The upper cloister, which dates back to the 16th century, was built at the behest of the Duchess of Gandia.
The upper cloister, which dates back to the 16th century, was built at the behest of the Duchess of Gandia, María Enríquez de Luna. Its architectural style is Valencian late Gothic style. The work is attributed to the school of the renowned Valencian architect, Pere Compte, author of outstanding works such as the Llotja de la Seda of Valencia, categorized as a World Heritage Site.
The polychrome Gothic sculptures of extraordinary uniqueness and artistic value stand out in the entire cloister. In this upper cloister, the ribbed vaults can be observed with keystones and corbels, which are decorated with sculptures of angels carrying the instruments of the passion and death of Christ. These instruments are the crown of thorns and the cross, and are attributed to the renowned Valencian sculptor, Damià Forment.
The angels of the corbels also carry a banner with the inscription of a verse of the “Vulgate Bible” (first translation of the Bible from Hebrew to Latin, made by St. Jerome and authorized by the Catholic Church). The corbels were damaged during the Spanish Civil War. The windows have ogee arches.
At the back, the “Puerta de los Leones” (the lions’ gate) can be seen. This gate is named after the sculptures of two lions which are located on both sides, carrying the noble coat of arms of the Duchess of Gandia, María Enríquez de Luna. The gate is divided into two by a mullion with a helical column and a capital with vegetal ornaments.
On top of the doors, there are two ogee foil arches, and in the center, there is a sculpture of an angel, also carrying the coat of arms of the Duchess of Gandia. The monks removed the staircase in a refurbishment that was performed in the 18th century. The upper cloister was opened to the public in May 2015.