Monasterio de La Rábida

 The monastery was constructed in 1412 on the site of a Moorish stronghold. 'Rábida' is a Arabic word meaning fortress. Its Moorish influences can still be seen in its Mudéjar architecture, including the fine cloister.

Since the beginning of the thirteenth century the Franciscan Friars have been present in this area.


Monasterio de La Rábida has witnessed one of the most significant events in the history of humanity; the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus. La Rábida is where Columbus stayed between 1491-92 waiting for financial backing from the Catholic Monarchs, Ferdinand and Isabella.

The monastery also has a fourteenth century Gothic-Mudejar church, where Captain Martín Alonso Pinzón, from Palos de la Frontera, who sailed with Columbus in one of his ships, is buried. Between the walls of this primitive monastery, is the image of Santa María de la Rábida Nuestra Señora de los Milagros, the image that Christopher Columbus prayed to before starting his personal crusade.

La Rábida was damaged by the Lisbon earthquake in 1755 and was left derelict in 1835 only to be restored a few decades later. It reopened in 1856 when it was declared a national monument. In 1920 Fransican monks returned to the convent and monks continue to live there today.

The monastery, surrounded by magnificent botanical gardens full of exotic plants, is worth visiting for its museum detailing the discovery of the New World and life of Christopher Columbus. Also worth seeing are the murals in one of the monastery's rooms that depict Columbus's life, which were painted by the renowned local artist Daniel Vásquez Díaz in the 1930s. Located on Diseminado De la Rábida, west of La Rábida.


Visits are by guided tours only by Franciscan monks in Spanish, although there are audio guides available in other languages, including English, and some of the information plaques are in English as well as Spanish.


Opening Times:

Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00-13:00hrs and 16:00-18:15hrs (Winter)

Sundays and Holidays, 10:45-13:00hrs and 16:00-18:15hrs (Winter)

Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00-13:00hrs and 16:00-19:00hrs (Summer)

Sundays and Holidays, 10:45-13:00hrs and 16:00-19:00hrs (Summer)


Individual, 3.00 euros.

Children (up to 5 years), FREE.

Family, 7.00 euros.

Groups (more than 20), 1.50 euros.

Tel: 959 35 04 11


Hover the cursor over La Rabída to see bigger map and click to go to the maps page.