Religious sites in Spain

San Juan Monastery

Monasterio de San Juan was founded in 1091, when the kings Alfonso VI and Constance of Burgundy donated a small land to monk Lesmes, who came from the Chaise-Dieu abbey. In 1537 a fire destroyed practically the whole monastery. The reconstruction lasted until the confiscation. During the first half of the 19th century, several confiscations destroyed the heritage of the monastery and the hospital of San Juan. The monks ...
Founded: 1091 | Location: Burgos, Spain

Basilica of Begoña

The Basilica of Begoña started life in the 16th century, designed by Sancho Martínez de Arego. It has three naves, to which the addition of vaults was completed in the 17th century in construction work that took a century, having started in 1511. During the time of this work, the Gothic style began to show Renaissance influence, and the arched mid-16th century main entrance reflects the transitional style of th ...
Founded: 1511 | Location: Bilbao, Spain

Burgo de Osma Cathedral

The Cathedral of Burgo de Osma is in the Gothic architectural style, and was constructed on an area previously occupied by a Romanesque church. It is one of the best preserved medieval buildings in the country and considered one of the best examples of thirteenth-century gothic architecture in Spain. The building of the church started in 1232, and was completed in 1784. The cloister is from 1512. The tower is from 17 ...
Founded: 1232 | Location: Burgo de Osma, Spain

Monastery of Fitero

The Monastery of Fitero is a Cistercian monastery located at Fitero, on the banks of the Alhama river. It was founded, on a different site, in 1141 as part of the Cistercian expansion into Spain from the center at Escaladieu Abbey, and moved to Fitero in 1152. Durand was its first abbot, followed by St. Raymond of Fitero, who later founded the Order of Calatrava. The floor plan of the church is similar to that in the mo ...
Founded: 1141 | Location: Fitero, Spain

Mondoñedo Cathedral

The Cathedral of Mondoñedo was built in Romanesque and Gothic styles, mainly between 1219-1243. In the 18th century the facade was remodeled and the towers were added. It has three naves. The polychrome statue in the high altar, called Nuestra Señora la Inglesa (the English Madonna) was rescued from St Paul's Cathedral in London during the Protestant Reformation of Henry VIII of England.
Founded: 1219 | Location: Mondoñedo, Spain

Church of Saint Mary of Eunate

The Church of Saint Mary of Eunate is a 12th-century Romanesque church located about 2 km south-east of Muruzábal, Navarre, Spain, on the Way of Saint James. Its origins are disputed due to lack of documentation. Its octagonal plan and the fact that it is not located in a present-day village or town but in the countryside contribute to its enigmatic nature. It is a famous site on the French Way path of the ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Muruzábal, Spain

Iglesia de Santa María de la Oliva

Iglesia de Santa María de la Oliva is a 13th-century stone church in Villaviciosa. The stone Gothic church was completed in the Spanish Gothic style in the 1270s.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Villaviciosa, Spain

Santuari de Lluc

The Santuari de Lluc is a monastery and pilgrimage site located in a basin on a height of 525 metres and is surrounded by a number of high mountains. The sanctuary was founded in the 13th century after a Moorish shepherd found a statue of the Virgin Mary on the site where the monastery was later erected. Lluc is considered to be the most important pilgrimage site on Majorca. It is also known for its boys" ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Escorca, Spain

Santa María de los Reyes Church

The construction of the church of Santa María de los Reyes, located in the North of Laguardia, began at the end of the 12th century in Romanesque style. However, the sanctuary was finished in the 15th century, which due to the restorations made from then on, explains its Gothic, Renaissance and even Baroque features. The polychrome portico is the sanctuary"s most outstanding characteristic. Its construction, in ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Laguardia, Spain

Monastery of Leyre

The Monastery of San Salvador of Leyre is a religious complex to the south of the Sierra of Leyre, representing one of the most important historical monasteries of Spain. The oldest records of the site date from 842, when Íñigo Arista, considered the first king of Pamplona, and Wilesindo, Bishop of Pamplona, made a donation to the monastery. The monastery grew in importance thereafter, acquiring numerous properties and ...
Founded: 842 AD | Location: Yesa, Spain

Church of St. Jaume

The construction of St. Jaume"s Church is a consequence of the increasing devotion that Alcudia and the neighbouring villages felt for Saint Christ. It was believed that Saint Christ had sweated water and blood in 1507 in the cave of Sant Marti (on the outskirts of the city) to implore for rain during a drought. The first stone was laid on 8 December 1675 and the works finished in 1697. The chapel is notable for the ...
Founded: 1675-1697 | Location: Alcúdia, Spain

San Pedro Church

San Pedro Church was established in the 13th century, according some legends by the St. Francis of Assisi himself. The current appearance dates from the 14th to 15th centuries.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Lugo, Spain

San Dionisio Church

The Church of San Dionisio was built in the late 15th century in Gothic-Mudéjar style, although its interior was later renovated in Baroque style (18th century) by architects Diego Antonio Díaz and Pedro de Silva. The parish was established by Alfonso X the Wise in the name of Saint Denis as the city was returned to Christian rule on Saint Denis"s Day in 1264. The church has a basilica plan, divided into t ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Jerez de la Frontera, Spain

Ciudad Rodrigo Cathedral

Construction of the Ciudad Rodrigo Cathedral began in the 12th century and did not finish until the 14th century. The architecture of the cathedral is uniform, despite later reforms and additions that can be seen in some of the chapels, such as the San Blas chapel. The Portico del Perdón alone contains more than 400 Romanesque and Gothic sculptures of great beauty. Although it began in the 12th century, the work continu ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Ciudad Rodrigo, Spain

Monastery of San Xoán de Caaveiro

The Monastery of San Xoán de Caaveiro was founded in the tenth century by Saint Rudesind. It is situated in A Capela, within the Fragas do Eume natural park.
Founded: 10th century AD | Location: A Capela, Spain

Church of San Xoán

The Church of San Xoán (or Saint John) of Portomarín is an unusual Late Romanesque temple as it is designed to be both a church and a castle and so has architectural characteristics of both buildings. As a church it has one barrel vaulted nave, a semicircular apse and all the typical decorations of Romanesque churches; these include a carved portal with archivolts, rose windows and carved capitals. As a castle its perim ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Portomarín, Spain

Monastery of San Juan de Duero

Monastery of San Juan de Duero, built in the Romanesque style, consists of a single nave with a wooden roof, semicircular apse, and a pointed barrel vault. From the 12th century it belonged to the Knights Hospitaller of Jerusalem, until it was abandoned in the 18th century. The 12th century church and the 13th cloister, with Gothic and Mudéjar elements, are still standing.The arcades combine the various architectural sty ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Soria, Spain

San Julian de los Prados Church

San Julián de los Prados, also known as Santullano, is a Pre-Ramirense church from the beginning of the 9th century in Oviedo, the capital city of the Principality of Asturias, Spain. It is one of the greatest works of Asturian art and was declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1998. The church"s construction was ordered by Alfonso II of Asturias and it was built by the court architect Tioda c. 830. It is d ...
Founded: c. 830 AD | Location: Oviedo, Spain

San Nicolás de la Villa Church

San Nicolás de la Villa is one of the twelve Fernandine churches built in the city after its conquest by King Ferdinand III of Castile (1236), in Gothic-Mudéjar style, although it was completed only in the following centuries, with much renovation added in the meantime. The main portal, in Renaissance style, was added by Hernán Ruiz the Younger in the 16th century. The octagonal tower, with a defensive appearanc ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Córdoba, Spain

Church of San Salvador de Valdediós

The church of the Holy Savior of Valdediós (Iglesia de San Salvador de Valdediós) stands in the Boides valley (Villaviciosa), the place where Alfonso III of Asturias was detained when he was dispossessed by his sons, and where there used to be an old convent governed by the Benedictine Order, substituted in the 13th century by the Cistercians. The church known as the 'Bishops" Chapel' was consecrated ...
Founded: 893 AD | Location: Villaviciosa, Spain

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Caerleon Roman Amphitheatre

Built around AD 90 to entertain the legionaries stationed at the fort of Caerleon (Isca), the impressive amphitheatre was the Roman equivalent of today’s multiplex cinema. Wooden benches provided seating for up to 6,000 spectators, who would gather to watch bloodthirsty displays featuring gladiatorial combat and exotic wild animals.

Long after the Romans left, the amphitheatre took on a new life in Arthurian legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the somewhat imaginative 12th-century scholar, wrote in his History of the Kings of Britain that Arthur was crowned in Caerleon and that the ruined amphitheatre was actually the remains of King Arthur’s Round Table.

Today it is the most complete Roman amphitheatre in Britain.