Monasteries in Spain

Santa María de la Oliva Monastery

The Santa María la Real de la Oliva is a Cistercian monastery in Carcastillo, Navarre. It was established in the 12th century. Present buildings date from 13th - 15th centuries. Construction at the site is attributed first in 1134 to King García Ramírez of Navarre, known as the restorer. This king died in 1150 and the same year the abbey was founded, or refounded, as a daughter house of the Morimond and Escaladieu A ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Carcastillo, Spain

Monastery of San Salvador de Villanueva

Monastery of San Salvador de Villanueva was founded in the 10th century by Count Santo (Osorio Gutiérrez). This Benedictine monastery today houses the Museum of Religious Art. The whole complex has been declared a Property of Cultural Interest, and consists of an abbey and the church, as well as various chapels, a monastery, two cloisters and a courtyard. The church’s Baroque façade is particularly worth noting. It wa ...
Founded: 10th century AD | Location: Lourenzá, Spain

Moreruela Abbey

Moreruela Abbey is situated to the west of Granja de Moreruela, about 35 kilometres north of the town of Zamora close to the left bank of the Esla, a tributary of the Duero. Before the time of the Cistercians, a monastery of the Benedictines already stood on the site, founded for them either by the Asturian King Alfonso III or by Saint Froilan, which under the patronage of Alfonso VII the Cistercians took o ...
Founded: c. 1131 | Location: Granja de Moreruela, Spain

Monfero Abbey

Monfero Abbey is a former Cistercian monastery dedicated to Mary, Mother of Jesus. In the 10th century on the site of an earlier hermitage a Benedictine monastery was founded, dedicated to Saint Mark, and supported by king Bermudo II. It was destroyed by Norman raids, but later reconstructed under Alfonso VII in 1134 in collaboration with several nobles, including Alfonso Bermúdez, Count Pedro Osório and the Co ...
Founded: 1134 | Location: Monfero, Spain

Santa María de Cenarruza Monastery

The Collegiate Church of Cenarruza was an important enclave in the Route of Santiago de Compostela, and its influence extended beyond the comarca and surpassed the religious scope. Tradition marks its founding in the 10th century. According to legend, on the day of the Assumption in the year 968 the local inhabitants held a mass in the Church of Santa Lucia de Garay, when an eagle picked up a skull from an opened tomb ...
Founded: 10th century AD | Location: Ziortza-Bolibar, Spain

Santa Ana Monastery

Santa Ana Monastery was founded in 1350. Only some parts remain from the original monastery, current buildings where mainly built in the 17th century.
Founded: 1350 | Location: Ávila, Spain

La Rábida Friary

The Friary of La Rábida (Convento de Santa María de la Rábida) is a Franciscan friary in Palos de la Frontera. It was founded in 1261; the evidence is a papal bull issued by Pope Benedict XIII in that year, allowing Friar Juan Rodríguez and his companions to establish a community on the coast of Andalucia. The first Christian building on the site was constructed over a small pre-existing Almohad building that lend ...
Founded: 1261 | Location: La Rábida, Spain

Santa María de Montederramo

Santa María de Montederramo"s origins seem to have been the old Church of San Juan, which grew into a monastery. It was founded as a Cistercian monastery by Doña Teresa, Alfonso VII´s daughter, in 1142, bringing French nuns from Claraval. Other writers refer to it as Cistercian in the year 1153, when it adopted the worship of St. Mary. In the year 1528, it joined the Cistercian Congregation, in Spain, with the bu ...
Founded: 1142 | Location: Montederramo, Spain

Monastery of Iranzu

The Monastery of Royal Saint Mary of Iranzu is a Roman Catholic monastery located in Abárzuza, Navarre. It was founded by Pedro de Artajona in the late 12th century, being Artajona"s place of burial upon his death in 1193. The Cistercian Order had a large part in its building throughout the 12th century. It was dissolved in 1839 and confiscated by the State. It was abandoned and became ruinous until 1942, when the ...
Founded: 12 | Location: Abárzuza, Spain

Monastery of San Miguel de Escalada

San Miguel de Escalada is located 10 km from the Way of St. James pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. The building is an example of Mozarabic art and architecture or Repoblación art and architecture. An inscription that has disappeared but was published by Father Risco in 1786 gave information about the church"s consecration in 951 by Bishop Genadio of Astorga, around the time of the founding of the ...
Founded: 951 AD | Location: Villamondrin de Rueda, Spain

San Juan Bautista de Corias

The Monastery of St John the Baptist is located on the right bank of the River Narcea, and communicates with the village of Corias via a stone bridge dating from the 14th century. It was founded in 1032 by Count Piniolo and his wife, Aldonza. It reached the peak of its power in the 12th and 13th centuries. In 1763, it suffered a major fire which destroyed all the monastic buildings, only the church, the sacristy and the l ...
Founded: 1032 | Location: Corias, Spain

Monastery of Xuvia

The Monastery of Xuvia, also known as San Martiño de Xuvia or San Martín de Xubia, is located in the Parish of the same name in the city of Narón. The current building was built at the beginning of the 12th century, in Romanesque style. The first document from the Diplomatic Collection of this Monastery, is dated 15 May in the year 977, and it describes a donation made by a Galician noblewoman called Visclavara Vistra ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Narón, Spain

Monastery of La Encarnación

The Monastery of La Encarnación was founded inside the town's walls in 1478, and as a Carmelite convent it was moved to outside the town in the 16th century. The new monastery was built on land that had been acquired by the Council on what had previously been a Jewish cemetery. On 4 April 1515, the date on which the saint was baptised, the unfinished monastery was opened with four naves enclosing a central courtyard and ...
Founded: 1478 | Location: Ávila, Spain

Monastery of San Pedro de Arlanza

San Pedro de Arlanza is a ruined Benedictine monastery located in the valley of the river Arlanza in Hortigüela, Burgos. Founded in 912, it has been called the 'cradle of Castile' (cuna de Castilla). It was abandoned in 1841 during the confiscations the government of Juan Álvarez Mendizábal, when ecclesiastical properties were roundly redistributed. San Pedro"s two purported founding documents, preser ...
Founded: 912 AD | Location: Hortigüela, 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

Monastery of San Pedro de Rocas

Monastery of San Pedro de Rocas, which is unique due to the fact that it is excavated in the natural rock, displays none of the delicate Gothic structures nor the harmonious proportions of the Renaissance style. It is a very ancient, rough, almost primitive construction, which witnessed the first hermit settlements in the area. The historical value of San Pedro de Rocas (St. Peter of the Rocks) is more anthropological th ...
Founded: 573 AD | Location: Esgos, 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

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Late Baroque Town of Ragusa

The eight towns in south-eastern Sicily, including Ragusa, were all rebuilt after 1693 on or beside towns existing at the time of the earthquake which took place in that year. They represent a considerable collective undertaking, successfully carried out at a high level of architectural and artistic achievement. Keeping within the late Baroque style of the day, they also depict distinctive innovations in town planning and urban building. Together with seven other cities in the Val di Noto, it is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In 1693 Ragusa was devastated by a huge earthquake, which killed some 5,000 inhabitants. Following this catastrophe the city was largely rebuilt, and many Baroque buildings from this time remain in the city. Most of the population moved to a new settlement in the former district of Patro, calling this new municipality 'Ragusa Superiore' (Upper Ragusa) and the ancient city 'Ragusa Inferiore' (Lower Ragusa). The two cities remained separated until 1926, when they were fused together to become a provincial capital in 1927.