Enchanting Ancient Spanish Monastery in Miami

Tucked away in the bustling city of Miami, the Ancient Spanish Monastery stands as a timeless testament to European history and architectural marvel. Originally constructed in Sacramenia, Spain, in 1133 AD, this monument has weathered centuries, surviving a transatlantic journey and financial upheavals to become a cherished Florida Heritage site.

A Journey Through Time


Constructed over eight years, the Ancient Spanish Monastery’s completion in 1141 AD marked the creation of the oldest building in the western hemisphere, its cloister serving as a poignant relic of medieval Europe. The Cistercian monks, who called it home for almost 700 years, faced the upheaval of a social revolution in the 1830s, leading to the monastery’s cloisters being seized.

In a remarkable turn of events in 1925, media tycoon William Randolph Hearst acquired the cloisters and embarked on a daring venture to transport them to the United States. The process, described by Time Magazine as “the biggest jigsaw puzzle in history,” involved disassembling the structure stone by stone, overcoming challenges like a disease outbreak and financial setbacks.

Ultimately, the Ancient Spanish Monastery found a new home in Miami, with its final reconstruction completed in 1953 at a cost of nearly $20 million. Today, owned by the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida, it continues to be a symbol of resilience and historical significance.

Miami’s Modern-Day Treasure


Beyond its historical allure, the Ancient Spanish Monastery beckons visitors to explore its grounds, featuring a museum housing Spanish artifacts and a charming gift shop. The monastery, surrounded by captivating gardens, offers a tranquil retreat from the bustling modern life of Dixie Highway.

Father Gregory Mansfield, Curator of the Ancient Spanish Monastery Museum & Gardens, describes the cloisters and gardens as an “oasis of peace and serenity.” The site boasts medieval statues, carved ceilings, stone arches, and stained glass windows, creating an immersive experience for those seeking a connection to Spain’s rich cultural history.

A Venue for Celebrations


The Ancient Spanish Monastery has become a sought-after destination for various events, including weddings, first communions, quinces, and proms. The picturesque backdrop, adorned with centuries-old architecture, sets the stage for memorable occasions. Professional photography, subject to a fee, contributes to the preservation of the monastery and supports its programs.

Visitor Information


Situated at 16711 West Dixie Highway, North Miami Beach, FL 33160, the Ancient Spanish Monastery welcomes visitors from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Sunday Masses in both English and Spanish add a spiritual dimension to the site.

Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students or seniors, with free parking for all. The monastery’s allure lies not only in its rich history but also in its ability to transport visitors to a bygone era, fostering a deep appreciation for the intertwining of cultures across continents.

Here is information about Maimi Food Tours:

Wynwood Food & Art Tour by Miami Culinary Tours

Little Havana Food and Walking Tour in Miami

Miami Beach Food and Art Deco Walking Tour

Seaplane Flight from Miami with Lunch in the Florida Keys

Miami Food Tour of Authentic Cuban Cuisine

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Recent Articles