Religious sites in Spain

Monastery of Santa María de Melón

The old Cistercian monastery of Melón contains in its church one of the largest and most imposing sanctuaries in Galician monastic architecture. It was founded by monks from Clairvaux Abbey in France, in 1142. It was once very powerful, as attested by the remaining architecture. Various rooms in the monastery, the galleries in the cloister and the two later chapels are currently undergoing restoration, as well as the en ...
Founded: 1142 | Location: Melón, Spain

Rioseco Abbey

Rioseco is a former Cistercian abbey situated in the Valle de Manzanedo, near the River Ebro. In 1148 the Cistercian Valbuena Abbey, of the filiation of Morimond, founded a daughter house in a small former hermitage in Quintanajuar, in the Páramo de Masa. In 1171 this new community received as a gift from the heirs of the nobleman Martino Martini de Uizozes the ancient monastery of Rioseco, the previous history ...
Founded: c. 1204 | Location: Valle de Manzanedo, Spain

Valbuena Abbey

Valbuena Abbey was founded in 1143 by Estefanía, daughter of Count Ermengol V of Urgell, and settled from Berdoues Abbey in France, of the filiation of Morimond. Valbuena received a number of privileges shortly after its foundation, and flourished to the point where it was able to settle three daughter houses of its own.  In the 14th century a decline set in. Valbuena remained a daughter house of Berdoues until 1430, w ...
Founded: 1143 | Location: Valbuena de Duero, 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

San Martín de Salas Monastery

Monasterio de San Martín de Salas dates from the 10th century. The church was rebuilt in the 15th century and renovated in 18th century.
Founded: 10th century AD | Location: Salas, 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

San Antolín de Bedón

The Monastery of San Antolín de Bedón was built at the mouth of the River Bedón, near the coast and the sea. Its year of construction is unknown, being first mentioned in the 12th century. The only evidence that remains is the church, which corresponds to the late Romanesque, in transition towards the Gothic, the style suggested by the use of the pointed arch. The ground plan is that of a basilica, with three naves at ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Llanes, Spain

Santa María de la Cabeza

Built outside the walls to the north of the town, Santa María de la Cabeza was consecrated in 1210 and is the last example of the Romanesque style in Ávila. Its upper end was begun in Romanesque style and was followed by the construction of the naves in unquestionable Mudejar style. The three apses, which open into three naves, were built in granite on the outside and finished off with a small, plain cornice in Caleno g ...
Founded: 1210 | Location: Ávila, Spain

La Milagrosa Church

The Church of La Milagrosa was built between 1900 and 1904 under the architects Juan Bautista Lázaro de Diego and Narciso Clavería y de Palacios. The architecture is eclectic, exhibiting Neo-Mudéjar features on the exterior and mainly Neo-Gothic features in the interior. The exterior has Neo-Mudéjar features, while the inside is predominately Neo-Gothic. The church covers 900 square metres. The facade has ...
Founded: 1900-1904 | Location: Madrid, 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

Huelva Cathedral

The convent church from the 17th century was destroyed by several earthquakes in the 18th century. A church rebuilt in 1775 in Neoclassical style. The church was declared a National Monument in 1970, and was elevated to the status of a cathedral in 1953.
Founded: 1775 | Location: Huelva, Spain

Sanctuary of Nuestra Señora de Estíbaliz

The Sanctuary of Nuestra Señora de Estíbaliz It is surrounded with green forests and it has the view of the entire province as it is located in a small hill 9 km away from the city of Vitoria-Gasteiz. The site and the Lady of Estibaliz are first attested on a 962 Navarrese royal charter. The present-day sanctuary was built in the 11th century, and it is a true jewel of Romanesque art. In 1138 it was donated to the bene ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Vitoria-Gasteiz, 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

San Miguel de Aralar Sanctuary

San Miguel de Aralar Sanctuary was built in 1032 over the remains of 9th century temple and consecrated in 1074, during the reign of Sancho IV. The Romanesque church was built in two phases, the first comprising the area of apses. It was enlarged in the 12th century with three naves and narthex of interior portico.
Founded: 1032 | Location: Huarte-Araquil, Spain

Basilica of San Prudencio de Armentia

Basilica of San Prudencio de Armentia is one of the most important Romanesque churches in the region. References during the late Middle Ages describe it as the most important spiritual centre in Álava. The current building is twelfth century Romanesque and has a Latin cross plan, a transept and a semicircular apse. Originally dedicated to Saint Andrew and built on the remains of an 8th-century church, it was refurbished ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Vitoria-Gasteiz, 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

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Roman Walls of Lugo

Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.

Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.

The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.

Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.

Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.

The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.