Monastery of San Andrés
Built in the 9th and 10th centuries and rebuilt in the 18th century. Benedictine monastery, the most important Neoclassical one in El Bierzo.
It contains notable pieces of art and the renowned Fuente de la Vida (Fountain of Life), built in 1742, which, according to the legend, will protect the health of those who drink seven sips of its waters. Rebuilt in the 18th century, some of its treasures include the Tabla de Cristo, the Baroque altarpiece and the Virgen de Majestad from the 18th century.
Monastery of San Benito
The Capilla de San Mancio, which was dedicated to San Benito according to the engraving commemorating the consecration of the altar by the Bishop of Astorga in 1184.
The tower, on one side of the monastery chancel. There used to be another twin tower, the remains of which can still be seen to the left of the existing one; it was destroyed on May 13th 1835, a few days before its inauguration after restoration. On the surviving tower the clock of the Villa had been installed, which prevented it from suffering the same fate.
Monastery of San Marcos
The 12th century hostel rebuilt in the 16th century, was used as a prison (Francisco de Quevedo was imprisoned here), cavalry barracks, and hospital. Nowadays it is a Parador Nacional (a state-owned hotel).
To be noted is the Plateresque facade; Juan de Juni and Pedro Larrea took part in its construction.
The church and the cloister are also very interesting.
The church is of Gothic style. It has a remarkable choir and a vestry by Juan de Badajoz.
Monastery of San Miguel de Escalada
It was founded in the late 9th century, under the rule of Alfonso III, by a group of Christian monks from Córdoba led by Abbot Alfonso. They settled on the remains of a Visigoth church dedicated to the Archangel St Michael.
Monastery of San Pedro de las Dueñas
Built in the late 10th century and beginning of the 11th.It is one of the most representative churches of Mudejar Romanesque in its Pre-classical period, began in stone and finished in brick. (1087 and 1110).
Basilical ground plan. Over the presbytery of the chancel stands a brick tower, it is square with progressively decreasing sections.
There is an interesting collection of capitals. The most remarkable of them is the one known as "las siete monjas" ("the seven nuns capital").The chancel shows an interesting Christ by Gregorio Fernández.The monastery was built in 1093. It has a well-restored Romanesque church, an important Mudejar Romanesque monument. To be noted is the iconography of the capitals and the Christ by Gregorio Fernández in the chancel.
Monastery of Santa María
Founded in 1168; the building of the church, according to an engraving on the northern lower wall, began on March 1st, 1177 under the patronage of the woman who became its Abbess -Teresa Pérez, widow of García Pérez, a knight of Alfonso VII.
The first community was made up of Cistercian nuns who came from the monastery of Tulebras, Navarra. It became an important and privileged female monastery, the Abbess of Grafedes having authority to administer civil justice and collect taxes.
At the beginning of the 17th century the entire community moved to Medina de Rioseco and the monastery remained in ruins until their return, led by the Abbess Doña Isabel de Quiñones.
After the secularization in 1835 and the 1868 Republican Decree suppressing religious orders, the monastery was in danger of being abandoned, but was saved when nuns from the Cistercian monasteries of Avilés and Otero de las Dueñas arrived in 1882. It still serves the same use.
It has been recently restored under the direction of the architect Susana Mora.
Monastery of Santa María de Carracedo
Benedictine monastery founded by Bermudo II El Gotoso in 990.
This monastery held great political, religious and economic power, also extending its jurisdiction to those monasteries within the EL Bierzo region in Galicia, Asturias and León.
The buildings included a hostelry, a hospital and a prison.
There is a vertical stone plaque at the church door commemorating the election on 29th of August 1810 of the first democratic representatives of León in the Cortes de Cádiz (Cádiz National Assembly).
Built in 990 and restored in the 12th century.
Its style is not well defined but consists of a succession of architectural styles -Transitional Romanesque for the original church, built in 1138, Gothic for the Mirador de la Reina (Queen's balcony), Renaissance for the cloister, refectory and vestry, Baroque and Neoclassic the rest.
At present, some parts have been restored and others are in ruins.
A museum has been installed dedicated to the history of the monastery.
Monastery Church of Santiago
A Mozarabic architectural jewel in the province of León.
The hermit monk San Genadio, who later became Bishop of Astorga, founded this monastery, built between 909 and 916.
The church is of a later date. It was consecrated in 1105.
In 1968 the reconstruction of the temple began. Work would continue until 1976.
The foundations of the monastery, occupying a wide area, were unearthed in 1985.
The building, admirably well-preserved despite its age, from the outside offers a harmonious image with well-proportioned sections.
The church has a rectangular nave cut in two sections. Attached to both sides of the second section are the vestry rooms, which gives the nave the false shape of a Latin cross on different levels.
The chancel has an apse with a totally semi-circular design.