Santa Catalina Monastery

Ares, Spain

Santa Catalina Monastery construction started in in 1393, in a Romanesque style when Gothic standards were already taking hold. With Mendizábal's disestablishment (1837) the Franciscans were obliged to abandon the monastery, and the building's ownership and management passed to the army until the year 2000.

The monastery has two cloisters, the best conserved of which is in Renaissance style. The church was modified in the 18th century, when it changed from a cross-shaped ground plan to a single nave covered with a barrel vault on arches. Coloured wooden retable with Baroque ornamental designs. Some of its images are in churches in Ferrol. Inside the monastery, we can see the remains of capitals, statues, tombstones. Other sculptural remains from the 16th century can presently be seen in the San Antón Archaeology Museum (A Coruña).



Your name

Website (optional)


Montefaro, Ares, Spain
See all sites in Ares


Founded: 1393
Category: Religious sites in Spain


4.2/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Francisco García Melgar (2 months ago)
Very good place to enjoy the views. Ria de Ferrol and Ria de Betanzos
They have a bar with a terrace inside, which matches little with the place and not knowing what the hours of guided and unguided tours are. So visit to see nothing.
Monica Goncalves (4 months ago)
Somewhat poorly kept, but you get an idea of ​​what life was like in the monastery.
Ben Saelens (BTRaceD) (4 months ago)
Interesting location, high on the mountain, museum was closed despite otherwise stated in opening hours. You could drink something in the courtyard.
Charo Aquino (4 months ago)
It needs a good reform, it is in an environment of spectacular nature.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Derbent Fortress

Derbent is the southernmost city in Russia, occupying the narrow gateway between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus Mountains connecting the Eurasian steppes to the north and the Iranian Plateau to the south. Derbent claims to be the oldest city in Russia with historical documentation dating to the 8th century BCE. Due to its strategic location, over the course of history, the city changed ownership many times, particularly among the Persian, Arab, Mongol, Timurid, Shirvan and Iranian kingdoms.

Derbent has archaeological structures over 5,000 years old. As a result of this geographic peculiarity, the city developed between two walls, stretching from the mountains to the sea. These fortifications were continuously employed for a millennium and a half, longer than any other extant fortress in the world.

A traditionally and historically Iranian city, the first intensive settlement in the Derbent area dates from the 8th century BC. The site was intermittently controlled by the Persian monarchs, starting from the 6th century BC. Until the 4th century AD, it was part of Caucasian Albania which was a satrap of the Achaemenid Persian Empire. In the 5th century Derbent functioned as a border fortress and the seat of Sassanid Persians. Because of its strategic position on the northern branch of the Silk Route, the fortress was contested by the Khazars in the course of the Khazar-Arab Wars. In 654, Derbent was captured by the Arabs.

The Sassanid fortress does not exist any more, as the famous Derbent fortress as it stands today was built from the 12th century onward. Derbent became a strong military outpost and harbour of the Sassanid empire. During the 5th and 6th centuries, Derbent also became an important center for spreading the Christian faith in the Caucasus.

The site continued to be of great strategic importance until the 19th century. Today the fortifications consist of two parallel defence walls and Naryn-Kala Citadel. The walls are 3.6km long, stretching from the sea up to the mountains. They were built from stone and had 73 defence towers. 9 out of the 14 original gates remain.

In Naryn-Kala Citadel most of the old buildings, including a palace and a church, are now in ruins. It also holds baths and one of the oldest mosques in the former USSR.

In 2003, UNESCO included the old part of Derbent with traditional buildings in the World Heritage List.