Our Lady of the Rosary Convent in Arahal, popularly known as the Las Monjas Convent (the nuns), was a cloistered convent that belonged to the Reverend Mothers of the Dominican Order until June 2014. Since then, it is occupied by the Order of the Franciscan Brothers of the White Cross.
This was a private initiative of Bartolomé de Reina Arias and his wife Luisa de Ojeda. The works were completed in 1608. It is the only cloistered convent in the town and belongs to the Order of the Dominican Mothers, who make delicious handmade confectionery.
It was built according to the standards and design used for Andalusian “female” convents: a simple, box-shaped church with a single rectangular nave, brick and masonry block walls and a square presbytery. The Church’s architectural layout was based on the Coenobitic monastic-style that prevailed during that period, which focused on community life.
The main altar in the presbytery is in baroque style. The main altarpiece was made in 1693 by Cristóbal de Guadix from Córdoba. It is composed of gilded and painted wood with two main panels divided into three sections, crowned with a gable emblazoned with the 19th-century coat of arms of the Dominican Order. There are two Solomonic columns embellished with vines, plant themes, cherub heads and the shield of the Order and founders. The niche in the central nave holds the 14th-century titular image of “Our Lady of the Rosary” of significant sculptural value.
The altarpiece also features diverse polychrome wooden sculptures from the late 17th century, as well as the image of the Christ of Mercy, contemporary plasterwork (1937).
En el retablo se sitúan diferentes esculturas en madera policromada de finales del siglo XVII. También hay una imagen del Cristo de la Misericordia, boceto en escayola del actual (1937).