/ / The Abbey of Santa Maria de Poblet

The Abbey of Santa Maria de Poblet

The Abbey of Santa Maria de Poblet is a Cistercian monastery founded in 1151, the year at the foot of the Prades mountains, in the town (the Comarca) of the Conca de Barbera, in Catalonia near Tarragona. The monastery was founded by French monks from the Cistercian order on land reclaimed from the Muslims, it was built by architect Arno Barges. It was the first of three related monasteries known as the Cistercian Triangle, which in the 12th century helped consolidate power in Catalonia (the other two are Vallbona de Les Monges and Santes Creus).

The Abbey of Santa Maria de Poblet was the burial place of the kings of the Aragonese dynasty, starting with king James I. Some of the most brilliant of the Royal tombs of notable statues from alabaster, decorating the grave: the kings are figures of lions at the feet at the Queens dogs. King Peter IV of Aragon (1319-1387гг.) did the tradition of giving during the coronation a solemn oath about to be buried in the Abbey. And only the king Ferdinand I violate this oath, because during his reign the Kingdom of Aragon merged with Castile, and he was buried in Granada.

The monastery was seriously damaged during the First carlist war in the early 19th century, and later suffered the secularization and confiscation of property during the reign of Queen Isabella II. In 1834, the year the religious complex was an unruly mob looted, and the monastic life came to an end. All valuable paintings and furniture were carried away and subsequently lost, and the structure was partially destroyed during a fire. Gradually the Abbey of Santa Maria de Poblet began to decline, collapsed arches, and tombs of the Kingdom of Aragon were desecrated. The remains of the kings themselves were transferred and temporarily stored in the Cathedral of Tarragona.

Only in 1940, the year the monastery was restored at the initiative of the Italian monks of the same order of the Cistercians, began work on the restoration of the building. One structure, located near the entrance to the Church, it was decided to leave in ruins as a reminder. The remains of the kings returned to the place, but, unfortunately, they were confused. In 1991, the year the Abbey of Santa Maria de Poblet was included in the UNESCO world Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO.