Monasteries in Aragón, the experience of tranquillity.
In the Region of Aragón, in northeastern Spain, there are places where the feeling of calm is palpable and silence becomes the finest company. These are monasteries, built centuries ago in locations that transmit and endless sensation of peace. They were once home to nobles and kings, and also the inspiration for poets and writers. Feel like forgetting the world? Here it is easy.
A peaceful journey where you can discover art, history and nature. Sound good? Then come to the Region of Aragón, in search of its ancient monasteries. There are some twenty monasteries and abbeys you can visit dotted around the Region’s three provinces (Huesca, Zaragoza and Teruel). These monuments are built in different styles. Some are still home to religious communities and in others you can even stay the night. The most comfortable way to get to them is by car, as most are located in out-of-the-way places. Nevertheless, the journey is well worthwhile because you will have the chance to discover stunning landscapes, buildings that are real works of art and, above all, plenty of peace and quiet. It is a good idea to pay a visit to the tourist offices in nearby towns first. There they will give you all the necessary information (how to get there, guided tours, accommodation, etc).
Surrounded by calm
A good place to start could be the city of Zaragoza. Just 10 kilometres away you will find the Cartuja de Aula Dei Monastery and its Gothic church, home to seven murals painted by Goya in his youth. Also in the province of Zaragoza you can see Aragón’s three Cistercian monasteries: Veruela, 15 kilometres from Tarazona, which is to be turned into a Parador Hotel; Nuestra Señora de Rueda, 74 kilometres from the city of Zaragoza, which has a unique set of lodgings to spend the night; and Piedra Monastery, 15 kilometres from Calatayud, where you will never want to leave when you see its luxurious hotel and wonderful gardens with waterfalls.
Sheltered by nature
In the Teruel area, 61 kilometres from Alcañiz, in the middle of a secluded valley of pine forest, you can stay at the Santa María del Olivar Convent. It was built between the 13th and 17th centuries and offers lodging, campsite, youth hostel and sports facilities. However, it is in the province of Huesca where you will find the largest number of monuments of this type. 20 kilometres from the town of Jaca, you come to the spectacular monastery of San Juan de la Peña, sheltered by huge rocks. Don’t miss its Romanesque cloister and the walk to the “Balcony of the Pyrenees”, with stunning views of the Pyrenean peaks. You can also stay at the so-called “New Monastery”.
There is still much more to see: the Alquézar Collegiate Church, in the Sierra de Guara Mountains; San Pedro el Viejo in the city of Huesca, which has one of the most beautiful Romanesque cloisters anywhere in Spain; Santa María de Sigena, whose exceptional paintings are on display at the Catalonia National Museum of Art; the Nuestra Señora del Pueyo Sanctuary, set on a mountain at 603 metres above sea level, close to Barbastro, where you can also stay the night; the sober grandeur of San Pedro de Siresa, in the Pyrenees…
These places are just a taste of what awaits you. Come to Spain and enjoy peace and tranquillity once again. At the monasteries of Aragón.
More information:Monasteries of Aragón
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