Museo Del Patriarca, Valencia, Spain.

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Museo del Patriarca

Top choice in Valencia

This seminary was founded in the late 16th century by San Juan de Ribera, a towering Counter-Reformation figure who wielded enormous spiritual and temporal power in Spain and beyond. With an impressive if austere Renaissance courtyard-cloister, its main attraction is a small but excellent religious-art museum. Caravaggio, El Greco and local boys José de Ribera and Juan de Juanes are represented. Most surprising is the manuscript that Thomas More was writing while awaiting his execution in the Tower of London.

The adjacent church has a soberly handsome cloister, some high-quality Renaissance frescoes, and a stuffed caiman, Lepanto, in the anteroom. Note that the museum is accessed through the right-hand doorway.

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