Religious sites in Spain

San Lorenzo Church

San Lorenzo was one of the twelve religious buildings commissioned by king Ferdinand III of Castile in the city after its conquest in the early 13th century. The church occupies the site of a pre-existing Islamic mosque, which in turn had been built above a Visigothic church. It was built between around 1244 and 1300, in a transitional style between Romanesque and Gothic architecture. It has the typical structure of ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Córdoba, Spain

Santa María da Armenteira Monastery

Santa María da Armenteira Monastery belongs to the Cistercian order and was founded by the knight Ero de Armenteira in 1168. It has a square cloister, a kitchen, and a tower, all in the 18th-century Baroque style. The monastery was abandoned after the sale of church lands in 1835. The church has a floor plan in the shape of a Latin cross, three naves and three semicircular apses. The central nave is crowned with a pointe ...
Founded: 1168 | Location: Meis, Spain

Santa María de Baiona Church

The fortified-looking church of Santa María of Baiona, with a Ogival Romanesque style, was built in the 13th century and had the category of collegiate church from 1482 to 1850. It is divide up in three naves with their respective rectangular apses. The main nave resembles the Cistercian style of Santa María de Oia monastery. Two buttresses flanked the front door in the main façade: three pairs of columns, flat tympan ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Baiona, Spain

Church of Santa María a Real do Sar

Church of Santa María a Real do Sar was built in the 12th century on the outskirts of the city. Interesting elements on the exterior are the small tower on the façade and the sturdy flying buttresses built between the 17th and 18th centuries. It has a basilical floor plan with three naves, separated by composite pillars decorated with plant motifs. It is covered with barrel vaults reinforced by rib arches. The sanctuary ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Santiago de Compostela, Spain

San Juan de Ortega Monastery

San Juan de Ortega Monastery was probably built by Saint John of Ortega himself, with the help of his friend and fellow saint, Domingo de la Calzada, around 1142 as a help point to the pilgrims who walked to Santiago de Compostela along the Way of Saint James. The monastery was originally staffed by a community of Augustinian canons. The monastery belonged to the Order of Los Jerónimos from 1432 until the 1835, when the ...
Founded: 1142 | Location: Barrios de Colina, Spain

Monastery of El Paular

The Monasterio de Santa María de El Paular is a former Carthusian monastery. Construction is believed to have begun in 1390 by orders of Henry II of Castile, and construction proceeded for fifty years under his son, John I of Castile. It was sited where an old chapel stood. Supposedly he was spurred to this project due to his plundering of a chartreuse during a campaign in France. This was the first chartreuse i ...
Founded: 1390 | Location: Rascafría, Spain

Carracedo Monastery

The Monastery of Saint Mary of Carracedo is an inactive abbey and palace complex, now in semi-restored state near the town of Carracedelo. Founded in the tenth century by the Benedictine order, it lies near the Way of Santiago in Northern Spain. The first cenobitic community, the Monastery of San Salvador, was founded here around the year 990 by Bermudo II, King of the Kingdom of León and the Kingdom of Galic ...
Founded: c. 990 AD | Location: Carracedelo, Spain

Ferrol Co-Cathedral

Ferrol Co-Cathedral was erected in the 18th-century, designed by Julián Sánchez Bort, who based his Neoclassical design on the church of Sant"Andrea delle Fratte in Rome. The church was made co-cathedral along with the Cathedral of Mondoñedo in 1959.
Founded: 1766-1772 | Location: Ferrol, Spain

Santa Eulàlia Church

The Santa Eulàlia church in Alaior is built atop a hill. The village formed around it from the 14th century onwards. There was apparently an earlier church, of which the vaulted arches of the main facade and a part of the side wall may remain. The parish was founded in the early 14th century, and is mentioned as early as the Pariatge of 1301 signed by James II of Majorca. The current building was erected between approxi ...
Founded: 1630-1690 | Location: Alaior, Spain

San Miguel Church

The Church of Saint Michael started its life in the end of the 15th century. A plaque at the door of its Gothic facade is dated 1484. It is believed that the church was commissioned by the Catholic Monarchs when they visited the city in 1484. Previously, the area was served by an old hermitage. Its construction, however, would last several centuries resulting in an excellent cathedral-like set where latest gothic elem ...
Founded: 1484 | Location: Jerez de la Frontera, Spain

Santa Paula Convent

Seville has many enclosed religious complexes, but few are accessible. This is one of them, a convent set up in 1475 and still home to 40 nuns. The public is welcome to enter through two different doors in the Calle Santa Paula. Knock on the brown one, marked number 11 to look at the convent museum. Steps lead to two galleries, crammed with religious paintings and artifacts. The windows of the second look onto the nuns&qu ...
Founded: 1475 | Location: Seville, Spain

San Miguel de Bouzas Church

The church of San Miguel de Bouzas is one of the examples of Vigo’s religious architecture with the most history: in 1542, the neighbours of Bouzas told the prelate Don Diego Muñoz that they were so many they needed their own church, so as to avoid having to travel to the neighbouring Coia parish. This was the origin of the current Church of San Miguel, which was first a small chapel, was expanded years later, and was ...
Founded: 1697 | Location: Vigo, Spain

Monastery of San Antón

There were formerly a palace and garden of King Pedro I of Castile as well as the ruins of the old monastery of San Antón. It was dedicated to taking care of the sick people on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. At present, only the arch remains standing.
Founded: 1146 | Location: Castrojeriz, Spain

Monastery of Santa María la Real

From the 12th century the Monastery of Santa María la Real was the home of a Premonstratensian community. The architecture is in a transitional style between Romanesque and Gothic. The monastery was closed in the 19th century as a result of the Ecclesiastical Confiscations of Mendizábal. The buildings fell into ruin and in 1871 various capitals (dated circa 1200) were removed to the National Archaeological Museum ...
Founded: 1169 | Location: Aguilar de Campoo, Spain

Almonaster Mezquita

The Mezquita was built from a visigothic basilica from the 5th century, reusing its materials, and is one of the few surviving Spanish rural mosques. It is an oddly-shaped building, made of brick and stone in a trapezoid shape, probably because of the hilly terrain. The oration room has 5 naves, whose arches, like in the Mezquita in Cordoba, are perpendicular to Qibla. The central nave is wider than the 2 nearby, whic ...
Founded: 9th century AD | Location: Almonaster la Real, Spain

Collegiate Church of Saint Mary of the Assumption

The Colegiata de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción was built in the sixteenth century in the town of Osuna. It was founded by Juan Téllez-Girón, 4th Count of Ureña. The interior has a nave and two aisles, five chapels and a presbytery. The interior of the church has a rich Renaissance decoration. It has a beautiful Baroque main altar, made throughout the eighteenth century, and the chapels on the sides are all very attr ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Osuna, Spain

Saint Mary of Parral Monastery

Monastery of Saint Mary of Parral is a Roman Catholic monastery of the enclosed monks of the Order of Saint Jerome just outside the walls of Segovia. It was founded by King Henry IV of Castile, who acquired the lands before he became king in 1454. Despite a generally irreligious life, Henry IV maintained connections with the Hieronymites and was buried in the sister-house of Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe. In ...
Founded: 1454 | Location: Segovia, Spain

San Saturio Chapel

This 18th-century Baroque chapel was built over a hermitic Visigoth grotto on the Douro riverbanks. It is located on the Machado Route and inside you can see impressive frescos that narrate the life of San Saturio, a hermit from a noble 5th-century family that was canonised when he donated all his goods to the poor and went to live as an anchorite in this grotto where you can find his tomb and remains.
Founded: 1704 | Location: Soria, Spain

Monastery of Santa María de Huerta

Monastery of Santa María de Huerta foundation was made by the king Alfonso VII of León and Castile, in fulfilment of a promise he made in the siege of Coria. For this project, the king brought in 1142, from the abbey of Berdoues in Gascony (France), a community of Cistercian monks, with their abbot Rodulfo. The monastery ransfer to the lands near the Jalón river in 1162. Alfonso VII of León and Castile l ...
Founded: 1179 | Location: Santa María de Huerta, Spain

San Pablo Monastery

In 1324, Infante Don Juan Manuel erected the contemporary Gothic-Mudejar convent, where he was subsequently buried, in what was once a fortress built by Alfonso X, the Wise. This emblematic monument was declared a Heritage of Cultural Interest in 1931 and can currently be visited on a free or guided tour. This Heritage of Cultural Interest boasts a façade with exuberant brick arches, made in the Gothic-Mudejar style, wh ...
Founded: 1324 | Location: Peñafiel, Spain

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Klis Fortress

From its origin as a small stronghold built by the ancient Illyrian tribe Dalmatae, becoming a royal castle that was the seat of many Croatian kings, to its final development as a large fortress during the Ottoman wars in Europe, Klis Fortress has guarded the frontier, being lost and re-conquered several times. Due to its location on a pass that separates the mountains Mosor and Kozjak, the fortress served as a major source of defense in Dalmatia, especially against the Ottoman advance, and has been a key crossroad between the Mediterranean belt and the Balkan rear.

Since Duke Mislav of the Duchy of Croatia made Klis Fortress the seat of his throne in the middle of the 9th century, the fortress served as the seat of many Croatia"s rulers. The reign of his successor, Duke Trpimir I, the founder of the Croatian royal House of Trpimirović, is significant for spreading Christianity in the Duchy of Croatia. He largely expanded the Klis Fortress, and in Rižinice, in the valley under the fortress, he built a church and the first Benedictine monastery in Croatia. During the reign of the first Croatian king, Tomislav, Klis and Biograd na Moru were his chief residences.

In March 1242 at Klis Fortress, Tatars who were a constituent segment of the Mongol army under the leadership of Kadan suffered a major defeat while in pursuit of the Hungarian army led by King Béla IV. After their defeat by Croatian forces, the Mongols retreated, and Béla IV rewarded many Croatian towns and nobles with 'substantial riches'. During the Late Middle Ages, the fortress was governed by Croatian nobility, amongst whom Paul I Šubić of Bribir was the most significant. During his reign, the House of Šubić controlled most of modern-day Croatia and Bosnia. Excluding the brief possession by the forces of Bosnian King, Tvrtko I, the fortress remained in Hungaro-Croatian hands for the next several hundred years, until the 16th century.

Klis Fortress is probably best known for its defense against the Ottoman invasion of Europe in the early 16th century. Croatian captain Petar Kružić led the defense of the fortress against a Turkish invasion and siege that lasted for more than two and a half decades. During this defense, as Kružić and his soldiers fought without allies against the Turks, the military faction of Uskoks was formed, which later became famous as an elite Croatian militant sect. Ultimately, the defenders were defeated and the fortress was occupied by the Ottomans in 1537. After more than a century under Ottoman rule, in 1669, Klis Fortress was besieged and seized by the Republic of Venice, thus moving the border between Christian and Muslim Europe further east and helping to contribute to the decline of the Ottoman Empire. The Venetians restored and enlarged the fortress, but it was taken by the Austrians after Napoleon extinguished the republic itself in 1797. Today, Klis Fortress contains a museum where visitors to this historic military structure can see an array of arms, armor, and traditional uniforms.