In the middle of the mountains is not in this case a metaphorical description, the monastery of San Juan de la Peña is literally and spectacularly in the middle of the Aragonese Pyrenees, in the foothills of its Monte Oroel. Rarely have architecture and nature fused so organically and harmoniously.
The architecture of the old medieval monastery is a jewel of the Romanesque and first Gothic styles, in which still today can be witnesses the successive workshops and artists who worked there between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries. Notable is its architecture but also its sculpture and the abundant remains of medieval paintings that it still conserves. For all this, San Juan de la Peña is today a protected historical-artistic monument.
The church of the old monastery has a lower Mozarabic style dating to no less than 920, while the upper church of Romanesque style guarded the pantheon of kings and nobility of the Crown of Aragon, with magnificent tombs of the Centuries XI-XII. The cloister, also of Romanesque style, uses the rock of the mountain like cover or vault, “the rock” to which its name refers.
To the celebrated medieval monastery is added the well-known like New Monastery, that in spite of its name dates from century XVII. Alongside this new convent architecture are also preserved other medieval churches that were once part of the original set: the churches of San Caprasio and Santa Maria, and in the nearby core of Santa Cruz de la Serós, both in Romanesque style.
Photo: We have taken this image of the Commons Wikipedia project, its author is Aracajal.