Monasteries in Spain

Santa María de Gradefes

Founded in 1168, the building of the Santa María de Gradefes Church, according to an engraving on the northern lower wall, began on March 1st, 1177 under the patronage of the woman who became its Abbess -Teresa Pérez, widow of García Pérez, a knight of Alfonso VII. The first community was made up of Cistercian nuns who came from the monastery of Tulebras, Navarra. It became an important and privileged female monastery ...
Founded: 1168 | Location: Gradefes, Spain

Santa María de La Vid Monastery

Santa María de La Vid is a monastery in Spain"s Duero Valley was founded on a different site, a place called Montesacro, in about 1146 by Domingo Gómez, illegitimate son of Queen Urraca of León and Castile and her lover Count Gómez González de Candespina. Domingo had become interested in the Praemonstratensian order on a visit to France, and this was the first Praemonstratensian house in Spain. The monastery wa ...
Founded: 1152 | Location: La Vid y Barrios, Spain

Monasterio de Nuestra Señora de Gracia

Monasterio de Nuestra Señora de Gracia was originally founded in the old district of “La Villa” in the early 16th century but because of its small size and poor condition, the monastery was moved to the current location named “de la Concepción”. As the statute of our lady of Grace was ancient and was donated by the Catholic Monarchs, the convent’s name was changed to the name we know today. The current Monaste ...
Founded: 1555 | Location: Vélez-Málaga, Spain

Royal Convent of Santa Clara

The Santa Clara buildings were originally built by King Alfonso XI as his palace in 1344. His son Peter the Cruel had it embellished by Mudéjar artists, beautiful works at Santa Clara, though on a much smaller scale than they did in the Alcázar of Seville. The facade, a lovely small patio, a chapel and the baths remain of Peter the Cruel"s palace. Blanche de Bourbon was held here after her abandonment by Pe ...
Founded: 1344 | Location: Tordesillas, Spain

San Pedro de las Dueñas Monastery

Monastery of San Pedro de las Dueñas was built in the late 10th century and beginning of the 11th century. It is one of the most representative churches of Mudejar Romanesque in its Pre-classical period, began in stone and finished in brick (1087 and 1110) and Basilical ground plan. Over the presbytery of the chancel stands a brick tower, it is square with progressively decreasing sections.There is an interesting collec ...
Founded: 10th century | Location: San Pedro de las Dueñas, Spain

San Miguel de Las Dueñas

Monastery of San Miguel de Las Dueñas founded in the 10th century and renovated in the late 12th century under the Cistercian rule. Its original name was San Miguel de Almázcara. A Romanesque portal gives way to the chapterhouse. The 17th century church houses a Baroque altarpiece and the renowned reliquary of the choir. There are two cloisters, the Claustro del Palacio (17th century) and a Neoclassical one.
Founded: 10th century | Location: San Miguel de las Dueñas, Spain

Monastery of St. Clare of Moguer

The Monastery of Santa Clara in Moguer is one of the most important examples of the mudejar architecture in occidental Andalusia. It was founded in 1337 by Sir Alonso Jofre Tenorio, an Admiral from Castile and his wife Lady Elvira Álvarez. It was a donation from Alfonso XI in 1333. It was for Franciscan- Clarisa Nuns. The monastery was built in a place next to the villa called “Santa Clara Country”, which was integr ...
Founded: 1337 | Location: Moguer, Spain

Santo Domingo de Guzman Convent

The town of Caleruega is the birthplace of Saint Dominic of Guzmán, one of Europe’s master evangelists. The monastery boasts an archive holding the records of various royal privileges, donations of the foundation, the ordination of several Masters of the Order and papal bulls, etc., dating back to the 13th century and whose excellent state of conservation is attributable to the painstaking care and attention provided b ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Caleruega, Spain

San Francisco Monastery

The convent of San Francisco was built during the 15th century to 18th century in Renaissance and Baroque style. Today it contains the Municipal Historical Archives and Iberoamerican Library.
Founded: 15th century | Location: Moguer, Spain

Santo Domingo Monastery

Santo Domingo Monastery in Archidona was founded in 1531 by the count of Ureña. The Renaissance style building is today used as a school.
Founded: 1531 | Location: Archidona, Spain

Convento de Santa Dorotea

The Convento de Santa Dorotea is an Augustinian nun"s convent in Burgos. It is a Gothic construction, and dates back to 1387, when Dorotea Rodriguez Valderrama, along with other devout women formed a nun"s community at the old church of Santa Maria la Blanca. The community adopted the rule of St. Augustine in 1429 with the support of Bishop Pablo de Santamaría. In 1457 they moved to the church of San Andrés, u ...
Founded: 1387 | Location: Burgos, Spain

Santa María de Sandoval Monastery

Santa María de Sandoval Monastery was built on land donated in 1142 by Alfonso VII to Count Pedro Ponce de Minerva and his wife Estefanía Ramírez. After receiving numerous donations and possessing extensive territories, it entered decadence in the fifteenth century. In 1592 and 1615 it was grass of the flames, reason for which it had to be rebuilt. The permanence of the monks remained until 1835, date in which the exc ...
Founded: 1142 | Location: Mansilla Mayor, Spain

San Pedro de Eslonza Monastery

The Monastery of San Pedro de Eslonza is a former Benedictine monastery in Gradefes. Today in ruins, it was once the second most important monastery in the province, after the monastery of San Benito in Sahagún. It was founded in 912 by King García I of León, but was destroyed by the Moorish ruler Al-Mansur Ibn Abi Aamir in 988; it was therefore rebuilt in 1099 by the Urraca of Zamora, daughter of Ferdinand I ...
Founded: 912 AD | Location: Gradefes, Spain

The Abbey / La Abadia

The Abbey of Eskirotz and Ilarratz is on the World Heritage route of Santiago de Compostela in Spain at the foot of the Pyrenees. The parish church is known as the Church of St. Lucy (Santa Lucia), but collectively the buildings are listed as The Abbey of Eskirotz and Ilarratz (La Abadia de Eskirotz y Ilarratz). The Way of St. James or Camino de Santiago passes directly alongside the church. The building is one of some ...
Founded: Middle Ages | Location: Ilárraz, Spain

Benevívere Monastery

The Abbey of Santa Maria de Benevívere was ordered to be built in the twelfth century by Don Diego Martínez de Villamayor. He was a Castilian noble from the house of the counts of Bureba, who was very influential at court. He was the advisor of Alfonso VII and Sancho III, and treasurer of Alfonso VIII. After losing his wife he decided to retire and devote himself to the contemplative life. He laid the foundation of the ...
Founded: 1169 | Location: Carrión de los Condes, Spain

Santa Maria De Budejo Monastery

Santa María de Bujedo Monastery was probably founded between  1159-1172. The oldest documentary evidence confirming the existence of the monastery dates from 1182. It was confiscated in 1835. The church, built in the first half of the 13th century, has a Latin cross plan with a single nave. There are some remains left of the original monastery buildings dating to the the 13th century. Seven double capitals and four bas ...
Founded: c. 1159 | Location: Santa Cruz de Juarros, Spain

Convento de la Magdalena

Convento de la Magdalena was a convent, now a hotel, situated to the southwest of the town of Antequera. The convent was established in 1570 by the merchant, Ildefonso Alvarez, who possessed an altarpiece of the Virgin Magdalena. Alvarez took refuge in the area"s caves and lived like a hermit. In the following three years, he struggled to pay his debts and eventually attracted the attention of the Christian communit ...
Founded: 1570 | Location: Antequera, Spain

Monastery of Santa Clara

Monastery of Santa Clara is presided by nuns of the order of the Poor Clares. It was founded in 1358, but ruined in war in 1458. In 1460 the buildings were repaired and church rebuilt. During the War of Independence, the community was forced to leave the monastery, which suffered pillage and destruction by French troops. The church was built in Gothic style. It has Baroque style altarpieces from the 17th century, as we ...
Founded: 1358 | Location: Belorado, Spain

San Miguel del Monte Monastery

The monastery of San Miguel del Monte was founded at the end of the 14th century and built mainly between the 15th and 16th centuries in a Gothic-Renaissance style. Only the ruins of the church and part of the cloister remain of the old buildings. The rest of the site was reused in the 20th century to create a nursing home.
Founded: 14th century | Location: Miranda de Ebro, Spain

Santa María la Real de Vileña Monastery

Santa María la Real de Vileña Monastery was founded by Queen Urraca López de Haro, widow of King Fernando II of León in 1222. The monastery reached its highest prosperity in the 16th century. From that time dates the altarpiece made by Pedro López de Gámiz. After a fire in May 1970 that destroyed the monastery, the nuns moved to a new building in the town of Villarcayo.
Founded: 1222 | Location: Vileña, Spain

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Czocha Castle

Czocha Castle is located on the Lake Leśnia, what is now the Polish part of Upper Lusatia. Czocha castle was built on gneiss rock, and its oldest part is the keep, to which housing structures were later added.

Czocha Castle began as a stronghold, on the Czech-Lusatian border. Its construction was ordered by Wenceslaus I of Bohemia, in the middle of the 13th century (1241–1247). In 1253 castle was handed over to Konrad von Wallhausen, Bishop of Meissen. In 1319 the complex became part of the dukedom of Henry I of Jawor, and after his death, it was taken over by another Silesian prince, Bolko II the Small, and his wife Agnieszka. Origin of the stone castle dates back to 1329.

In the mid-14th century, Czocha Castle was annexed by Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia. Then, between 1389 and 1453, it belonged to the noble families of von Dohn and von Kluks. Reinforced, the complex was besieged by the Hussites in the early 15th century, who captured it in 1427, and remained in the castle for unknown time (see Hussite Wars). In 1453, the castle was purchased by the family of von Nostitz, who owned it for 250 years, making several changes through remodelling projects in 1525 and 1611. Czocha's walls were strengthened and reinforced, which thwarted a Swedish siege of the complex during the Thirty Years War. In 1703, the castle was purchased by Jan Hartwig von Uechtritz, influential courtier of Augustus II the Strong. On August 17, 1793, the whole complex burned in a fire.

In 1909, Czocha was bought by a cigar manufacturer from Dresden, Ernst Gutschow, who ordered major remodelling, carried out by Berlin architect Bodo Ebhardt, based on a 1703 painting of the castle. Gutschow, who was close to the Russian Imperial Court and hosted several White emigres in Czocha, lived in the castle until March 1945. Upon leaving, he packed up the most valuable possessions and moved them out.

After World War II, the castle was ransacked several times, both by soldiers of the Red Army, and Polish thieves, who came to the so-called Recovered Territories from central and eastern part of the country. Pieces of furniture and other goods were stolen, and in the late 1940s and early 1950s, the castle was home to refugees from Greece. In 1952, Czocha was taken over by the Polish Army. Used as a military vacation resort, it was erased from official maps. The castle has been open to the public since September 1996 as a hotel and conference centre. The complex was featured in several movies and television series. Recently, the castle has been used as the setting of the College of Wizardry, a live action role-playing game (LARP) that takes place in their own universe and can be compared to Harry Potter.