Monasteries in Spain

Monasteries in Spain

The monasteries in Spain are a rich historical heritage, arts and culture. Spanish monasteries testify to its religious history and political-military history, in both the Middle Ages and in earlier times, with the arrival and settlement of the Visigoths. The monasteries played an important role in the recruitment conducted by the various Christian kings and counts during and after the progress of the Reconquista, with the consequent decline in the Muslim south of the peninsula.

Their presence in the peninsula dates from the early centuries of Christianity, when the original hermit life gave rise to the formation of religious communities and the construction of small monasteries by Hispanics in the sixth and seventh centuries. During stocking, many of these buildings evolved, or were raised from new plant, to a style which traditionally has been called Mozarabic.

The second phase was developed with the arrival of the Benedictines of Cluny, and in times of Reconquista and from that moment were evolving or changing, according to the new order: Cistercian, military orders, Premonstratensian, Carthusians, Jeromes, Augustinians, Camaldolese and beggars. In the seventeenth century there was a hatch or convents located near or within the city.

Since the current Catalonia to Galicia were appearing monastic ensembles of various sizes that would become a most important buildings and be consistent and other abandoned or destroyed. Most of the monasteries in Spain are distributed in the northern half in line with the historical discourse of the zone in the Middle Ages. Monasteries are much less numerous in the south, Andalusia and the Canary Islands.

The establishment of monasteries during the Middle Ages was paramount from a socially and culturally as well as for restocking. Was a breakthrough in agriculture and settlements emerged around large buildings. Also benefited the art and culture.

Another important factor to consider for the construction of monasteries in Spain was the Camino de Santiago, along which these religious institutions were emerging whose main objective was to help the pilgrims.


Characteristics and evolution of the monastery in Spain

The first reference to a monastery in Spain makes St. Augustine in 398 in a letter to the abbot of the Monastery of Cabrera. At 410, the monk Baquiario first used the word monastery in a text written in Hispania. He as a monk and Egeria or as a nun Etheria (perhaps more properly a consecrated virgin) would be the first Hispanic monks known name.

The first monasteries arose in the fourth century and were humble buildings erected in the shadow of shrines or graves of local martyrs dear. Many of these monasteries were troglodytes, as hermits or recluses (the first monks) preferred to live in caves as shelter outfitted or oratory. Such is the origin of the monastery of San Millán de la Cogolla, which preserves both the cave where the saint lived Millan (saint) Aemilianus or Millán which served as the chapel. In the caves of his disciples living environment. The practice of living alone away from the world was transformed by the group of monks in monasteries, although they lived in community, maintained their practice ascetic, and location in a remote place (in desert).

The quantitative success of monasticism in the Visigothic period led to quite a few clashes with the secular clergy, and their dispute came to the Councils of Toledo. Much of this came from the social and economic benefits that provided the privileges of the monastic life. In some cases, as in the area of El Bierzo monasteries were created whole families welcomed as Compludo and Ruphianensi Monasterium that were foundations Fructuoso (and have come to call the Thebaid berciana), which had more the appearance of real villages. In other areas, such as Andalusia, monasteries were not mixed and separated by sex. Some sources also attributed to the more extreme features of the hermit movement, especially in areas such as Burgos, Álava and Logroño, features of social protest in parallel with other religious movements as heresy Priscillianist, which survived in some areas (Galicia) to the sixth century.

In the following centuries the monasteries emerged Hispanic recruitment and monasteries, with its own characteristics into a necessity and an art purely Hispanic. In the Romanesque and the arrival of the monks of Cluny ( XI century ), the order of St. Benedict and observers of their rule, the monastery complex took new shape and it was most important and influential. Came the quintessential faculty and buildings that were erected were of great proportions. Many of these groups have survived to this day (year 2007 ) better or worse, although many of them serve for other uses unrelated to monasticism. The political role of Cluny and its link with the monarchy and noble houses was decisive for the Europeanization of the Christian kingdoms of the mainland and the formation of feudal society. With regard to social and economic role of the Benedictine monasteries, interpretations materialistic classic-for that would be a feudal lord over, are being tempered by the recent historiography, the study of many more aspects such as inclusion in client networks more complex and functions of all kinds (ideological, legal, institutional ...), using the methodology of cultural anthropology and microhistory.

Following the momentum of Cluny Cistercian arrived with new factories and its amendments, and the Carthusians, and in the thirteenth century the Franciscans and Dominicans, which would be added Premonstratensian and Jesuits . Of these samples are kept quite monastic. During the XVI and XVII were numerous monasteries and convents for women. Monastery of the Valley of the Fallen.

Recent monasteries founded and built in Spain were:

  • Monasterio de Santa María de Viaceli (Cóbreces, Cantabria), promoted and sponsored by the brothers Manuel and Antonio Bernaldo de Quirós and Pomar and Cistercian foundation in 1909
  • Female monastery of San Lorenzo in Oñati, Guipuzcoa, in 1928
  • Monastery of the Valley of the Fallen (Abbey of the Holy Cross in the Valley of the Fallen), 1940–1958, under draft Pedro Muguruza and Diego Mendez .
  • House of Spirituality of the Dominican Fathers (Caleruega, Burgos), 1952 .
  • Roll Monastery (or Monastery of the Immaculate Conception ) in Salamanca 1961, authored by the architect Antonio Fernández Alba .
  • Monasterio de Santa Maria de las Shallots (Hornachuelos, Córdoba), 1986


Throughout the history of monasteries were founded mainly by kings, bishops and nobles. The reasons for any of them to found a monastery could be their own interest, in order to reserve a burial there, which would mean perpetual monks pray for the salvation of his soul, or for giving shelter to a princess, widow, unmarried or bastard, in the case of kings. Sometimes the reason for founding or protection of a particular monastery for political reasons or due to war and many of them were located in border areas of Castile and León or Navarre, as was the case Matallana monastery (in the Valladolid), located on the border Castilian-Leonese, or the Castilian border Bujedo-Navarre. The bishops also had great interest in building a monastery on which to exercise their authority, especially in the period feudal territory and which guaranteed income, the nobility had a desire for the salvation of his soul and his family, plus show how much political influence and great power by sponsoring one of these great works. The monastic vows (poverty, chastity and obedience) were particularly suitable monastic fate of younger sons, regardless of the sincerity or otherwise of his vocation, which thus did not dispute the inheritance of the firstborn, holding undivided estates (institution of primogeniture). This close identification between the clergy and nobility, both privileged classes, survived as a phenomenon of long duration during the Middle Ages and the Modern Age to the end of the ancien regime.

Other monasteries that arise by themselves, from a chapel around which a community is formed. This is the case of the monastery of San Juan de Ortega which originally was a humble chapel founded by the saint to save the relics of St. Nicholas of Bari and the arrival of more people to look after the place was the formation of a community with the need to lift the grounds of a monastery. Or from hermits, in some cases doubling, that were left to be guided by any rule, as the Royal Monastery of Santa María de Vallbona (Vallbona de les Monges), the monastery of Santo Domingo de Ocaña (Toledo) of the century XVI has the distinction of being founded by a neighbor who wanted to be close to the preachers.

There are recent foundations (of the twentieth century) whose fate is very clear from the outset, as is the monastery or house of spirituality of the Dominican Fathers of Caleruega (Burgos), 1952, destined for the convent-school-house of spirituality. In the field of education can also include the Monastery of Our Lady of the Angels of Palma de Mallorca, in 1914, conceived as a major seminary, Novitiate House, Ecumenical Centre College and routinely providing Evangelical Protestants Lutheran Germans.

The first Hispanic monasteries

During the sixth and seventh centuries culture Visigoth Hispanic wealth is expressed in a monastery where ancient tradition still flourished and where the monks themselves drafted Hispanics living monastic rules. Arise in this period many monasteries.

Some sources consider the Monastery of St. Victorian of Asan (Asan, Sobrarbe, Huesca province) as the first monastery founded in Spain, but more likely, given the existence of references to previous monasteries, which can be said is safer be the first real initiative foundation: the Visigoth king Gesalec in 506. Others were due to the Swabians in the northwest, with the activity of San Martín de Dumio, from Pannonia. Other founding saints like San Donato[disambiguation needed ], came from Africa Játiva. San Fructuoso de Braga, in the early seventh century founded the monastery of Compludo and twenty other foundations from Galicia to Andalusia. During the same century, San Leandro and his brother St. Isidore composed their own monastic rules.

Morphologically, in monasteries Hispanics are clearly distinguished two concepts:

  • Closing the set, which is known by the name of claustra
  • Cloistered units, called domus.

The cloister was an envelope that isolated and protected the monastery building, which is very important to the religious life that was intended to cultivate. In one chapter of San Isidoro rule states: "The mill of the monastery on its premises only have one door and one wicket to leave the garden."

Then advised that the city is far and above all respect for the closure. This suggests to build an enclosure or wall to the monastic and other including the garden. This first is called monastic enclosure or cloister.

The second concept is referred to the domus, i.e. the group of houses which constitute the monastery. Within the domus, the documents refer to two different places: domus domorum, i.e. the ultimate home, or church, and maior domus, which is the flag of monks and served as a bedroom and use of life community. According to the comments that remain, the maior domus should be a dependency of high architectural quality and large size, that used to stand next to the church, at the height of the atrium.

In the whole domus other units were also necessary as the cilla, nursing, the punishment cell, the novitiate, the goal, etc. What centuries later (in the order of the Benedictines) chapter house will be called in these monasteries Hispanics called conference room. Much is said about this space and its utility in documents but do not know for certain where it was located. It is known that minor issues monks gathered in the choir.

The documentation on the monasteries Hispanics is quite abundant and descriptive. However, only some monastic churches have been preserved, the rest of the site is lost and the few archaeological investigations there are no conclusive results.

Monastery stocking

These are the monasteries that arose from the tenth century in land resettlement, which had hitherto been barren areas, no man's land, abandoned places in the basin of the Duero and lands of Bierzo in León. It could be new buildings or small churches, crumbling and neglected earlier that new monks transformed and supplemented with monastic dependencies. These were not depopulated cores in many cases in a hundred percent but sometimes found inhabited by small groups, pastoralists, farmers, attached to their land.

The monks who were raising this kind of monastery came from both the South (especially Cordoba, at a time of persecution of Christians in that city) and the North, giving each other the influences of place of origin, but without forgetting the traditional Spanish-Gothic forms. The architectural heritage survived almost two centuries despite the abandonment will be restored by these people repopulating. The lands of the Douro Valley will witness the revival of architecture over the centuries neovisigótica X and XI, while the Catalan lands enter the year 1000 in the first Romanesque. Such is the witness given the small churches, the only remains of the monasteries of that period that have survived until today (2008).

Many of these religious buildings are old buildings that take advantage of the Visigothic period, and also mosques, especially in Aragon first and, later, Andalusia.

Building components and ornaments

Almost all buildings of this age have much in common, so you can make a generalized description of the elements of construction and ornamentation.

Materials. The main ones are the rubble, the stone and wood. The walls are raised either in masonry or in large rows of stones squared. The latter is typical of places with nearby quarries. Where there is a slate is often used this material. The masonry work, in many cases reinforce the corners and window openings with large stones well crafted.

Vaults, roofs, arches and columns. The trend and the ideal of the builders was to cover all the spaces with stone barrel vault, but could not always do so, in some cases by the high cost of the work, other technical difficulties. Very few monuments managed to cover all areas vault, vaulting normal being only the apses and cover the rest of the ships with wooden frame. However, in small churches sought to vaulting but poor materials were used stone tuff mixed with brick and masonry.

The profile of the guns of the vaults horseshoe arch was in the tradition of Asturian architecture (with ancestry in the Visigothic art) and in some cases following the influence of the Mozarabic Cordoba. The major influence on these buildings Cordoba art is manifested in the ribbed vaults.

Santiago de Peñalba. Example of Mozarabic and alfiz arches.

The arch is the most widely used horseshoe that coexists with that of half a point . The Moorish horseshoe arch differs from the Spaniard and the Islamic cannot be (close to ² / ³ of the radio). Sometimes that cannot changes in the same building, as in San Miguel de Escalada.

The columns are always taken advantage of other buildings, usually Romans. Its discovery by the builders, ownership and carry is a fact and the usual great convenience. Sometimes come from places far from their final destination. Many of the capitals are also reused, those developed specifically for the building following a Corinthian tradition of drawing the characteristic necking stranded (such as wreathed Asturias).

As for ornamental sculpture, did not reach a great development. Eaves, very frilly, were heavily decorated, and the openings of the windows filled with beautiful stone lattices. Many times the doors and windows were framed with alfiz. But there are very many entries as a decoration paramental, they are of all kinds; funeral, consecration, foundation, etc. Are written in good handwriting and on the basis of good material, usually marble.


The painting was always finishing building. A church was not considered completed if the walls were painted both inside and outside. A few traces of paint have been preserved over the centuries since, on one hand is the least resistant decorative element over time and secondly, the architects of the nineteenth century restorers became a fashion makeover, respecting only in some cases the lack of mural history. If the exterior was plastered were scraped to bring up the stone or brick or masonry. This trend continued throughout the twentieth century and continues into the twenty-first century.

Buildings are covered for with a certain tone and then gave different colors on different details (arches, moldings, capitals, imposts). It is known that the Church of Santiago de Peñalba had a red painted base, 73 cm in height, both outside and inside.

Geographical layout of some of the monasteries of restocking

  • Monasterio de San Miguel de Escalada, in the province of León, Alfonso founded by the abbot who arrived from Cordoba, existed at the time of Alfonso III an ancient temple dedicated to San Miguel. The monastery was consecrated in 913 by Bishop Gennadius of Astorga.
  • Monasterio de San Cebrián de Mazote in Valladolid town of Mazote San Cebrián, founded in times of Ordoño II by monks who came from Cordoba.
  • Monasterio de San Román de Hornija. It is known from documents Chindasvinto died in 653 and was buried in a monastery that existed here. In the twelfth century it was a priory of the monastery of San Pedro de Montes in the region of Bierzo (León).

Cluny in Spain

Home church of Santa Maria de Piasca (Cantabria), one of the most important priories in the service of the Cluniac monastery of Sahagún.

In Catalonia, the abbot Oliba had a great relationship with the Abbey of Cluny, but it went from being a spiritual type of relationship without any legal ties whatsoever. Via this abbot, King Sancho III of Navarre established relations with the abbot St. Odilon de Cluny and the immediate consequences was put in front of the monastery of San Juan de la Peña from an abbot of Cluny in the year 1028. From this fact, the influence spread Cluniac monasteries that were in the domains of Sancho III. The spiritual connection and relationship with the Abbey of Cluny continues with the descendants of Sancho III until the reign of King Alfonso VI with whom the relationship moves from being purely spiritual and sympathy to have economic ties and a big influence political and religious. The monastery of Sahagún in León was of great importance and authority, the biggest propagator of the Cluniac observance. Alfonso VI became the center of Cluny and became its protector. It was called "The Spanish Cluny, the abbey being more powerful of the kingdoms of León and Castile, which depended almost 100 monasteries. He was owner of the land ranging from the Cantabrian Sea to the River Duero. As for its cultural aspect was the most important center of what is now Spain in the eleventh and twelfth centuries.

The Cistercians in Spain

The monastery Moreruela (Zamora) was the first Cistercian enclave in the territory of the Iberian Peninsula, founded in 1133 in the reign of Alfonso VII, followed by the Fitero (1140), Santa María de Sobrado, 1142, (in Sobrado dos Monxes, La Coruña) and the monastery of Poblet (1150) in Catalonia, sponsored by Count Ramón Berenguer IV of Barcelona and was part of the great Cistercian abbeys group consisting of Clairvaux (in the valley of Absinthe, France), the Great Forest (in Languedoc), Fontfreda (near Narbonne) and Poblet. The first monastery for women was that of Santa Maria de la Caridad in Tulebras (Navarra). From this monastery the nuns departed founders of the monasteries of Perales (Palencia), of Gradefes, Cañas (La Rioja), Trasobares in Zaragoza, Vallbona, Lleida and Las Huelgas in Burgos. Cistercian monasteries, both female and male, have multiplied throughout the geography of the peninsula.

Monasteries of the mendicant orders

The mendicant orders (also called preachers) are the new order that emerged in the early thirteenth century the name of Dominicans and Franciscans. Emerged as a spiritual response and necessary in a time of new monastic orders had relaxed the norms and behavior. Proposes a novel mode of action based on direct action toward the faithful and the organizational system that was based on division by provinces.

The convents and monasteries of these monks were always very close to the city or within it. Also on the roads (especially in the Camino de Santiago) where care and love offered to travelers.

The monastic complex of buildings is in keeping with the model of the monastery as usual, but offers in most cases some differences according to the needs and the work of these monks. Many of the building foundations were made donations of houses more or less adapted to life in community. The churches were newly built (or in some cases extending some existing chapel or shrine), with its own characteristics. One of the main requirements when building was sound, as the sermons and talks with the faithful were common practice. Almost always, the church was divided into two parts, one for the masses and another for the closing of monks. These churches did not provide a unique style but adapted to the current fashion and geographical needs. Another feature was the small number of chapels in the header, in contrast to the Cistercian churches. This is because the rules are not obliged to say daily Mass each monk, quite the contrary. Francis of Assisi said in the General Chapter "In places where the monks dwell be held one Mass a day [...] but if somewhere has many priests, with a love of charity is happy listening to the mass of the other."

In terms of construction materials is characterized by poor, with little severe facade sculptures usually polygonal apse and large windows open it. Adapted and assimilated techniques and building traditions of the place to establish the new foundation, which is why churches can vary depending on geographic location. In Spain there were two models: buildings with a Latin cross and buildings with a single nave with chapels between buttresses.

In Navarre there was a proliferation of mendicant convents during the reign of Champagne, especially with Theobald II was defined as chief patron and protector. In Castilla y León were many convents but most arrived in the XXI century badly damaged.

Monasteries rejoinders

Rejoinders monasteries were those made jointly by male and female communities, in the High Middle Ages achieved a great importance.These monasteries had their origin in the monasteries turned into family homes where whole families decided to benefit from religious rules and form a monastic community whose members spent the rest of your days without leaving the house. It was a kind of exalted fashion and the time came to commit such mistakes and excesses on many occasions received serious warnings and reprimands by the religious leaders. It was even writing a text called Regula Communis 30 especially designed for this type of monasteries. This rule also made it very clear reforming the architectural aspect that should be: all spaces should be double for the female community was separated from the male, could only share the chapter, but it should still occupy separate spaces. As for the bedrooms, not only ordered that they were separated but well away from each other.

At one point these monasteries came to be officially removed, but still, in the twelfth century, calls tuquinegras 31 nuns lived in their monasteries with a large number of monks, men who were supposed to protect and who were known by the name of milites. No buildings have been preserved these monasteries but some of their churches.

Monasteries of military orders

The Military Orders built their own monasteries that served both as a fortress of defense. Following a monastic rule and the premises of the house were like those of other monasteries. A good reference for this type of monastery is in that of Calatrava la Nueva, headquarters of the Order of Calatrava was founded by the Abbot of Fitero called Raymond, at the behest of King Sancho III of Castile, to protect the area restored to the Muslims. Some orders as Santiago, Temple and Holy Sepulchre devoted much of its efforts to protect and care for pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago.

The monasteries on the Camino de Santiago

Along the Camino de Santiago were emerging many monasteries, some have disappeared altogether. Most characteristic for the care of the pilgrims were 32 hospitals or hospices governed by a small community of monks belonging to different orders, but many of the monasteries of this route have also attached their own hospitals. Here is a list of the most important monasteries of this route:



  • Leyre Monastery, Benedictine, focus drive of the Reconquista and refuge of kings and bishops Navarre. It has an attached guesthouse for pilgrims.
  • Convento de Santo Domingo (Estella), foundation of Theobald II of Navarre in 1259.
  • Monastery of Our Lady the Royal Irache, which is not on the same route of the road but in a departure from Ayegui. It is one of the oldest Benedictine monasteries Navarre, its origin can be Visigoths. Hospital was founded by García Sánchez III of Navarre in 1051. At present (2007) Parents Escolapios manage it.

La Rioja

  • Convento de San Anton in Navarrete, of which only ruins remain. Is outside these institutions properly. 33
  • Monasterio de Santa María la Real de Nájera, founded by García I of León and Hospital of pilgrims. Alfonso VI joined the monastery at Cluny in 1079, to promote the pilgrimage, was against the bishop of Nájera has since moved headquarters to Calahorra in protest. This monastery is the tomb of the kings of Navarre. Since 1895 is run by Franciscan priests.
  • Cañas Monastery (home of Santo Domingo de Silos). Female Cistercian abbey founded in 1170.


  • Monasterio de San Félix de Oca on the hill of San Felices whose origin dates from the ninth century. In 1049 was annexed to San Millán de la Cogolla. According to tradition the monastery was buried Diego Porcelos, the founder of the city of Burgos. The only remaining monastic ruins of the apse of the church.
  • Monasterio de San Juan de Ortega. San Juan de Ortega founded this place more like pilgrims Hospital as a monastery. In 1170 Alfonso VIII gave up the center beneficial to the jurisdiction of Burgos and later in 1432 the Church of Burgos took over the Order of St. Jerome.
  • Monasterio de San Juan Evangelista, outside of Burgos, a former hospital complex that Alfonso VI began in 1091 under the protection of the Benedictine Abbey of Chaise-Dieu in the Haute-Loire, with San Lesmes as prior. The monastery are preserved intact some units (the chapter house and cloister), while the church convent only the facade remains.
  • Monasterio de las Huelgas, who ran the King's Hospital founded by Alfonso VI to the pilgrims.
  • Benedictine Monastery Rocamador dependent on donations and privileges of Alfonso XI of Castile. Was founded to provide pilgrims with a difficult transition from Road to Castrojeriz Plates.
  • Convento de San Antón de Castrojeriz. Monastery founded by Alfonso VII of León and Castile in 1146 for the Order of St. Anthony of French origin. They are ruins of the fourteenth century with the peculiarity that the road passes under a Gothic arch on the left being the great cover. 34
  • Cistercian monastery Castrojeriz emerged in pilgrim near the Hospital founded by Count Nuño Pérez de Lara and his wife Teresa. He was near the bridge Fitero (pons confectionery) on the river Pisuerga.


  • Benedictine Monastery, the foundation of Queen Mayor in 1035 in the town of Frómista, of which only is the church of San Martín (good example of the Romanesque of the twelfth century).
  • Monasterio de Santa Clara (Carrión de los Condes), founded in the thirteenth century.
  • Former Abbey of Santa Maria, XII century, in Benevívere. There are only ruins.
  • Monasterio de San Zoilo, Carrion across the river from Carrion de los Condes, a great center of refuge for pilgrims, there are the tombs of the Infantes of Carrion.
  • Monasterio de Santa María de las Tiendas, XI century, belonging to the order of Santiago, in the locality of stores. Vestiges of the church. 35 With the remains of the monastery was built the present farmhouse.


  • Monasterio de San Benito el Real de Sahagun, whose Cluniac monks arrived in 1080. Was the main abbey around the peninsula. Grew to 60 beds for pilgrims in their own hospital.
  • Monasterio de San Agustin in Mansilla de las Mulas, disappeared, its only remnant is the Arco de San Agustín near Pilgrim Street.


  • Samos Monastery, Benedictine, with shelter for pilgrims own ancestry. The masses were housed in separate houses dependents of the abbey.
  • Monasterio de la Magdalena, in Sarria, founding two Italian priests of the Order of St. Augustine. At present (year 2007) is in charge of Mercedarios parents are traditional welcoming pilgrims. His assistant hospital had a reputation as a landmark Jacobean relief to pilgrims.
  • Monasterio de Santa María de Loio, in the small village of Loio Lugo. Hermit home was restored in the ninth century by the monk Limerick. It was the birthplace of the Knights of Santiago to 1170. Almost no traces of its original location.
  • Monasterio de Villar de Donas, past a place called Ligondé, it is necessary to deviate from the road to get here. It was originally a small monastery of women from the Arias family Monterroso and in 1184 belonged to the Order of Santiago. At present (year 2007) is still standing only Romanesque church that houses paintings of the fourteenth century.

La Coruña

  • Monasterio de San Martín Pinario in Santiago de Compostela, former Benedictine monastery, now Major Seminary.
  • Caaveiro Monastery, in the Fragas do Eume.
  • Monasterio de Sancti Spiritus (Melide) to the front entrance Melide Hospital. Only is the Romanesque church of Santa Maria, XII century, the current parish.
  • Augustinian Convent (Arzúa) with its own hospital in the town of Arzúa, maintaining their church of the Madeleine and part of the fabric of the hospital.

Palaces in monasteries

The royal palace in this institution is one of the characteristics of the Spanish monastery. 36 Entrance to the royal monastery-palace at Tordesillas, the back facade of the Royal Palace of Peter the Cruel.

Sometimes built palaces and monasteries became real volition. Such is the case of Tordesillas, Miraflores and Paular. In other examples the case that the monastery offers a palatial residence to the king or the nobility in the days when they are forced to travel for matters relating to their own Reconquista or the fact on the roaming of the courts of Castile and Aragon. In some monasteries the palatial residence is reached to stable, so building a new building inside the compound, as in the monasteries of Poblet, Carracedo and Yuste. The monastery of El Escorial was conceived from the beginning with a specific architecture to house the monks and the king and his court.

Monasteries such as royal or noble pantheon

Many Spanish monasteries were built from scratch in order to house the tombs of royal families or gentlemen of the nobility. To this end, the promoters made large donations of land, money and men. Keep in mind that during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance was considered of vital importance that the monks in their prayers keep the memory of the dead buried near them (in churches, cloisters, cemeteries), and not only consider this important for the salvation of souls but as vanitas perpetual reminder to future generations how important they were. Among the great monasteries seen as noble or royal mausoleums are distinguished:

  • San Juan de la Peña and San Pedro el Viejo in Huesca, where are buried the kings of Aragon until the union with Catalonia. In the first there are also kings of the kingdom of Pamplona, when the territory was in Navarre.
  • Santes Creus and Poblet, kings of the Crown of Aragon.
  • Ripoll, with the counts of Barcelona before its union with Aragon.
  • Najera and Leyre, monasteries elected by the dynasties of Navarra.
  • San Isidoro de León, which are buried many of the Kings of Leon.
  • San Salvador de Oña (Burgos), converted at county and regional cemetery in the second half of the twelfth century.
  • Las Huelgas Reales de Burgos, chosen by the Castilian monarchs.
  • Cartuja de Miraflores at Burgos, where he chose his burial Juan II of Castile and which also buried his second wife and his son Alfonso.
  • The Salesians in Madrid, where lies Fernando VI (the founder) and his wife Barbara of Braganza.
  • El Escorial, considered as a prototype at his funeral aspect, but is the most modern of all. There are the mausoleums of the royal families of the Habsburg and Bourbon.
  • San Román de Hornija, in Valladolid, which was originally a monastery founded by Chindasvinto Visigoth for his own burial and his wife Reciberga (or Reciwerga).

Among the monasteries, cemeteries and burial of the family of the nobility, there are:

  • Loeches Monastery with the burial of the Count-Duke of Olivares and his descendants the Dukes of Alba. This is a side chapel.
  • San Francisco de Guadalajara, to the Dukes of Infantry to build a crypt.
  • San Jerónimo de Granada, whose founder, Grand Master, declined buried there.
  • San Jerónimo de Cotalba in Alfahuir, (Valencia), which are buried the Infantes Don Juan and Doña Blanca de Aragón.
  • Monasterio del Parral in Segovia, which holds the tomb of the Marquis de Villena.
  • Monasterio de Santa Paula in Seville, with the Marquis de Montemayor.
  • Santa María la Real de Nájera, which has an important pantheon of the Knights.
  • Porta Coeli monastery in Valladolid, with the burial of its promoter and benefactor Rodrigo Calderón, Count of Oliva, favorite of the Duke of Lerma.
  • Monasterio de San Pedro de Cardena, where he was buried El Cid, whose family was specifically tied to him (his wife and daughters took refuge during his exile). In the War of Independence was sacked by the French army and his grave desecrated.

Monasteries (or convents) as a learning center

These monasteries have their main activity in education and school education, of concern to the community. The agencies and the religious way of life no different from other monasteries, only different working hours because instead of cultivating the land, their work is channeled to education and education. Examples of such monastery is the Convent of Santo Domingo as the University of Orihuela (known as the Colegio de Santo Domingo) and the convent of San Esteban de Murcia.

The major universities (University of Salamanca, Universidad de Valladolid and University of Alcalá) were closely linked to the regular clergy by religious orders who controlled their schools, mostly Dominicans and Augustinians, the Jesuits were added from the first century XVI. In university towns were important monastic or conventual foundations, such as the Dominican Convent of San Esteban de Salamanca.

Urbanised Monasteries or Convents

It is generally known to those monasteries monastery are located within the village and also tend to belong to the so-called mendicant orders, but should not be taken as a general rule because sometimes these convents were built inside but not outside the city, although course in close proximity and never in the countryside and away from cities as they came by the Benedictines and Cistercians, even small hermitages.

Although essentially no distance themselves from traditional monasteries have their own architectural characteristics. The buildings are not in most cases surrounded by a wall or fence that isolates, being the only walls that rise to the garden or orchard. The windows look out onto the streets of the city so it is necessary to protect the ends with a closing blinds. Citizens have direct access to the building of the church and inside it only makes a closing paragraph for the religious (monks or nuns). Inside the church, the pulpit becomes a very important element because these congregations have as main goal to instruct and speak directly to the faithful. Barefoot Royals around Valladolid

Female convents there are other elements that characterize them, as the existence of a lathe, the only element of contact with the outside from the goal and the fact the church building (sometimes) a high choir and a choir under the feet or a choir under the side of the chancel, communion rail fitted with iron bars.

Most of these urban monasteries proliferated during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries throughout the Spanish territory.

Decline and events occurring in the Spanish monasteries

Torreón del Monasterio de San Román de Entrepeñas, the only thing left standing after the confiscation of Mendizabal.

Many of the Hispanic monasteries were abandoned, forgotten and lost, some even in historical memory. The medieval monasteries were maintained, although some were plundering and burning, to recover from these tragedies with new reconstructions.

The nineteenth century was crucial for the conservation of these monastic buildings. The Spanish War of Independence brought many calamities, being chosen these places for quartering and provisioning of French troops and in some cases the churches were turned into stables or kitchens. Were fired for heating and cooking, with subsequent consequences. Many of the tombs were desecrated in search of possible treasures or for the mere pleasure of destroying, apart from robbery and theft of works of art that carries the special atmosphere of a war. In some cases, the destruction was deliberately planned with a goal of social transformation: this was the case of demolishing 37 convents in Madrid and the convent of San Francisco (Valladolid). Ruinas del Monasterio de San Pedro de Arlanza.

After years of peace, building restoration and recovery of scattered pieces, monasteries were again involved in the events of the Carlist Wars, the identification of the Carlist and the clergy, most notably the burning of convents 1835, which included a massacre of monks. Finally, in this century, the various confiscations ended with the heritage of most medieval monasteries. Many of their churches were spared because they became parishes who took a new life. In some cases, other provincial institutions and individuals came forward to museums where you can keep coming up with artistic pieces rescued, including parts of its architecture. The monastic ruins went on to become a commonplace of romanticism, and poets and musicians seeking inspiration in them. They are outstanding stays Fryderyk Chopin and George Sand in the Cartuja de Valldemossa secularized (Mallorca) and Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer brothers and Domínguez Valeriano Becquer in the Cistercian Monastery Veruela (Zaragoza).

In the last quarter of the nineteenth century, with the Restoration, there was a political climate more favorable to the founding of new religious orders and the restoration of the old, and some monasteries were able to revive the monastic life.

In the first third of the twentieth century, curled the political and social critical junctures, came back to light the old Spanish anticlericalism in time as the Tragic Week in Barcelona in 1909. In 1910, the Law of the lock that prevented the establishment of new religious congregations. In 1931, shortly after the proclamation of the Second Spanish Republic was a new burning of convents, but much more serious was the destruction during the Spanish Civil War, with thousands of victims among the clergy.

In the last quarter century, both the Spanish state and private estates (Savings Banks, Associations, Trusts, etc..) Became aware of the great ruined monastic heritage was lost, great buildings abandoned or poorly maintained but still remained standing part of its architecture and began the quest to give them a meaning and relevance, such as rehabilitation for museums, cultural centers, schools or farm foremen, etc. 38

The architectural complex of Spanish monasteries

The monastery and its dependencies eventually consolidated with the Benedictine Order of Cluny in Romanesque period in the early Middle Ages. The monks of Cluny spread throughout Europe and founded the monasteries whose architectural structure would henceforth be an example to follow, with minor variations in some monastic orders. 39 In a general way and taking into account possible differences can be described briefly the parts of the Spanish monastery complex.

External Signs of buildings

In many monasteries and convents is usual cruise ship construction and small chapels that served as a shrine, located in the vast expanse of the garden. So is the construction of fountains and the well which is usually open in the center or side of the courtyard.

On the walls appears repeatedly image of the patron saint of the warrant or the title holder of the church. 40 Sometimes the title is kept original foundation of the monastery and sometimes switches to receive the relics of a saint local or foreign.

As abundant sculptural decoration shields among them are those of the monastic order as appropriate, those of kings or noble founders or sponsors, bishops (where applicable) and the arms of the city. It is also common to see figures representing the founder.

An important addition is the tower or steeple whose bell simple act as municipal clock. The language of the bells was very important during the Middle Ages and Renaissance as well as representing the time was the town crier announcing events. 41

The church

The churches of the monasteries have some features that differentiate them from those of secular clergy, especially in regard to the chorus, vestries and penitential cells. In all other respects follow the same rules and practice space is dedicated to the liturgy, with the center of spiritual life and religious communities.

Always oriented to the east, like other Christian churches (except in cases where the place names force a placement). Its plan is a Latin cross transept and apse or apses. They usually have three gates: the main foot, which gives access to outdoor and open one of the side walls to give way to the cloister (with exclusive use of the monks) and a third located in the crossing, which leads to sacristy.

Side chapels and shrines

In the monasteries there is a lot of chapels or altars simply placed in small spaces due to the requirement that the monks had to say daily Mass each. However, in the women's monasteries there is no such need because there is only one chaplain for the entire community. This reasoning applies to the sacristy, which are very spacious in the monasteries and that they both are of various officiating.


It's where you place the altar and the altar (at the time they are installed retablos) which is usually chaired by the sculpture of the patron saint of the monastery. In some, this image is tucked into a niche whose back is appropriate to visit and pilgrimage of the faithful. Such is the case of the monastery of the Virgin of Guadalupe.


In the Spanish monasteries is customary for the choir is in the middle of the nave of the church, separated from the chancel by the cruise ship. It can also be located in the apse behind the main altar, surrounding the circular wall. The choir in the middle of the ship is an enclosed space that is usually surrounded by a fence. Inside, is furnished with seating that is usually very important as its artistic elaboration is used to instruct artists. Both boards of the armrests and backs mercy 42 are profusely decorated with carvings that are iconographic programs of animal symbols, mythology, allegories, genre scenes, etc. In the center of the choir is called lectern furniture that supports the great liturgical choral music book, written in large characters that can be read from afar by the monks. On one side is the national musical instrument par excellence.

The cloister

The quintessential medieval Spanish cloister is the Benedictine whose pattern is spread throughout Christian Europe. Its construction consists of four galleries called pandas, one of them stuck to the south or north nave nave of the church. The panda that is dedicated always to the chapter house and another small unit. The west panda houses usually the area cilla and laymen, and the panda border to the church has the refectory and kitchen calefactory in some monasteries call profundis room makes way for the refectory where the monks chant Psalm "De profundis ad te Dominum clamavi ..." Psalm 130 (129)

Nursing, pharmacy and herb garden

One of the ordinances clearer and more insistent of San Benito was to exercise charity toward the sick poor. To this end, many hospitals created in the grounds of the monastery or in some remote areas. Inside the monastery there was a nurse who used the friars themselves or, occasionally, a patient visitor. As a complement to nursing were created and drugstores to supply products to these pharmacies were created gardens of herbs or garden shop. The monastery was so self supplied to the chapter on health. In some cases it was necessary to create a pharmacy even greater than might meet the needs required by the town or village that had grown up around the monastery. So it was with the pharmacy of the monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos, which was founded in 1705 at the request of the town of Silos. It became a famous chemist and recognized in the region and today (year 2007) is quite well preserved and displayed as a museum and as an example and study of what was a monastic pharmacy. Has the particularity to preserve a collection of jars produced in Talavera de la Reina, especially for the center, with the coat of arms of the monastery.

Of aromatic gardens cultivated by the monks is known to have written many of them. In the monastery of Santa Maria de Matallana in the province of Valladolid, after the reconstruction of the ruins were recovered space that monks had been devoted to this garden, growing plants that are known to have been in that spot. Another major pharmacy was the monastery of San Julián de Samos in the province of Lugo, still shows up as a museum. 43

The apothecaries were served by the monks themselves specialized. They carried out all relevant tasks for the manufacture of medicines, ointments, and spirits both medicinal and otherwise. In many of these pharmacies are conserved among other tools, the stills used for distillation.

Scriptorium (desktop) and library

In the High and Late Medieval culture was in the hands of the monks of the monasteries. It was there that was brewing literature and science, where he wrote books or manuscripts were copied and where they were translations. Many of these monasteries of high culture had its own scriptorium, in a collection and well set, furnished with benches, desks and shelves and equipped with pens, parchment, inks and other tools needed for writing and painting miniatures. 44 Judging by the illuminated manuscripts preserved in Catalonia is suspected that the number of monasteries with desks should be abundant. The Royal Monastery of Santa María de Vallbona had an important desk where they came from large specimens. Also, his library was very famous.

In the monastery of Montserrat there is a good library in spite of the vicissitudes of wars and fires, which has 400 incunabula. From the Desk of Real Monasterio de Nuestra Senora de Rueda in Aragon still retains its space.

Other library to take into account was that of Santa María de Huerta, Soria whose salon was built in the twelfth century and decorated in the XVII. In the monastery of Valvanera endures even its rich library where records are kept speaking of a specimen that had the Polyglot Bible Valvanera, Philip II took him to El Escorial and destroyed in a fire there. In Galicia, the famous monastery of San Julián de Samos had a great library that was burned in a fire in the late twentieth century. Famous and rich is also the library of El Escorial.

Cemetery for monks

Usually the monks were buried in the cloisters where pandas are building a crypt. The Cistercian monks were buried directly in the ground (without a coffin) and face down. The abbots were buried in the chapter.

Other units

One of the most important in a monastery is the garden, large or small. Is the supply for subsistence, and it was treated with great care. The large monasteries had large gardens with all kinds of facilities, from fountains, canals and wells. In some minor orders convents were often built small chapels or oratories where the monks came for the times to do penance and spiritual retreat.

Sometimes inns were built outside the closure area. Over time and with the growing authority of the abbot was wont to build their own house, where he received the important sights.

In large monasteries had supply not only for subsistence but for a strong economy, had all kinds workshops, foundries, mills, potteries, wineries, etc.


Despite the great avatars suffered by the Spanish monasteries (fire, theft, plundering, confiscations, laziness) remains still a considerable heritage of art furniture. 45

Since its inception the foundations of the monasteries tried to get the house out of the more austere, without admitting any external signs of wealth. But maintaining this position was virtually impossible because of the willingness of lay founders, sponsors and donors that their gifts considered as something very special that was to prove their place in society, power, or simply your good taste. On the other hand, burials chosen by these characters and themselves constituted a show of luxury and artistic value. For all these monasteries were built up over the centuries a rich heritage in art, the show could not escape even the Carthusian Order, considered the most strict and hard. 46

In the Renaissance and Baroque period were built the great altar of the chapel and the other smaller chapels, following the new concept of post-Counter liturgical life. Thus arose the sculptor altarpieces as Damián Forment in the monastery of Poblet, which resulted from spending so high that led to the revolt of the monks against the abbot. 47 Another example of a huge altarpiece was in the monastery of San Benito el Real de Valladolid, a masterpiece of Berruguete Alonso, whose lengths are kept at present (2007) at the National Museum of Sculpture in the city.

The vestries were particularly enriched not only with the necessary furniture but adorned with works of famous painters, usually surrounded with valuable frames. Also on the walls of the churches or cloisters or stairs and hallways of the buildings hung paintings of kings or nobility ordered from his favorite painters to enrich their patronage. 48

Are still numerous liturgical pieces, large pieces of jewelry, which are stored in many monasteries displayed in glass cases and suits textile items, vestments and other garments. Some monasteries are by themselves a veritable museum of art, like the Royal Barefoot Madrid. Others have opened up within its walls (taking advantage of old farms) where to place a museum and recovered missing pieces, such is the case of Poblet whose museum occupies the area that was the Palace of King Martin the Humane in Poblet. As for the treasure that is the preservation of valuable books, and reference is made in the Library section.

Some notable monasteries

Some monasteries are especially remarkable history or just curious. The short relationship that is done here does not imply that these monasteries are the best or most important, but simply in its history with something different to offer.

Monastery of San Benito el Real de Sahagún

Was so important and so powerful that it has come to call the Spanish Cluny. It was the most powerful Benedictine monastery and arrogant of the Middle Ages in the Kingdom of León. Protected and promoted by King Alfonso VI which, among other privileges granted to preserve the protected Urraca also gave him the right to carve its own currency and favored by King Alfonso VII who donates the Jews of the town in as vassals. Its heritage spanning over part of the provinces of León, Valladolid, Palencia, Zamora and Cantabria, thus counting with a huge number of subjects under their jurisdiction, much more numerous than those who had some key people at the time. From the religious point of view, Sahagun was the center were officially launched for the first time (at the behest of Pope Gregory VII) the new Roman liturgy in place of the old Spanish Mozarabic Rite. 49 The father and the father Yepes Sandoval come to list 50 to 60 monasteries and a large number of churches depended Sahagún. Besides his influence came from Toledo and from Cantabria Rioja to Galicia.

Monastery of San Benito el Real Valladolid

Its founding in 1389 brought a new reform of the Benedictine order under the royal protection of Juan I and the blessing of Pope Clement VII, and once again had taken the relaxation in the customs of the black monks forgetting the strict rule San Benito went so far as to sleep outside the monasteries. Here was introduced an exemplary religious life under the rule of St. Benedict. The closure was the property of the monastery, not only from the standpoint of physical and spiritual, but double gate was installed in the openings. Since the principle was established with toughness and authority perpetual abstinence, fasting, daily habits and severity in the rooms, generosity to the needy at the time of sharing food, money and fuel. The example of this monastery Valladolid soon ensued during the fifteenth century and the reform under various Benedictine monasteries became dependent on it Valladolid, to the extent that did the Congregation of San Benito de Valladolid, after the bull of Pope Alexander VI. To this end, there were a large number of general chapters were drafted the relevant constitutions.

Monastery of Poblet

Foundation of the Count of Barcelona Ramon Berenguer IV. He was part of the four great Cistercian abbeys of Christendom with Clairvaux (in the valley of Absinthe, France), the Great Forest (in Languedoc), Fontfreda (near Narbonne). In 1340 Peter sent Ceremonioso create the royal pantheon and nobility, which became an important center for burial. The abbots of Poblet became very powerful part of the clergy who had power in Parliament. There was even some abbot who became president of the Generalitat. The involvement of the abbots in Catalan wars became apparent.

Monastery of La Rabida

It is a Franciscan monastery in the town of Palos de la Frontera, in Huelva province. This was an important place in the history of Spain since its closure in the long conversations took place between the friars and Fray Antonio de Marchena Friar Juan Perez and Colon during the four visits he made. The monks helped and supported to Columbus to the Catholic Monarchs. It lies on the route called Columbian sites. 51

Monastery of San Millán de la Cogolla

In this small and humble monastery was first written annotations or glosses called Emilian Glosses written in romance (a Castilian little respect yet evolved from Latin) and two or three in Euskera, by what has been considered the cradle of those languages .

Monastery of Guadalupe

It had a famous scriptorium which led to a series of illuminated books, many of which are preserved in the museum of the monastery. It is interesting to highlight the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe to be had from the Middle Ages a considerable devotion that was taken by the discoverers of Extremadura to the Americas. Especially in Mexico is a great veneration.

The monastery is a place of pilgrimage known historical figures who passed through it as pilgrims: Christopher Columbus, Hernan Cortes, King Sebastian of Portugal, Teresa de Jesus Buenfil, Lope de Vega and Pope John Paul II (in 1982.)

Monastery of Santo Toribio de Liebana

Founded in the sixth century in the Cantabrian region of Liébana, receives from the eighth century a relic of the True Cross (supposedly the largest fragment preserved). At the same time the monk Beatus of Liébana wrote two works of great significance: the Commentary on Revelation (of which several copies are preserved valuable illustrations) and the refutation of heresy that had spread adoptionist between Mozarabic Christians under Muslim occupation (Elipando bishop of Toledo). Regularly celebrates a Jubilee or Holy Year Lebaniego.

Monastery of San Salvador de Tabara

It was a twofold monastery of monks and nuns, Visigothic tradition, founded by Abbot Froila, under the patronage of Alfonso III and located 43 km northeast of Zamora. The excavations brought to light tower two columns and an arch that led to the lower room of the tower. In this tower was the scriptorium where the monk finished Emeterio illuminate the Beatus miniatures Tabara, initiated by his master magic. Emeterio himself writes the following account:

"Oh Tábara tower, high tower of stone! It's there in the top and into the first room of the library, where sat Emeterio and hunched over his homework, over 3 months, and all the members crippled by the work of the pen. 52 was finished this book 6 of the Kalends of August, the year 1008 was Hispanic, 53 to the facet hour."

This comment along with a drawing which shows the place of work in the tower have been highly valued for giving a very good idea of how such work was in the monasteries.

Monastery of El Palancar

Founded by San Pedro de Alcantara Acim Pedroso (Cáceres (province)) in 1557, was considered the world's smallest. Subsequently extended, retaining the original area under the name of the convent. In a tiny space, were built several pieces: a chapel for the offices where the officiant and could only be an acolyte, and attached the founder cell, 55 which describes Santa Teresa de Jesús this way: It seems they were forty years, he told me he had slept one hour and a half between night and day, and it was the greatest work of penance that had in the early to beat the dream and it was always or kneeling or standing . I was sitting and sleeping head leaning against a maderillo he had driven into the wall. Lying, even if I wanted, I could not because his cell as we know, was not longer than four feet and a half.

Monastery of El Escorial

Designed not only to the monastery but as a royal residence and as a pantheon of kings of the houses of Austria and Bourbon. It is a monastery known and admired worldwide. Herrera architecture was revolutionary in Spanish art. Retains great treasures and its library and art gallery spaces are considered very rich and valuable collections.

Monastery of the Valley of the Fallen

Located in the Sierra de Guadarrama in Madrid, led in the years of building a great social impact, not only by the vast proportion of the work but by its construction 57 and the fate that was to give the burial. 58

Spanish monasteries in the 21st century

Many monasteries have been eroded over the centuries and finds no trace of its construction. However, some may be a description by researchers who have access to related documents. In some cases, only speaks of history, but in other cases, contracts or purchases remain fairly accurately relate the buildings. A large part of the monasteries the church is only as a witness of the complex that might be. At other times they appear as ruins are gradually rehabilitating generally to devote to a fruitful use. Also sometimes the building without having come to ruin, has been converted into a hotel, a school or a restaurant. In none of these cases has been retained as the property the garden or nearby buildings.

Also many of these medieval monasteries have regained their original function and survive as a community of monks or nuns. In the absence of patronage and custom or donations, these religious adapt to modern life with modern media and subsist on the work undertaken by its members: confectionery, wine and spirits, cheese, small gardening, hives, poultry farms, workshops, garment, lingerie shops, wedding equipment, binding of all kinds, cosmetics, laundry, ironing, mending art, embroidery, writing scores, dissertations, obituaries, from an advanced computer, 59 pottery of all kinds, decorated white porcelain, custom food, farming, vestments, for consecrating ways, caring for sick and elderly, schools and daycare.

In addition, about 250 monasteries have a guest house for lay people who must follow some basic rules, with minimal cost.


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Monasteries of San Millán de la Cogolla — San Millán Yuso and Suso Monasteries * UNESCO World Heritage Site Country …   Wikipedia

  • Spain — • This name properly signifies the whole peninsula which forms the south western extremity of Europe. Since the political separation of Portugal, however, the name has gradually come to be restricted to the largest of the four political divisions …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Monasteries on the slopes of Popocatépetl — Earliest 16th century monasteries on the slopes of Popocatépetl * UNESCO World Heritage Site Country Mexico Type Cultural Criteria ii, iv …   Wikipedia

  • Spain — /spayn/, n. a kingdom in SW Europe. Including the Balearic and Canary islands, 39,244,195; 194,988 sq. mi. (505,019 sq. km). Cap.: Madrid. Spanish, España. * * * Spain Introduction Spain Background: Spain s powerful world empire of the 16th and… …   Universalium

  • Suppression of Monasteries in Europe —     Suppression of Monasteries in Continental Europe     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Suppression of Monasteries in Continental Europe     Under this title will be treated only the suppressions of religious houses (whether monastic in the strict… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • List of monasteries in Madrid — The following compilation of convents and monasteries in the city of Madrid includes monasteries past and present in Madrid, Spain, divided by the reign in which they were founded. The list gives a sense of how large the monastic communities grew …   Wikipedia

  • Double Monasteries — • Religious houses comprising communities of both men and women, dwelling in contiguous establishments, united under the rule of one superior, and using one church in common for their liturgical offices Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006.… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • History of the Jews in Spain — Part of a series of articles on Jews and Judaism …   Wikipedia

  • Dissolution of the Monasteries — History of Christianity in the British Isles The ruins of Glastonbury Abbey General Anglican Communion Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales Calendar of saints (Church of England) …   Wikipedia

  • Suppression of Monasteries — The suppression of monasteries were when monastic foundations were abolished and their possessions were appropriated by the state. Contents 1 The Reformation 2 Sweden 3 Denmark 4 Switzerland …   Wikipedia