MONASTERIO DE SAN GINES DE LA JARA
The monastery of San Ginés de la Jara is an abandoned monastery that was under the invocation of San Ginés de la Jara. As a semi-legendary saint of Spain San Ginés de la Jara is associated with the region surrounding Cartagena. In 1541, Pope Paul III recognised the sanctity of San Ginés de la Jara and established religious services around the yearly celebration of the saint on August 25.
The current monastery was built by the Franciscan order in the 16th century. Except for the Renaissance facade, the current configuration of the convent is due to a total reconstruction made in the 17th century. In this century, the present church with only one nave and six lateral chapels (three on each side) was built with a feigned perspective altarpiece on the main altar. The monastery also had a cloister, modified in the 19th century, a tower and several hermitages.
In 1992 the abandoned monastery was declared of special Cultural Interest. In spite of that the monastery stayed in an unfortunate state of ruin. Numerous elements of furniture inside, such as the organ and some altarpieces have disappeared due to vandalism. All the garden and the surroundings are completely dry. The monastery has been included in the Red List of heritage in danger by the Hispania Nostra association.
After many years of discussion who bears responsibility, in 2016 the mayor of Cartagena cleared the road for protecting and restoring the ancient building. At this moment the restoration is in progress and the site is no longer accessible.