CISTERCIAN MONASTERIES FULL DAY

SUMMARY

  • Tour length: 9 Hours

  • Max. number of Participants: 9

  • Tour Type: Transport Based*

  • Tour Price: Please ask for an updated fee

  • Tour Exclusions: Transportation and entrance fees are not included

*Transport: a chauffeured vehicle is needed for this outing, which could be booked upon request.

TOUR DESCRIPTION

An outing visiting Poblet, Santes Creus and Vallbona. A trip back to the middle ages, discovering the impressive Royal Mausoleums of the Crown of Aragon.

A 45 minutes’ drive from Barcelona takes you to Santes Creus. Started in 1168 by Cistercian monks from Fontfreda (Aude, Languedoc/France), this monumental royal monastery encompasses both romanesque and gothic style constructions such as two cloisters, a chapter house, two churches, a tiny renaissance royal palace, a dormitory, a refectory and two royal mausoleums.

A most beautiful, monumental gothic pantheon is that of king Pere II the Great (+1285), crowned by a very delicate, colourful canopy. At his feet, the tomb of his most beloved Admiral Roger de Llúria (+1304), who repelled a French attack with his fleet in 1285. Yards away, the mausoleum of king Jaume II the Righteous (+1327) and his wife Blanche d’Anjou (+1310) is an excellent example of Catalan gothic art.

After a short 30 Km. ride you’ll be surprised by the magnificent, monumental view of Poblet. A listed World Heritage Site by the UNESCO since 1991, this huge monastic ensemble is still inhabited by some 30 monks. Three solid medieval walled enclosures protect the core of the monastery which, due to the proper disposition of the romanesque and gothic structures, added to its excellent state of conservation, is considered a paradigm of austere Cistercian architecture. Many are the different dependencies to visit: the large, serene main cloister with its charming lavatorium, a huge and sober renaissance alabaster altar piece, the elegant yet imposing chapter house, the library, the calefactorium, the immense refectory, wine cellars, kitchen and dormitory, plus the charming late gothic tiny royal palace.

The sublime royal pantheon, built between 1340 and 1499 but restored in 1940, is composed of two grand parallel vaulted arches showing the mausoleums of the following kings of Aragon: Alfons I the Chaste (+1196), Jaume I the Conqueror (+1276), Pere III the Ceremonious (+1387) with his 3 wives (Maria of Navarre, Elionor of Portugal and Elionor of Sicily), Joan I the Hunter (+1396) with his 2 wives (Marta d’Armagnac and Violant de Bar), Martí I the Humane (+1410), Ferran I of Antequera (+1416), Alfons IV the Magnanimous (+1458) and Joan II the Faithless (+1479) with his wife Joana Enríquez, both parents of Ferdinand II of Aragon, the Catholic king.

Another half an hour’s drive brings you to the magnificent yet much smaller, female convent of Vallbona de les Monges. Founded in the first half of the 12th c. and still inhabited by Cistercian nuns, it became a traditional destination for members of the most influential Catalan noble families, reaching in its hay day some 150 nuns (14th c.). Among the beauty of the combined romanesque and gothic constructions stands out the most remarkable chapter house due to its sobriety and austerity. Rather noteworthy are the mausoleums of queen Violant of Hungary (+1251), second wife to king Jaume I and that of their daughter, princes Sança of Aragon.

CISTERCIAN MONASTERIES FULL DAY IMAGE GALLERY

REFERRALS / REVIEWS

We really enjoyed the tour of Barcelona. We saw so many wonderful sites in such a short time, thanks to your ability to reschedule events due to our flight delay. Thought you would enjoy having this picture with the Levy boys – Jack, Jude and James. Should we return to the area, or have friends that visit, you’ll be the first person we recommend to show them around the city!

Diana, JULY 2016

Ton-David Jover was the perfect guide for our first time visit to Barcelona. His extensive knowledge and experience are impressive, but it was his passion for sharing his love of his home and his heritage that made our tours with him unforgettable and our joint time together both informative and fun. Ton-David brought Gaudi to life as he walked us through Casa Batlló and Park Güell. It provided the perfect background for us to fully appreciate the incredible Sagrada Familia. Throughout our walking tour of the Old City, Ton-David gave us unique insights into both Catalan and Jewish history, bringing its people and buildings to life. We enjoyed the Picasso Museum immensely, as we learned about the artist’s early years and works. Our train trip to Girona was beautiful, and learning about the city through Ton-David’s words enabled us to understand what once was and is no longer. And of course, the food and cava! Ton-David shared our culinary interests and his recommendations were outstanding!

Shari L. (NY, USA) JULY 2016

We had numerous guides during our Spain and Portugal vacation, but Ton-David was definitely the best. He was knowledgeable, personable, interesting and took great care of us. We have already recommended him to friends and will use him again when we return to Barcelona

Cindy P, 02 MAY 2015

A five-star service

Renato M, 27 DEC 2014

Excellent guide – abundant information – gave us plenty of insights and loads to think about after. Would highly recommend.

Christine B, 05 JUL 2013

Ton-David was a very knowledgeable, interesting and accommodating tour guide. He had a great wry sense of humour. He took us to four Gaudí sites in 5 hours

Theresa C, 30 JUN 2013

Our tour with Ton -David was a lifelong dream come true. In a few short hours , he made sure I saw and learned everything I ever wanted to know to satisfy my passion for the life & work of Antoni Gaudi. Even after my pre trip exhaustive research, this charming & energetic man had much to teach and show us. I HIGHLY recommend Ton- David for your special adventure; you will be totally satisfied

Dorothy W, 17 SEP 2012

Amazing!!! We learned so much from Ton David. He went above and beyond by teaching us so much about Gaudi and his designs. He made the day so interesting and fun. We also now understand and appreciate the Catalan part of Spain. Barcelona is a beautiful city. Ton David is a wonderful guide who we would highly recommend

Carol S, 08 JUN 2012

Wonderful experience visiting the Old City! Loved not waiting in lines for museum access.Ton David was enthusiastic and so very knowledgable. He is an excellent guide. We loved visiting the market. What interesting foods are sold! The tour pace was quick and we were thrilled as we got to see so much on this 4 hour tour

Carol S, 08 JUN 2012

Very good tour. So glad that we decided to visit the Jewish area of past. Ton David is so knowledgeable and made the Jewish history of Barcelona come to life. He is an excellent guide!

Carol S, 08 JUN 2012

Ton-David was extremely knowledgeable and interesting to be with. Enjoyed he guidance through the Picasso Museum, the Jewish Quarter, and everything Gaudí

Jacob K, 18 MAY 2012

Ton-David combined the Old City Walking Tour and the Jewish Barcelona Tour for us based on his understanding of our group’s interests. He took the time to answer in detail my questions prior to booking the trip and met us promptly at our hotel on the specified date. He was a true pleasure to be with and was eager to show us around a city he feels passionate about. He is extremely articulate. We learned many interesting details. Great guide

Gail W, 12 JUL 2011

Ton-David was a fabulous tour guide. He showed us all the sights of Barcelona in a fun and interesting way. He was extremely knowledgeable about Barcelona, Catalonia, and Spain, as well as European history in general. We truly enjoyed our day with Ton-David and would highly recommend him to anyone going to Barcelona

Jennifer C, 01 MAY 2011

Excellent job –fluent in English– very knowledgeable and made the tour very, very interesting. Would highly recommend to anyone

James A, 04 MAY 2010

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