A monument dating from 1158. The style of this emblematic monastery, one of Catalonia’s mediaeval gems, brings together samples from numerous periods, ranging from the Romanesque façade, with a large Gothic stained-glass window, to altarpieces dating from the 17th century.
The first documented dates of the monastery go back to 1158. Because of the legal and territorial disputes of the time between the Bishop of Barcelona and the Archdiocese of Tarragona, the monastery functioned without belonging to any diocese. In 1835 it was permanently abandoned by the community that resided there, today being the only one of the three that form the Cistercian Route which is uninhabited, a factor that has helped it become a cultural area.
The entire style of this emblematic monastery, one of the jewels of medieval Catalonia, collects samples from several periods, from the Romanesque façade which features a large Gothic stained-glass window, to the interior altarpieces dating from the 17th century. Among these altarpieces, the high altar is the one that dominates; it is a significant example of Baroque aesthetics, created by Josep Tremulles.
The structure of the monastery is wide and sturdy, with a cross-shaped floor plan, three naves and five adjacent chapels.
One of the most visible and emblematic elements is the monumental rose window that dominates the outside wall of the presbytery. Inside the building there are significant traces of the past of the Catalan royalty; inside, flanking the high altar, we find the sumptuous burial chambers of Pere II el Gran and Jaume II and Blanca d´Anjou.
The monastery has two cloisters. The greater one, commissioned by Jaume II in 1313, is a valuable example of medieval iconography, with capitals that decorate the columns. The layout of these columns anticipates the style known as flamboyant Gothic, of great slenderness, which subsequently became very widespread.
The rear cloister includes the domestic quarters, which form an important part of the monastery’s compound. Distributed throughout the cloister we find quarters such as the kitchen, the refectory, the winery, the study or the royal palace, which adjoins the Trinidad Romanesque Chapel, the monastery’s most important worshipping centre.
Sheltered by its rich grove, the monastery does not limit itself to exhibiting its architectural presence. It is also used to host cultural activities, among which we find classical music concerts that are held every summer in the hall of the superior cloister.