This is one of the historic Cistercian monasteries in northern Spain, as its origins date back to the mid-12th century. Although the finished monastery as a whole took many years to complete, almost three centuries.
And all this despite being a fairly sober work, although it is true that it is large, given the many riches that the Cistercian Order accumulated. And it can even be said that Veruela did not stop growing in the following centuries, and in fact the dependencies of an abbey palace were built in the 16th century and later, in the 17th, a new monastery had to be built.
Cloister of the Monastery of Veruela
However, the oldest is what is considered most valuable, and all this is accumulated around a central cloister, next to which is the great church of the monastery, as well as the chapter house, the old warehouses, the kitchen or the dining room, along with other rooms.
Regarding the main cloister, it must be said that it was built in the last third of the 14th century and is clearly Levantine Gothic, since there was a previous one but it had been devastated after the so-called War of the Two Peters.
In this cloister, as in much of the architecture of the monastery, the Cistercian essence is breathed, and due to that there are no capitals with excessive decoration,as if they are habitual in other previous monasteries of the Romanesque. Here, on the other hand, there are hardly any vegetal reasons to animate the sober architecture.
Something similar can be said about the abbey church of Santa María de Veruela, whose structure was built between the 12th and 13th centuries. A temple with three naves covered with the typical simple ribbed vault of the early Gothic art. Just as the presence of a large ambulatory is also very typical of Gothic architecture, here with five apses, which in this case are covered with a quarter-sphere vault, much more common in the Romanesque. And it is that the construction of the temple began precisely by the presbytery and its head.
Also one of the oldest parts is its splayed portal with semicircular arches, whose simple and ancient forms of course contrast with the neighboring bell tower built later following a fusion of styles between Renaissance and Baroque art.
It also belongs to the Renaissance one of the most prominent places in the church. We are talking about the Chapel of San Bernardo built in 1552.
And it is that as we have said, Veruela did not stop growing over the centuries, although like so many other Hispanic monasteries, in 1835, they were abandoned after the Disentailment carried out by the Spanish government. That is to say, with that the splendor of the monastery ended, although another very interesting moment was to come.
Specifically in the second half of the 19th centurywhen it became a kind of hostel attended by characters like the Bécquer brothers, the writer Gustavo Adolfo and the painter, Valeriano. Both have left us their inspired works here.