San Juan de Poio Monastery

Poio, Spain

Mercedarian monastery of San Juan de Poio was built in the 17th century and reflects the taste for combining Classicist and Baroque styles. The first document of the monastery on the site is however much older, dating from 942 AD.

Inside, there is a splendid retable from the 18th century, in Churrigueresque style, and the tomb of St. Trahamunda is in the left-hand aisle (much venerated in the district). The procession cloister (16th century) is also noteworthy, with a Baroque fountain and an original stairway. Also worth mentioning are the library, the museum of mosaics, the Escola de Canteiros or the centre for the Summer University courses. The monastery is currently devoted to tourist accommodation, governed by the nuns.



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Travesía Muiño 3, Poio, Spain
See all sites in Poio


Founded: 17th century
Category: Religious sites in Spain

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Maria De Las Mercedes De La Pela (2 years ago)
En primer lugar está en ella Nuestra Señora de la Merced, mi santo. Luego me trae recuerdos de cuando era joven e iba muchos sábados a oír cantar a los Mercedarios, me encantaba oírlos, heran más de veinte y ahora creo que ocho y además muy mayores. La juventud no está por la carrera monástica, no hay vocaciones, es una pena, pero... bueno no me extiendo más. Ahora voy una vez al año el día de mi santo
Jorge Fernandes (2 years ago)
Josefina (2 years ago)
A monastery with a lot of charm
Dani F (2 years ago)
€ 2 (without the possibility of paying with a card) per person (without a guide to explain anything to you) to see 2 cloisters, a church, and the liquor store, there are clean toilets. Outside is the largest granary in Galicia that you can watch for free without paying admission. It is not worth visiting inside
Mark Auchincloss (3 years ago)
Dates back to 7th Century with beautiful mosaics of French Way & there's a giant grain store too. The Convent is open most of time and is free. The rest you pay 1.50€ for a visit except Sunday when it's closed. Nice resting place for pilgrims on the Spiritual Way.
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Lorca Castle

Castle of Lorca (Castillo de Lorca) is a fortress of medieval origin constructed between the 9th and 15th centuries. It consists of a series of defensive structures that, during the Middle Ages, made the town and the fortress an impregnable point in the southeast part of the Iberian Peninsula. Lorca Castle was a key strategic point of contention between Christians and Muslims during the Reconquista.

Archaeological excavations have revealed that the site of the castle has been inhabited since Neolithic times.

Muslim Era

It has not been determined exactly when a castle or fortress was first built on the hill. The first written documentation referring to a castle at Lorca is of Muslim origin, which in the 9th century, indicates that the city of Lurqa was an important town in the area ruled by Theudimer (Tudmir). During Muslim rule, Lorca Castle was an impregnable fortress and its interior was divided into two sections by the Espaldón Wall. In the western part, there was an area used to protect livestock and grain in times of danger. The eastern part had a neighbourhood called the barrio de Alcalá.

After Reconquista

Lorca was conquered by the Castilian Infante Don Alfonso, the future Alfonso X, in 1244, and the fortress became a key defensive point against the Kingdom of Granada. For 250 years, Lorca Castle was a watchpoint on the border between the Christian kingdom of Murcia and the Muslim state of Granada.

Alfonso X ordered the construction of the towers known as the Alfonsina and Espolón Towers, and strengthened and fixed the walls. Hardly a trace of the Muslim fortress remained due to this reconstruction. Muslim traces remain in the foundation stones and the wall known as the muro del Espaldón.

The Jewish Quarter was found within the alcazaba, the Moorish fortification, separated from the rest of the city by its walls. The physical separation had the purpose of protecting the Jewish people in the town from harm, but also had the result of keeping Christians and Jews separate, with the Christians inhabiting the lower part of town.

The remains of the Jewish Quarter extended over an area of 5,700 square m, and 12 homes and a synagogue have been found; the synagogue dates from the 14th century and is the only one found in the Murcia. The streets of the town had an irregular layout, adapted to the landscape, and is divided into four terraces. The synagogue was in the central location, and around it were the homes. The homes were of rectangular shape, with various compartmentalized rooms. The living quarters were elevated and a common feature was benches attached to the walls, kitchens, stand for earthenware jars, or cupboards.

Modern history

With the disappearance of the frontier after the conquest of Granada in 1492, Lorca Castle no longer became as important as before. With the expulsion of the Jews by order of Ferdinand and Isabella, Lorca Castle was also depopulated as a result. The castle was abandoned completely, and was almost a complete ruin by the 18th century. In the 19th century, the castle was refurbished due to the War of Spanish Independence. The walls and structures were repaired or modified and its medieval look changed. A battery of cannons was installed, for example, during this time. In 1931 Lorca Castle was declared a National Historic Monument.

Currently, a parador (luxury hotel) has been built within the castle. As a result, archaeological discoveries have been found, including the Jewish Quarter.