Monasterio Real de San Benito

Point of interest en Sahagún

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Monasterio Real de San Benito

Monasterio Real de San Benito - Wikimedia Commons / Zarateman

Monasterio Real de San Benito - Wikimedia Commons / Zarateman

As it passes through Castilla y León, the French Way passes through different municipalities with a long tradition of the Pilgrim's Way, which, although small in size, have a great historical heritage. One of these places is Sahagún, a town on the left bank of the River Cea, where we can find historic buildings such as the Royal Monastery of San Benito.

The largest example of a Benedictine temple in the Peninsula.

Sahagún is a treasure trove of historical heritage. In addition to the Church of San Lorenzo de Sahagún and the Church of La Peregrina, this town has what are now the ruins of the Royal Monastery of San Benito, a monastery that was of great importance in the Middle Ages and whose first written reference dates from the year 904.

The possessions of the Royal Monastery of San Benito stretched from Tierra de Campos to Liébana and Segovia, hence its importance. It was also one of the main protagonists of the reform of the Benedictine monasteries at the time when the Order of Cluny, a reformed Catholic monastic order, arrived in the Iberian Peninsula.

The decline of this monastery began in the 15th century, mainly due to the construction of the monastery of Valladolid, on which it became dependent. Years later, the War of Independence and numerous fires left this place in ruins practically in its entirety. Today, the most important elements that can be seen are as follows.

  • Chapel of San Mancio: built of stone and brick, it consists of three sections, one of which is practically destroyed. It was originally dedicated to Saint Benedict, and later housed the relics of Saint Mantius.
  • Arch of San Benito: declared a National Monument, it has two statues of the saints Facundo and Primitivo and another two of Alfonso III and Alfonso VI. Today it looks like a triumphal arch, as the road passes underneath it.
  • Clock tower: it has the town clock, and previously there was another tower twinned to this one, which completed the entrance to the monastery.

This monastery, in Romanesque-Mudejar style, is considered the maximum expression of a Benedictine temple in the Iberian Peninsula, which makes it a place worth visiting. 

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