Legend has it that on January 16, 1194, the archbishop of Tarragona was horribly murdered by Guillem Ramon de Moncada, a noble of the court of the Count of Barcelona. To forgive him, the Pope forced him to dedicate all his goods to the construction of a Cistercian monastery of great beauty. Thus he ended building the monastery of Santes Creus on the Costa Daurada (Golden Coast), one of the three monasteries that are part of the Cistercian Route. This account is not faithful to the historical documents found to date, but it is a beautiful way to imagine its birth.
THE PATH OF LEGENDS ROUTE
The Path of legends Route guides you through all the legends and secrets that hide the walls of the monastery, like the one you just read. It is an hour and a half of activity for families and schools that leaves children with their mouths open. Love, war, covenants, and submissions are behind the legendary stories that serve to approach the monastery in a very original and human way. It is necessary to book in advance the guided tour.
GETTING LOST IN THE FOREST OF THE MONASTERY
The most elegant gardens create shade with poplars. Around the monastery, the pleasant Alameda de Santes Creus, a riverbank forest grown on the left bank of the Gaià river, is a perfect natural walk to complete the visit. With a little patience and luck, you can observe water-loving animals and humid environments, such as the green frog or the aquatic snake. Formerly the monks of the monastery integrated this space as a place of rest and meditation. Now, the neighbors of Aiguamúrcia usually walk while they converse amicably.
You arrive at the Alameda in a quiet 15-minute walk from Santes Creus. The paths are perfectly marked and there is even a wooden plank area in case you want to stop for something to eat. This environment of the Costa Daurada (Golden Coast) was declared in 2000 Area of Natural Interest.
THE SMALL "SAGRADA FAMÍLIA" OF MONTFERRI
It is probably too much to do on a single day, but completing this TripIdea with a visit to Montferri is a temptation. It is 11 kilometers from Santes Creus following the course of the Gaià river. The town´s has a great business card, the Santuario de la Virgen de Montserrat, a modernist filigree of the favorite student of Gaudí, Josep Maria Jujol.
The hermitage, with its impossible forms, rises on a hill on a plain of vineyards and is a miracle for the neighbors of the area; it took them73 years to see the building completed (the project began in 1925). Now, no doubt the small "sacred family" of the Costa Daurada (Golden Coast) deserves the wait. You could write a book about her beauty and her story. Attention, because there are only one and a half hours visits on Sunday morning. If you come with a group, call and they will organize a visit.
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