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Fodor's Spain 2014
Monasterio de San Juan de la Peña
Monasterio de San Juan de la Peña Review
South of the Aragonese valleys of Hecho and Ansó is the Monastery of San Juan de la Peña, a site connected to the legend of the Holy Grail and another "cradle" of Christian resistance during the 700-year Moorish occupation of Spain. Its origins can be traced to the 9th century, when a hermit monk named Juan settled here on the peña (cliff). A monastery was founded on the spot in 920, and in 1071 Sancho Ramirez, son of King Ramiro I, made use of this structure, which was built into the mountain's rock wall, to found the Benedictine Monasterio de San Juan de la Peña. The cloister, tucked under the cliff, dates from the 12th century and contains intricately carved capitals depicting biblical scenes. The church of the New Monastery contains the Kingdom of Aragon Interpretation Centre, with a 45-minute audio-visual show (in Spanish, except for pre-booked groups).
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