Tulebras, the first monastery of Cistercian nuns in Spain, was founded in 1151, fruit of a promise made to the Virgin Mary by the nobleman Pedro de Atarés, blood nephew of King Alonso. The founders came from the monastery of Fabares (or Jully), France, where St. Humbeline was abbess. Tulebras in turn founded seven daughter houses, including Las Huelgas in Burgos, which is the most renowned monastery in all of Spain.
On 4 November 1808, Napoleon’s large army sacked and rampaged through the whole monastery. The sisters had fled in a hurry the previous afternoon, taking refuge in neighboring towns for ten days, until 4 December, when they returned to find their monastery totally devastated. Even the doors, windows and furniture had been taken away. Then, on January 20, 1837, all the farms and goods of the monastery were confiscated, or rather stolen, and the twelve nuns present at that time were given a pension of four coins (reales) a day, although by God’s mercy they were able to remain in the monastery. Shortly after this robbery, the agents of the constitutional government entered the monastery again and took the archives with all the documents, records of gifts, Pontifical Briefs, royal letters and other papers. All these documents were first taken to the City Hall of Pamplona and are now in the provincial Government Building (Diputación).
The community of Tulebras was officially incorporated into the Strict Observance in 1957 and its church was consecrated on 30 August.
Perales, now Santa Ana in Valladolid (12th c); Gradefes (Spain,12th c); Cañas (Spain,12th c); Vallbona (Spain,12th c); Trasovares (Spain,12th c); Santa Lucía, in Zaragoza (Spain,12th c); Las Huelgas (1187); Esmeraldas (Ecuador, 1992)
M. Ascensión VILLAFRANCA — Superior: 1943-1950. Abbess: 1950-1963
Isabel IÑIGO — Abbess — 20/08/1963 – 25/08/1975
Miren GARAMENDI — Abbess — 25/08/1975 – 30/11/1977
Hildegarda DIEZ DE ULZURRUM — Abbess — 17/12/1977 -03/04/1982
Margarita BARRA — Abbess — 10/04/1983 – 10/04/2007
Maria Pilar POSONERO — Abbess — 10/04/2007 – 04/11/2009
Augusta Tescari, Superiora ad nutum, 2009-2011
Pilar GERMÁN ROJAS — Abbess— 2011-2017
María Victoria SANZ CHOZAS — Abbess 2017 – 25/01/2023
Work and Sources of Income
Pullets, bakery, cupcakes (petits fours).