Valbuena Abbey

Valbuena de Duero, Spain

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, when the Castilian Cistercian Congregation was established; thereafter it was a daughter house of Poblet Abbey.

The abbey was dissolved under the anti-ecclesiastical Mendizábal government in 1835.

The church became a parish church. The conventual buildings passed into private ownership and were eventually acquired by a Baron Kessel, who sold them to Juan Pardo, who looked after them until 1950, when the Instituto Nacional de Colonización acquired the site and buildings for settlement purposes. In 1967 the Archdiocese of Valladolid took possession of the monastery buildings, and in 1990 leased them to the foundation Las Edades del Hombre.

The building complex, which was more or less complete by 1230, and most of which still stands, comprises the church, built from 1149 onwards, the conventual buildings, the guest wing, dormitories and the lay brothers' area. The groin-vaulted church of three aisles in four bays, with a barrel-vaulted transept and a crossing which was heightened in the Renaissance and covered with a cupola, is largely in accordance with the usual Cistercian building practice. The church also has an unusually large semi-circular apse, between two smaller semi-circular side apses, and also a rectangular side-chapel, built in 1165. The nave is in the early Gothic style. The west front has a portal with a pointed arch and several archivolts, over which is a large oculus in a blind arch.

The chapter house and the day room are also groin-vaulted, while the refectory on the south side of the complex has a pointed barrel-vaulted roof of four bays. The cloister has two storeys. The Capilla San Pedro chapel contains an arcosolium with a mural of a king from the period of around 1270. The lay brothers' wing was removed in the Renaissance to make room for a second courtyard. By the river stand the ruins of the abbot's house, dating from the 16th century.

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Founded: 1143
Category: Religious sites in Spain

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Andrew (10 months ago)
Perfect location for a wedding. There wasn't a single thing we could fault. The service was incredible, the location was amazing and it really created memories that will last a lifetime. A very high standard has been set by this venue and it was truly remarkable.
Steen Tromholt (2 years ago)
Amazing hotel in a historical building.
Richard Buck (2 years ago)
Very beautiful place, a privilege to stay and the tour of the monastery is well worth the 3 euros The hotel is very comfortable and the food good quality. It is a premium place in cost terms and I am not sure all aspects of the service live up to the premium price. For example when we arrived we noticed that the mini safe in the room didn’t work. We told reception. Nothing happened until we asked again the next day and made a fuss. On our second day we were sitting in our room and two young man opened the hotel door with their key an entered. We were shocked… as also were they. We immediately rang reception to ask what was going on. A mistake had been made and a family had been given the room next to ours but the key card operated both doors. They then reset the system and had to go to reception again to get the cards re set. I was told by the receptionist ‘not to worry’. I think this is an unfortunate translation of the Spanish because I wasn’t so kind worried as a bit confused and cross that out privacy had been disturbed and then I had to go to reception to get new keys! Other than this our stay was good and we enjoyed the food on offer although the menu in the restaurant is a little short given the premium price charged Best meal was breakfast which was outstanding
Rebecca Jordan Gleason (3 years ago)
Beautiful converted convent. Service was wonderful. Cold pool, but nice visit.
Michael Kinzel (3 years ago)
Excellent wine, nice hotel and quiet atmosphere.
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