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Santa Maria de la Oliva


Active Cistercian Monastery originally established 1150 as a daughter of l'Escaladieu / Morimond

present buildings date from 1200s - 1400s


Cistercian Abbeys of Spain and Portugal



On the right is a mason's mark from one of the stones in the facade.  Masons' marks were made on stones so that the correct piecework payment could be made to each mason.  They varied in size and complexity - this one is about about 20cm high.


The Abbey Facade is adorned with nesting storks and watchful faces in the capitals and  the stone ledge over the portal (below).  Note also the alabaster glazing in the windows, a common feature of northern Spanish abbeys.

Lunchtime singing for the dozen or so monks and a congregation couple.  Lusty and tuneless voices and wrongnoted organ, but hey it's not a named "recording abbey" and there was a really friendly positive feeling about it all - and it was altogether a more rewarding experience than that provided by the famous monks of Santo Domingo de Silos !

Huntin Preachin

Chapter House

A pigeon has taken up residence in the old cookhouse, secure in the knowledge that it is many pigeon generations since his forefathers and mothers contributed to the monastery's food chain.  Maybe he's dreaming of going to school ...


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