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

Kisimul Castle

Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.

Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.

The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.