Last weekend we had the opportunity to enjoy one of the most bucolic places in Spain. We were invited by him Stone monastery and we do not hesitate to pack our bags to discover what feels like surrounded by so much nature, surrounded by so much peace.
We move from Barcelona to Bring them up, a small town of just 350 inhabitants that is about four hours away by car. From there you have to take a road that takes you to the Monastery, where you quickly go from the stress of the big city to the calm of a magical space that conquers you from the first second.
History and important information about the Monasterio de Piedra
The Monasterio de Piedra began to take shape when 12 Cistercian monks they left the Poblet Monastery to settle in the old Piedra Vieja castle in 1194. The building of the same lasted through three different stages: early Gothic (XIII century), Renaissance Gothic (XVI century) and classical-baroque (century XVIII).
The monks occupied the premises of the Monastery in 1218, so very soon they will be fulfilled 800 years of history of a place that has been classified as a Group of Cultural Interest and a Property of Cultural Interest in the Monument category. In addition, in 2011 he was awarded the Tourist Merit Medal by the Government of Aragon.
An important moment in the history of the Monasterio de Piedra has to do with what happened after the confiscation of Mendizábal in 1843, when Pablo Muntadas Campeny it was done with the convent buildings and the adjacent farms through Public Auction paying 1,250,000 reais. Years later, Juan Federico Muntadas, his son, was the architect of the landscaping revolution of space, renouncing to raise textile factories to bet on sustainable tourism. That is why as soon as you access the Park there is a bust in his honor.
A hotel with a lot of charm
The hotel, or rather the monastery, transports you to another era. You can spend the night as if you were in the Middle Ages and wake up with the pleasant chirping of the birds, who say good morning with their trills. It is a sensation worth experimenting with closed eyes, taking in air and slowly releasing it to enter a state of Total relaxation.
There is 62 rooms divided between Double Standard, Superior Double and Junior Suite. The latter can sleep up to four people, while the doubles, as the name suggests, are for two people.
There is also a plenary room (refectory in the 13th century), two modular multipurpose rooms, the Río Piedra room, the La Biblioteca room and El Granero, which is an ideal space for a relaxed drink. All this without forgetting its magnificent spa of more than 500 square meters and the pool. This one offers you a dip surrounded by greenery, breathing fresh air and sunbathing on sun loungers that enjoy the silence that is not found in most swimming pools.
Returning to the interior of the hotel, it should be noted that it feeds on the Cistercian art with details as spectacular as that of its Renaissance staircase from the 16th century. It is a kind of history museum in which there is also space for current needs such as watching television or connecting to the Internet with free WiFi.
At lunch there is no problem. Without moving from the Monasterio de Piedra one can enjoy the restaurants Kings of Aragon Y Old Stone. The first is more select, with delicious dishes and at a reasonable price. When we went at night there was a very complete menu for 24 euros. The second, meanwhile, has a more extensive menu, although with less elaborate dishes. The menu cost us 13.50 euros and the quality is acceptable. Also, the service is very fast.
If you are looking for a place to have a drink you can go to the El Granero bar-cafeteria, to the Gaufrido bar-lounge or to the terrace of the Piedra Vieja restaurant.
To finish talking about the hotel, it must be said that the Monasterio de Piedra Tourist Complex organizes wedding and outdoor events. The space is perfect to say "yes I want" in the old Abbey, which has a special charm because of it being half destroyed. The capacity of the monks' old dining room is 175 people, while the Cloister of the Monastery holds 250 people.
Ephemeris around the corner
As I have previously commented, 2018 will not be any year. It will be 800 years since the Translation Ceremony and physical occupation of the buildings of the Monastery by the monks who came from Poblet. In addition, it will also be 175 years since Pablo Muntadas bought the Historic Complex.That is why they are preparing activities with which to surprise tourists who come to the Monasterio de Piedra at that time. The truth is that they are very excited.
They are not the only ephemeris to come. In 2017, it will be 150 years since the inauguration of its fish farm, which is the first in Spain and was commissioned by Juan Federico Muntadas, who wanted it to be next to the Piedra river. Why? Well, because it is an ideal place to cultivate and produce various species. In addition, it is of a captivating beauty.
Very well-kept spaces
The Stone Monastery passed into the hands of the MONASTERIO DE PIEDRA S.A. in April 1933. It is one of the oldest companies in Aragon and its objective is none other than to preserve, remodel, restore and beautify both the Historical Monument and the Park. Among some of the most outstanding actions in recent years, we can highlight the improvement of access to the Vergel (the Monastery Park), the rehabilitation of the Plaza de San Martín (where the hotel and the Monastery are accessed), restoration from the 16th century rib vault of the old monastery or the rehabilitation of various slabs in the Abbey Palace.
To all of the above we must add what they are doing at a cultural level, since the visitor can enjoy the carriage exhibitions and the Chocolate's story, besides knowing how the monks produced wine for their own consumption and to sell it both in Calatayud and Daroca, two very close towns. In this way they could buy what they were not able to provide themselves with. There is also a Reliquary Altarpiece that is worth looking at carefully for being a very representative example of Mudejar Gothic.
The Park, the perfect place to escape
The main course, at least for the vast majority, is without a doubt the Stone Monastery Park. There you can spend two and a half hours, a whole morning or all day if you want. It is open in winter from 09:00 to 18:00 and in summer from 09:00 to 20:00. Prices are as follows:
- Adults: € 15.50
- Children (4-11 years): € 11
- Senior (over 65 years): € 11
The price includes admission to the Park, the exhibition of birds of prey and a guided visit to the Cistercian Monastery.
One of its main attractions, which of course we did not want to miss, is the bird of prey display which takes place between spring and autumn. It allows you to witness the flight of hawks, vultures, owls, eagles ... They are species that are bred in captive breeding centers. The hours are as follows:
- From March 1 to July 3: 11:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
- From July 4 to August 31: 11:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
- From September 1 to November 1: 11:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
It was the first thing we did as soon as we got to the Park and we really liked it. Then, we start the tour, which lasts approximately two and a half hours at a normal pace.
The Diana's bath is the first thing that surprises you. It is a beautiful waterfall that allows you to see another waterfall in the background that is even bigger. Is about La Caprichosa, one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. Contemplating it is a gift for the eyes, but also for the ears.
The trails lead you to new waterfalls and invite you to enter caves like Iris. You may get a little wet, but it is worth bringing out that adventurous spirit that we all carry inside to enjoy landscapes that are not seen every day. The photo you can see below shows how the water falls from the highest waterfall in the Park.
The next stop that amazed me was the Mirror Lake, where the fish appear to be suspended in midair. No wonder they gave it that name, since the water is so clean that your face is reflected quite clearly. Next to it is the fish farm that I mentioned earlier, where trout are the main protagonists.
The scenery around Mirror Lake made me feel like I was in America, like I was facing Hanging Lake in the Grand Canyon of the Colorado. Its biological wealth and the great variety of trees place you in a green and crystalline paradise intoxicating.
In short, a visit to the Park is essential. It is not surprising that in 1945 it was declared picturesque landscape. Dense forests, gigantic trees, hundreds of species of animals and plants ... You have to be there to tell the tale.
For more information and reservations visit the website of the Monasterio de Piedra.
saragozza e monasterio de piedra 2015 (September 2020)
- Aragon, monasteries, nature, natural parks, Zaragoza