Les Clarisses is a historic building built in the 17th century in the Plaça de Malla right against the Pere III wall and surrounded by the city’s wealth of culture and history. It stands in the heart of the historic centre of Vic. Until the 1940s, the building was a mansion belonging to the Espona family before becoming the Convent of Santa Clara.
Its origins go back to the 17th century when the Espona noble family built their mansion, just after the Reapers’ War (1640). At the end of the 19th century, the Esponas had to move to Barcelona and the house in Plaça de Malla remained their summer residence until 1936. The Esponas had their house confiscated in the Spanish Civil War and it was badly damaged. The Dominican nuns who used to live in Plaça de Santa Clara in Vic also had their convent and church burned down and demolished during the war. By the time the Francoist troops entered the city in 1939, the old convent was completely ruined. For this reason, the enclosed order Dominican nuns went to live in the Espona house that same year, provisionally to begin with, turning the building into the well-known Convent of Santa Clara. Two years later, the nuns were able to buy the house and, after selling the lands of the former convent in Plaça de Santa Clara, they carried out large-scale works to improve the state of the building.
In 2010, the building was renovated from top to bottom, preserving the elements of interest and taking into account the features of the Espona mansion. Care was taken to recover the architectural elements of the former construction while adapting the building to current uses, technologies and demands.
The Clarisses’ garden is listed, forming part of the heritage of the historic centre of Vic. Inspired by the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, they are the only ones of their kind remaining in Vic. They appear in the form of a hanging garden supported by the Pere III wall, which serves the purpose of a containing wall, maintaining the medieval and historic essence of the city.