A little-known treasure of the Romanesque style in Palencia, and a fine example of the model of religious architecture common in this region of Spain throughout the Middle Ages.
Although it has some subsequent additions, the original structure has largely been conserved. It has a single nave, a presbytery and a semicircular apse under barrel and calotte vaults. The exterior of the apse is one of its most outstanding features. Two semi-adjoining columns supported on pilasters divide it into three segments containing semicircular window openings set above small columns and capitals. These elements and the row of modillions decorating the eave have a variety of sculpted motifs (musical instruments, plants, etc.) The south façade, protected by a modern atrium, has a semicircular arch with a triple archivolt and a window carved with plant motifs. The southern doorway has been recently cleaned and restored and is based on a similar model. Highlights of the interior include the carvings on the capitals of the triumphal arch. The monastery houses the ROM Romanesque and Territory Museum. The Monastery of Santa María la Real is currently a Hotel Inn.