Corporate Body - Orden de San Juan de Jerusalén

Orden de San Juan de Jerusalén



Corporate Body

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The Order of Saint John of Jerusalem (Orde de Sant Joan de Jerusalem or de l'Hospital) emerged as a transformation of a community that, since the middle of the 11th century, looked after the travelers in a hospital in Jerusalem attached to the church of Saint John. In 1113, the Papa Pascual II and the King Balduino of Jerusalem formally recognised the Hospital and its statutes. However, the Papa Anastasio IV, recognised them as a Chivalric Order, according to the Bull of 1154. The official name of the Order was "Ordo Militae S. Joannis Baptistae Hospitalis Hierosolymitani" then.

At the beginning of the 12th century, they were established in the Hispanic kingdoms, where they endured with its international character until 1802. It was the year in which it was incorporated to the Crown. The Order of Saint John of Jerusalem was divided in Spain into two languages: the language of Castile and the language of Aragon. The language of Aragon, that comprised the Castellania d’Amposta and the Grand Priorates of Navarra and Catalonia, had the general archive in San Juan de los Panetes (Zaragoza) Order of Saint John of Jerusalem. The language of Castile counted on two general archives: the one of Santa María de Horta (Zamora) and the one of Consuegra.


Both general archives owned by the Order, the one of Santa Maria de Horta (Zamora), for the language of Castile, and the one of San Juan de los Panetes, for the language of Aragon, were claimed by the Ministry of Justice in 1853. It is unknown why this order was not finalised and, later, in 1877, the archives of Saint John were gathered with the ones of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre within the General Archive of Alcalá (Archivo General Central de Alcalá). Finally, in March 1897, Saint John's fonds were transferred to the National Historical Archive. After a month, the Holy Sepulchre fonds were also delivered there. They are nowadays guarded at the section of the Military Orders. They are formed by 13 folders, 500 bundles and 300 books.

Another fragment of this collection composed by 61 bundles from the 17th and 19th centuries, documentation of the Sacred Assembly, is conserved at the Councils' section (Councils 40549-40595 y 49944-49959).

The Grand Priorate of Catalonia of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem had maintained a central archive at its convent in Barcelona since the late 15th century. It was carefully ordered and indexed during the 17th and 18th centuries. Set up in the nunnery of Sant Gervasi, it was totally conserved until the Spanish Civil War in 1936. Later, after some vicissitudes that contributed to the loss and spread of several documents, the Service of Archives of la Generalitat delivered the most part of them to the monastery of Pedralbes. It entered the Archive of the Crown of Aragon in 1939

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Biblioteca Nacional de España