Unlike the brothers at adjacent San Estéban, the Dominican nuns are cloistered, but the cloister and intensely fragrant rose garden of their convent are open to visitors. Originally a noble palace, it was donated to the order in 1419 and has been subsequently altered and enlarged. The 16th-century cloister designed by Rodrigo Gil de Hontañón is a hidden treasure. The capitals on the arcade pillars represent some of the most inspired stone carving in the entire city, and any fan of gargoyles or modern graphic novels should make the effort to see them. They’re a sample book of contorted human bodies, angels, griffons, devils, flying goat heads, winged horses, and other fantastic creatures. The carvings are so vivid that it’s hard to believe the poor nuns can sleep at night.