low ceilings and the interior flooring of the ground floor in accordance with historical research, while ensuring its future maintenance; it is also equipped with monumental lighting and improved energy efficiency.

As usual in the monasteries of the Hieronymite Order, the arches on the ground floor will be left open and the tiling will be made of granite and limestone; in addition, specific work will be carried out on the ceilings. The façades will be repaired, including the carved and painted decorations, with specific interventions on the sundials, coats of arms, figureheads, canes, mouldings, etc. and on the railings of the balconies on the upper floor. All the carpentry will be greatly improved in terms of energy efficiency and the historic protection of the building will be guaranteed. Finally, monumental lighting will be installed to highlight the architectural and decorative elements of the cloister.

Costing over one million euros, the project requires the expertise of a large multidisciplinary team of professionals under the execution of Lorquimur SL, following the project of the architect Juan de Dios de la Hoz, of Lavila Arquitectos, and has been planned to be compatible with both the academic as well as the administrative activity.

The Los Jerónimos Monastery, UCAM headquarters

The Monastery of Los Jerónimos de la Ñora began its construction between 1716 and 1718 and is attributed to the master Brother Antonio de San José, who was a prestigious architect and builder. The building is admirably conceived as a monastic whole, in which the church and the main cloister stand out. The simplicity of the layout and the grandeur of the complex have led it to become known as the ‘Escorial Murciano.’

It was declared a historic-artistic monument, after which it was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest. The San Antonio University Foundation installed the headquarters of the Universidad Católica de Murcia in it in 1997, for which it carried out the project for the ‘Refurbishment of the Los Jerónimos Monastery for the University Headquarters’ and the project ‘Restoration of the façades and church of the Los Jerónimos Monastery.’