Santuario Mariano, and Carmen of the Assumption Convent

#17 Mariscal Sucre and Padre Aguirre streets

The convent was founded in 1682 for the Order of the Barefoot Carmelites of Our Lady of the Assumption. The church was built around 1730.

The church is accessed from the cloister and the Flower Market. The walls are made of adobe. The main portal is stone carved and is an example of the Baroque style in Cuenca.

The church altarpiece is wood carved covered with gold leaf and decorated with tiny mirrors.

The pulpit is also wood carved and covered in gold leaf and mirrors. The pulpit is in the shape of a chalice. Nino Viajero is installed here – the Traveling Child, who is the focus of the eight hour parade on Christmas Eve Day. Part of the choir is covered in mesh which is intended to cover the cloistered nuns who enter to sing in it during special services.

The portal displays symbols of St. Paul holding the key to the gates of heaven. And also the bicephalous eagle of Charles III of Spain, who was regent at the time of construction.

The convent entrance is in a corner of the square known as the Flower Market. The stone carved frieze leads to a hallway, which leads to the cloistered nuns convent. All nuns who enter the convent must take the name Maria.

People line up outside the door to the convent to buy “Pitimas Water” made by the nuns. It is made of cultivated medicinal plants and flowers from the interior gardens, and is said to have healing and relaxing properties.

The “torno” through which the nuns sell their products. An order is placed, and then the items are delivered through the turnstile torno, without the nuns ever being seen.

The nuns sell red wine, white wine, blackberry and passion fruit wine; radish syrup for flu and tonsil problems; a multivitamin syrup made of honey, milk and eggs -recommended for stress and hormonal change; a lotion for muscle aches – made of herbs soaked in alcohol; and a lemon creme to heal blemishes caused by the sun. Photo courtesy of El Telegrafo, March 2019.