¿What are the Catacombs of Beaterio?

The Beaterio of Cadiz was founded in the XVII century, its founder, María José Isabel, founded it under the 3rd order of San Francisco.

This Beaterio was a place where a group of sisters, namely 12, lived in a community under the obedience of the one that they called ‘Big Sister’. To join and live in the community they had to be admitted after taking the two vows that characterize them; that of Observance and that of Discalced (remaining barefoot). This beaterio consisted of: a chapel, a sacristy, a choir and an under pantheon, according to a publication in the trade journal in which a judge indicates the upper floors to be auctioned. However, years later the whole building was sold, due to the expropriation of the church.

The chapel was called ‘Jesús, María y José y Arcángel San Miguel’ and, according to a written document, the chapel was enlarged in 1813.

After the departure of the original pious occupants, a business was set up in this building to teach the art of sewing to women in danger of exclusion. However, years later the entire building was demolished except for the under pantheon, which was the burial place of the old pious order. In the mid nineteenth century a new residential building was constructed, in which the catacombs were preserved, reusing them for a new purpose. We know that the place was used until 1947, after the explosion Cadiz suffered by the detonation of a set of mines stored in the Hydrographical Institute. This caused damage and the collapse of the top of the building.

All of the rubble was thrown inside these catacombs. During the Civil War, a group of neighbours of the building hid in the small hole located at the lowest level of the place.

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