Monasterio San Juan de la Peña, near Jaca!

So let me bring you back to something that should be one of the wonders of the world in my humble opinion and remains very hidden in my beloved Spain. I go there by car so can get into remote areas and curiosity takes me to these places, all wonderful experiences. Let me share with you this one as a rework from previous posts that needs to be let known to the world!

As it goes driving around and walking  in Jaca province of Huesca in the autonomous region of Aragon, stop by the tourist office and voilà  got me  a pamphlet about this monastery. I was not sure if heard about it before but seems very interesting for me history and architecture fan so decided to give it a go. What a pleasant surprise and great road warrior ride up the hilly mountains to it On the way back took a more flat road mind you. This is a post from August 2014 that I have done some refreshment on notes to share with all. The Monasterio de San Juan de la Peña is worth a detour!!

jaca

We drove from Jaca after coming back from Sabiñanigo, on the N330a. We took going the mountainous ride (about 1280 meters high)  along the A1205 road that change into A1603 that goes to the monastery head on. We arrive about 10H30 in time to go the new monastery and take the mini bus by 11h30 to the old monastery. This bus is free provided by the monastery. We left the place by 18h going the way towards Santa Cruz de los Seros on the A1603 that connects with the N240 that brought us back to Jaca on a flatter terrain!

jaca

This is a monumental place that must be seen,told, spread the word more, can’t believe it is not more known. I though the tourist guide who gave all the tour and explanation was excellent recounting  the events here, she was good too bad forgot her name. Here in the mount of Oroel you find San Juan de la Peña, the monastery is covered by a huge mountain rock and its done since 920AD and known for maintenance of the Christian faith in the Pyrénées at the time of the Muslim occupation, this monastery was chosen as pantheon by the Kings and nobles of Aragón-Navarra. The land was before occupied by hermits who had withdrawn in this hidden corner of the Pyrénées, following the Muslim invasion, around the year 720.  In the 11C, the monastery adopted the Cluniac reform.

jaca

The low church or early church who subsequently made office crypt, is one of few Mozarabic buildings remaining in the region. The courts and Pantheon of the Aragon’s nobles /kings of the 11C to 14C. Aligned along the left wall décor billets and pearls, burial niches are minted badge, a crimson or cross in four escutcheons, emblem of lñigo Arista, one of the founders of the Kingdom of Navarre. On a niche you can see an Angel carrying the soul of the deceased. Opposite a door gives access to the Museum, products of excavations in the monastery. This is a reproduction of daily monks lives done in the basement of the Church and can be seen thru glass enclosures. The high Church originally done at the end of the 11C,part of its single nave in the rock for vault and three apse chapels decorated with arches are engaged in the wall.

jaca

jaca

jaca

The Royal Pantheon opens in the left wall. For five centuries the Kings of Aragon and Navarra there were buried. Its current appearance dates from the 18C a la renaissance style. The cloister from the 12C and it is reached by a Mozarabic door. Inside you can see the paintings of San Cosme and San Dàmian from the 12C, the Superior Church done in 1094AD, and gothic chapel of San Victorian.

jaca

jaca

After fires and doubts a construction of the new monastery was begun in the year 1676. Throughout its works that extended until the first years of the 19C the monks counted on the advice of numerous professionals, you can see several stained glass windows on the floor covered with glass floors that shows the work been done in the lower floor off from visitors only can be seen thru the glass. The trace of the building constitutes one of the most perfect and evolved examples of the monastic architecture in the modern age, because of its symmetry, because of the multiplication of its cloisters and because of the rational organization that possessed the original project, the one that, regrettably, was never totally carried out.

jaca

jaca

The facade of the new monastery building is impressive of a baroque style. It was abandoned in 1835 and after much needed renovation it houses inside the center for interpretation of the monastery of San Juan de la Peña, and a hospederia four stars (lodging hotel), a rest area, cafeteria ‘restaurant, Spa, salons and free parking.

jaca

jaca

The official webpage for the lodging Hospederia is here in English (check as I heard was close for repairs…): Hospederias of Aragon on San Juan de la Pena

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here and you must are

Official Monastery San Juan de la Pena in English

City of Jaca on the Monastery

Jacetania region tourist info on the monastery in English

Tourist office of Aragon on the Monastery in English

There you go all you need to convince you to come and see this marvel of my Spain. The Monastery of San Juan de la Pena is a hidden gem that needs to be seen by all at least once in your lifetime. Enjoy it now here!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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