Cobblestone walkways and a garden full of flowers, this is what I found outside of the Ancient Spanish Monastery. As I made my way down the walkway, I found myself staring at this beautiful architecture that makes up what we know as the Monastery.
Situated in North Miami Beach, the Ancient Spanish Monastery has become a popular venue for weddings and for photo shoots of all kinds. Not only is it a great venue, but they also offer mass services to the public as well as free guided tours on Saturdays and Sundays at 1 P.M.
As someone who enjoys architecture, history and new places, I decided to pay a visit to the Ancient Spanish Monastery in hopes of learning more of its history and capturing some amazing images.
Originally named ‘The Monastery of Our Lady, Queen of the Angels, this Monastery was dedicated to the Blessed Mother, when it first began in the year 1141. The Monastery was later renamed in honor of Bernard of Clairvaux in 1174.
Bernard was a Cistercian monk and the most influential church leaders of his time. For nearly 700 years, the Cistercian monks occupied the Monastery, but after the social revolution in the 1830’s, the Monastery’s Cloisters were sold and converted into granary.
In 1925, the Cloisters and the Monastery’s outbuildings were purchases and packed in wooden crates, and were shipped to the United States. After the arrival to the United States, the collection remained in crates for 26 years in New York until two entrepreneurs purchased the collection. It took 19 months to put the Monastery back together.
In 1964, Colonel Robert Pentland Jr. purchased the Cloisters and presented them to the Bishop of Florida. Now, this Monastery is up and running with services held on Sundays and weekdays.
Walking around the Monastery was a wonderful experience. There is so much history in this unique place and it is also one of a kind in North Miami Beach. So, if you are looking to find a hidden gem in the Miami area, this is definitely one of those gems.
The entrance fee for the tour is only $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. The tours go from 10 A.M – 4:30 P.M, but these hours may change due to events being hosted at the Monastery. For more information on times, check out their website.
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