Monastery of Leyre

Yesa, Spain

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 wealth during the first and middle stages of the Kingdom of Navarre, thanks to the privileges and donations made by the Navarrese kings. The monastery was expanded in the twelfth century. Several kings of Navarre were buried there.

Since then it has been in various states of repair, undergoing many expansions and remodelling (the most extensive carried out in the sixteenth century, when almost the entire monastery was rebuilt). Romanesque architecture pieces have survived until the present day (such as the church, with its Porta Speciosa), as well as parts that are even more ancient such as the notable crypt.

The monastery is located on one of the various routes of the Way of Saint James coming from the Corridor of Berdún and Jaca. The name of the monastery has been adopted as a female name under the form Leire, especially popular across the Basque Country.

Leyre was founded as a Benedictine monastery, but later came to be owned by Cistercian monks. Currently, the monastery belongs to the Chartered Community of Navarre, which has transferred the monastery to its original inhabitants, the Benedictine order, for care and operation.

In June 2015, the monastery was the setting for the first official visit of Felipe, Prince of Asturias as King of Spain with his wife Princess Letizia.



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Monasterio de Leyre, Yesa, Spain
See all sites in Yesa


Founded: 842 AD
Category: Religious sites in Spain


4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Alexander Hernandez (2 years ago)
Awesome place
Daniel Holly (2 years ago)
Really enjoyable space. The buildings won't take long to explore but are great, but the views are stunning, there is a small cafe and ample room to soak up the atmosphere. Recommended for a detour or short excursion from Pamplona.
A Fattoruso (2 years ago)
Exceptional Romanesque and Gothic church and monastery. Quite good food in their restaurant.
Humphrey Carter (4 years ago)
This is a remarkable place... Charming, attentive, kind and helpful staff ... It’s a beautiful, historic place ... The accommodation is clean, comfortable, Simple and very affordable ... The restaurant is extraordinary ... I don’t understand how they can provide a delicious 3 course meal with a bottle of good wine and a bottle of sparkling water for under €25 The monks singing in the gloriously restored simple serene church was very moving I am so very glad and grateful that I stayed here
Philippe Grimm (4 years ago)
Very quiet place with a old chuch of 900 century. Can be a good place for picnic. Restaurant also available for a 25€ menu. Nice road as well + view on the lake
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