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

Cefi Mar (3 months ago)
A singularly beautiful place, if only people would not bring their marauding, screaming kids and turn it into a Disney type environment. But that's how it is generally in España.... kids rule and their parents only hear their own incessant chatter.... but still worth visiting, preferably avoiding weekends and holidays....
Mike McNamara (11 months ago)
A fantastic place to visit. Self paced tour with own key and left alone to wander around at leisurely pace. Very worthwhile the journey to see it.
David Hollander (12 months ago)
Interesting old Abbaye up on the hill. Don’t be surprised by the narrow road up it’s well made just a bit small and longer than you think from the road. Facilities are limited if you are looking for food and drink and when we were there the new(?) toilet block was closed and those in the bar are a bit basic.
Behzad Naderi (15 months ago)
It was a new experience for me to see how the monks pray every day and what sort of worship they do. I really liked the vibe inside the church.
Alexander Hernandez (3 years ago)
Awesome place
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