Reial Monestir de Santes Creus
Reial Monestir de Santes Creus information
Following the AP7 motorway southwest from Vilafranca, take the AP2 fork about 18km west, then take exit 11 north for the medieval Reial Monestir de Santes Creus . Cistercian monks moved in here in 1168 and from then on the monastery developed as a major centre of learning and a launch pad for the repopulation of the surrounding territory. Behind the Romanesque and Gothic facade lies a glorious 14th-century sandstone cloister, chapter house and royal apartments where the comtes-reis (count-kings; rulers of the joint state of Catalonia and Aragón) often stayed when they popped by during Holy Week. The church, begun in the 12th century, is a lofty Gothic structure in the French tradition. It’s about 28km east of Montblanc.