Gimme shelter (“I see it’s raining”)

We got caught in the rain (the first time I have been in Spain and it has rained) so we stopped in a convent to keep dry. The convent is Convento de Santa Catalina de Zafra. We stood only in the entrance which was dark – with only the light from the street entering the space. On the wall a picture of Jesus with the title ‘ Jesus en ti confio’ Jesus in you I trust. In the corner a little alcove with the label ‘dulce’ (sweets) above it. The rest of the space occupied by 10 people occupying the rain.

At one point a lady entered and rang for the nun. The nun duly opened the door looked around and said “I see it’s raining!”

We scampered away once the rain eased off and continued our walk along the river Darro but I thought I would find out something about the place that gave us shelter.

Convento de Santa Catalina de Zafra is a Dominican convent of nuns, founded in 1520 by the widow of the former Secretary of the Catholic Monarchs, Hernando de Zafra. It is structured around several courtyards, and is known for a fusion of Hispanic and Muslim architectural elements.
Convento de Santa Catalina de Zafra was restored after a fire that damaged it in 1678.

Many nuns in the convents of Granada earn their living selling sweets and confections. Their recipes come from the times of the Romans and Moors, which they have preserved over the ages.

The procedure for buying the sweets is charming. The convent is entered from a very small room with a lazy Susan installed on the wall. The nuns are never seen since they are cloistered and avoid direct contact with the public.

On the wall beside the lazy Susan will be a pricelist. . The buzzer on the wall is rung. A nun will ask the person what they would like to buy. After placing an order, the goods are placed on the lazy Susan and money is exchanged.


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