Monasteries in Spain

Monastery of Santa María de Aciveiro

Monastery of Santa María de Aciveiro is a gem of Romanesque architecture, built in 1135 under the patronage of Galician King Alfonso VII and incorporated into the Cistercian Order around 1170. It was carefully restored with full respect to the original structure. Following the Cistercian layout, all rooms are organised around a cloister combining impeccable history, warmth and functionality: kitchen, refectory, scriptori ...
Founded: 1135 | Location: Forcarei, 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

Santa Catalina Monastery

Santa Catalina Monastery construction started in in 1393, in a Romanesque style when Gothic standards were already taking hold. With Mendizábal"s disestablishment (1837) the Franciscans were obliged to abandon the monastery, and the building"s ownership and management passed to the army until the year 2000. The monastery has two cloisters, the best conserved of which is in Renaissance style. The church was mod ...
Founded: 1393 | Location: Ares, Spain

Santa Inés del Valle Monastery

Real Monasterio de Santa Inés del Valle (Royal Monastery of Saint Agnes of the Valley) is located in Écija. The convent is served by Poor Clares. Founded in the late 15th century, its church is designed in Baroque style and dates to the early 17th century.
Founded: 15th century | Location: Écija, 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

Monasterio de Santa María de Mezonzo

The Monastery of Santa María de Mezonzo is a Romanesque style former monastery. Although it probably dates back to the time of the Kingdom of the Suebi, the current monastery was founded as a double convent by Abbot Reterico. According to Antonio López Ferreiro, the monastery was donated to the Asturian-Galician king Alfonso III el Magno in 870. Justo Pérez de Urbel, after comparing the names of the confirmatory of sev ...
Founded: 10th century AD | Location: Vilasantar, 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

Luxembourg Palace

The famous Italian Medici family have given two queens to France: Catherine, the spouse of Henry II, and Marie, widow of Henry IV, who built the current Luxembourg palace. Maria di Medici had never been happy at the Louvre, still semi-medieval, where the fickle king, did not hesitate to receive his mistresses. The death of Henry IV, assassinated in 1610, left the way open for Marie's project. When she became regent, she was able to give special attention to the construction of an imposing modern residence that would be reminiscent of the Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens in Florence, where she grew up. The development of the 25-hectare park, which was to serve as a jewel-case for the palace, began immediately.

The architect, Salomon de Brosse, began the work in 1615. Only 16 years later was the palace was completed. Palace of Luxembourg affords a transition between the Renaissance and the Classical period.

In 1750, the Director of the King's Buildings installed in the wing the first public art-gallery in France, in which French and foreign canvases of the royal collections are shown. The Count of Provence and future Louis XVIII, who was living in Petit Luxembourg, had this gallery closed in 1780: leaving to emigrate, he fled from the palace in June 1791.

During the French Revolution the palace was first abandoned and then moved as a national prison. After that it was the seat of the French Directory, and in 1799, the home of the Sénat conservateur and the first residence of Napoleon Bonaparte, as First Consul of the French Republic. The old apartments of Maria di Medici were altered. The floor, which the 80 senators only occupied in 1804, was built in the middle of the present Conference Hall.

Beginning in 1835 the architect Alphonse de Gisors added a new garden wing parallel to the old corps de logis, replicating the look of the original 17th-century facade so precisely that it is difficult to distinguish at first glance the old from the new. The new senate chamber was located in what would have been the courtyard area in-between.

The new wing included a library (bibliothèque) with a cycle of paintings (1845–1847) by Eugène Delacroix. In the 1850s, at the request of Emperor Napoleon III, Gisors created the highly decorated Salle des Conférences, which influenced the nature of subsequent official interiors of the Second Empire, including those of the Palais Garnier.

During the German occupation of Paris (1940–1944), Hermann Göring took over the palace as the headquarters of the Luftwaffe in France, taking for himself a sumptuous suite of rooms to accommodate his visits to the French capital. Since 1958 the Luxembourg palace has been the seat of the French Senate of the Fifth Republic.