Santa María de Sandoval Monastery was built on land donated in 1142 by Alfonso VII to Count Pedro Ponce de Minerva and his wife Estefanía Ramírez.
After receiving numerous donations and possessing extensive territories, it entered decadence in the fifteenth century. In 1592 and 1615 it was grass of the flames, reason for which it had to be rebuilt. The permanence of the monks remained until 1835, date in which the exclaustrado with the confiscation of Mendizábal took place.
Its architectural layout responds to that indicated by the Cistercian Rule. It has two great cloisters, although the one that is conserved is realized in century XVII, in him it maintains the severity of the Chapter Room.
The church is of plant of Latin cross, with three ships, cruiser and semicircular apses. The primitive gateway by the north gable, is Romanesque, and presents a unique resolution of its archivolts. The west, which is now the entrance, is a pointed arch, standing out its beauty by the simplicity of its construction and decorative elements based on floral elements, figures of monks and the calvary of the tympanum of the door. In the south gable rises the belfry that is of later times.
In its interior they emphasize the sarcophagi of the founders, arranged to both sides of the altar, in the middle mounted the major altarpiece in which participated between 1605 and 1618 Pedro Sánchez, Cistercian monkReferences:
The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.
In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.
The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.
The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.