Monastery of San Salvador de Oña

Oña, Spain

San Salvador de Oña monastery was founded by Sancho García, the Count of Castile, for his daughter Tigridia, as a double monastery in 1011. The nuns came from the Monastery of San Juan in Cillaperlata, while the monks were from the Monastery of San Salvador in Loberuela.

In October 1033, King Sancho III of Navarre gave the monastery to the Abbey of Cluny, by which it became a part of the largest monastic organization of the era. It flourished during this period, coming to have over 70 other monasteries and churches under its authority.

In 1506 the monastery joined the Benedictine Congregation of Valladolid, which had a program of a return to the reformation of the monastic life, following a strict interpretation of the Rule of Saint Benedict. It was badly damaged during the Peninsular War of the Napoleonic era, and the monks were dispersed.

In 1835, the monastic church was converted into a parish church to serve the people of the town. The property of the monastery was returned to the Catholic Church in 1880, when it was acquired by the Society of Jesus. They occupied the buildings for nearly 90 years.

The monastic complex came into the possession of the Province of Burgos in 1968, at which time it was used as a psychiatric hospital.

The surviving architecture of the monastic complex is a series of connected buildings, ranging in date from the Romanesque style of the 12th century, commonly seen in Cluniac monasteries, to the Gothic renovations of the 15th century.

The gate to the monastery is a notable example of the Mudéjar style.

The interior of the monastery church measures 83 meters by 20 meters, with a height of 20 meters. It was renovated in the 15th century and contains a number of paintings attributed to a monk of the community, Dom Alonso of Zamora.

In the sanctuary can be seen a Renaissance-era altarpiece of the Immaculate Conception, along with remains from the medieval altarpiece it replaced in the 15th century. The choir has a domed vault built about 1460 by Fernando Díaz. An apse was opened in it during the 18th century to house the relics of St. Íñigo of Oña (died 1057), one of the first abbots of the monastery. The choir stalls there, also from that period, were carved in walnut by Dom Pedro of Valladolid.

The Monastery of San Salvador became the final resting place for many of the leading figures of northern Spain, especially during its early centuries of operation.



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Founded: 1011
Category: Religious sites in Spain

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User Reviews

Javier M G (39 days ago)
For some time now I have been able to visit many great monasteries, both in Spain and in Portugal. This one is awesome. But don't visit the Library. There was a drawing of how it is and it would be wonderful to see it
Hemati (45 days ago)
The place is amazing, one of those that you enter and open your mouth in surprise and don't close it until you leave. The impressive church, the wonderful wooden choir, and the cloister worthy of admiration. Thank Antonio for all his attention and desire to explain any questions to the visitor. Without a doubt, thanks to volunteers like him, great visits and better memories are achieved.
Edwin Valencia (2 years ago)
Impressive monument. An old Benedictine monastery, there are remains of a huge fish farm, the extensive wall that delimited the monks' estates. Monument to Fray Pedro Ponce de León, a Benedictine monk who was a pioneer in the education of the deaf. The monastery is also a pantheon of the first king of Castile and preserves the remains of the counts from the time when it was only a county. It is worth observing the architecture and art that the Cluniac Benedictine monks forged.
César Carazo (2 years ago)
It is a truly exceptional monastery, a royal and county pantheon, which treasures a multitude of jewels, such as its main altarpiece in the shape of a triumphal arch, the choir and the wooden tombs of the counts and kings of Castile. Indispensable for all lovers of history and art. Its Gothic cloister is magnificent. Take some time to visit the town as it has a lot of charm.
Guilliam Leger (Stylish29) (3 years ago)
What a hidden jewel
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