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Montserrat Monastery

Some of the most beautiful monasteries in Europe are to be found in Spain

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The monasteries are part of Spain's rich historical and architectural heritage, ancient places with centuries of history behind them that are suspended in time, full of spirituality, art and silence. Today they’re perfect places to get away from it all, places where you can admire the beautiful buildings and learn about their history. We're going to tell you about some of the most important ones so that you can start planning your trip.

  • Montserrat Monastery

    Santa María de Montserrat monastery, Catalonia

    Here you’re in for a double treat, as the buildings sit on the top of the mountain of Montserrat at a height of around 720 metres, creating a perfect harmony between monastery and nature. Furthermore, the unusual geology of the mountain has made it into a place full of magic and legends, such as the appearance of the virgin of Montserrat in the year 880, which led to the construction of the monastery.

  • Santo Domingo de Silos

    Santo Domingo de Silos, Castile and Leon

    This Romanesque Benedictine abbey was built between the 7th and 18th centuries, and is one of the most impressive works of medieval art in all of Europe. Above all, its lovely cloister stands out, where you can immerse yourself in the peace of another world, and see different stages in the life of Christ depicted on each of its capitals. This is also one of the most famous monasteries in Spanish literature, as El Cid himself passed through here on his way into exile.

  • El Escorial Monastery, Madrid

    Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo del Escorial, Madrid Region

    Towards the end of the 16th century, this monastery was considered to be the Eighth Wonder of the World, and is today a UNESCO World Heritage site, so it's a definite must see. It was built on the orders of King Philip II, whose intention was to create an impressive monument to himself that would stand tall long after his death. Here you'll find a complex of buildings that includes a royal palace, a basilica, a pantheon, a library and a college as well as the monastery. All are incredibly beautiful and were built in what's known as Herrerian style, named after the architect Juan de Herrera.

  • San Juan de la Peña Monastery

    Royal Monastery of San Juan de la Peña, Aragón

    Situated in a privileged location in the middle of the Aragonese Pyrenees, the monastery looks as if it has been excavated in the giant rock that covers it. Here, you’ll be able to enjoy the impeccable Romanesque architecture, the beautiful capitals in the cloister, and the Panteón Real, where the monarchs of Aragón and Navarra were buried for more than five centuries. This is a place surrounded by legends; some connect it to the origins of the legendary kingdom of Aragon, while others link it to the Holy Grail.

  • Royal Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe, Extremadura

    Royal Monastery of Santa María de Guadalupe, Extremadura

    This enormous and very beautiful monastery is where the remains of the most important Spanish kings of medieval times of are to be found. In addition, this place was of crucial importance at all key times in Spain's history, as it was here that the Catholic Monarchs and Christopher Columbus finalised the details of his journey to the New World. In terms of style, here you have a comprehensive overview of the history of art, as although the architecture is mostly Gothic, you'll also find Mudejar, Renaissance and Baroque styles.

And remember that in Spain there are so many more monasteries to visit than could ever be on this list. And they're all out there waiting for you to discover their architecture, relax in their cloisters, and be transported back to times past. What are you waiting for?

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