Spain is the fifth country with the highest number of places inscribed on the World Heritage list. 45 kilometers from Tarragona is one of the 50 that it has: The Royal Monastery of Santa María de Poblet. It is “one of the largest and most complete Cistercian abbeys in the world”, as described by UNESCO, which included it on its list in 1991.

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More than 800 years of history in the Poblet Monastery

The monastic complex started building in the 12th century around a church. The guidelines of the architecture of the Cistercian Ordercharacterized by purity and sobriety.

Cloister of the Poblet monastery, prototype of a Cistercian abbey.
Cloister of the Poblet monastery, prototype of a Cistercian abbey.

The complex is concluded in the 13th centuryprepared for the habitation of the monks: the chapter house, the bedroom, the cloister, the kitchen, the scriptorium and the refectory of the converts; the hospital for the poor and pilgrims, with the chapel of Santa Catalina. More rooms will be added over the centuries, less essential for the monks, but of great historical and architectural value, such as the dome, the walls, the royal pantheon or St. George’s chapel.

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monastery life

The Poblet Monastery is a mega construction with numerous rooms with which the visitor can imagine the solemn life of the monks. Some of them with which to immerse yourself in the monastery routine are: he refectorythe place where they ate in silence presided over by the abbot and listening to a spiritual reading; he scriptoriuma vaulted room where monks worked and later converted into a library before the rise of the printing press, or he main cloister, the bright exterior space that articulates the main spaces.

Refectory of the Monastery of Poblet (Tarragona).
Refectory of the Monastery of Poblet (Tarragona).

Pantheon of the Crown of Aragon

The history of the royal pantheon begins with Pedro IV the Ceremonious when he decides to be buried in the Monastery of Poblet, although there were already ancestors resting in it. Work will be carried out throughout the 14th and 15th centuries on the construction of the funerary room, with Gothic roofs.

Royal tombs of the Poblet Monastery (Tarragona).
Royal tombs of the Poblet Monastery (Tarragona).

Many of the kings of the Crown of Aragon and counts of Barcelona such as Alfonso el Casto (1162-96) lie in this monastery. James the Conqueror (1213-76), Peter the Ceremonious (1336-87) and their respective wives, as well as Beatrice of Aragon, Queen of Hungary and Bohemia and Duchess of Austria.

How to visit The Monastery of Poblet

The Poblet Monastery is a very complete complex and for this reason it was included in the select World Heritage list by criterion I (along with IV) which selects those monuments for “representing a work of art of human creative genius.”

Poblet Monastery.
Poblet Monastery.

He The closest town to El Monasterio del Poblet is L’Espluga de Francolí, 3.4 km. To visit the monastery you can arrive by road or train to L’Espluga de Francolí station and from this town take a bus that leaves in Poblet.

He general admission price It is €8.50 and €6.5 for the reduced price. Winter hours (September 15 to June 14) are Monday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. They have a free application for visiting, “Poblet, Official Guide”.

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