Ancient Spanish Monastery

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Ancient Spanish Monastery
Photograph: Alys Tomlinson

Built in the mid 1100s near Segovia, Spain, this monastery was occupied by Cistercian monks for 700 years before it was converted to a granary and stable. In 1924, newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst purchased the cloisters and outbuildings, and had the structure dismantled and shipped to the United States. It was intended for his California coastal mansion, Hearst Castle, but Hearst had financial problems, so most of his collection was sold at auction, and the stones remained in a Brooklyn warehouse for 26 years before finally being purchased and reassembled at a cost of $1.5 million. Today, this Romanesque structure is an anomalous oasis in a noisy area. Things to look out for include a life-size statue of the Spanish king Alfonso VII (the monastery was originally constructed to commemorate one of his victories over the Moors) and a couple of attractive round stained-glass windows. The monastery is a favorite spot for weddings – so much so that it’s often closed to the public, especially on Sundays; call in advance before setting out.

Posted:

Venue name: Ancient Spanish Monastery
Contact:
Address: 16711 W Dixie Highway
at NE 167th Street
Miami

Opening hours: 10am–4pm Mon-Sat; 11–4pm Sun
Transport: Bus 3, V
Price: Admission $5; $2 reductions
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