Cazalla de la Sierra - Monasterio de la Cartuja

Cazalla Monastery

Monasterio de la Cartuja de la Inmaculada Concepción

This monastery located just outside the village of Cazalla de la Sierra, known as La Cartuja de Cazalla, was built in 1483 from the remains of a hunting lodge belonging to King Pedro the Cruel. Pedro used to go boar-hunting with his ally, the Edward Prince of Wales, known as the Black Prince. Previously, the Moors, led by an 8th century ruler of Cordoba, built a mosque, a flour mill, and the biggest olive oil mill in Andalucia in this area, known as El Castillejo; remains of these can still be seen today.

In the chapel, Capilla del Sacramento, you can see remains of 18th-century images of San Bruno and Santo Tomas de Aquino. The church is the most important of the Cartuja, with paintings dating from 1500.

The monks were expelled from the monastery in the 1830s and the buildings fell into ruin, until an Englishman called Alexander Harrington bought them in 1973, and restored them. He converted the Capilla de Peregrino (Pilgrims' Chapel) into his house, and sold it to a Spanish woman whose restoration work won the 1986 Europa Nostra Prize and the 1993 Rolex Prize.

Today, La Cartuja is a hotel and contemporary cultural centre - exhibitions are held in the refectory - offering activities such as ceramics classes and star-gazing, as well as spaces for yoga and meditation. La Cartuja is also another historic and beautiful wedding venue. As well as the olive mill, an orchard, a pond and gardens are part of the monastery complex.  Located on the A-455 from Cazalla de la Sierra to Constantina.

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