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Girona, Spain: Monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes


About The Monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes:

The name is Catalan for Saint Peter of Rodes, and is a former Benedictine monastery,  built in the 9th century just below the ancient Castle of Sant Verdera. Back then, the castle provided protection for the monastery. Today only some ruins can be found there, at the very summit of the Serra.

SaintPere de Rodes has an interesting, but unproven, legend connected to its founding.  We say legend because the true origins of the Monastery are unknown.  Local tradition claims that the remains of St. Peter (and other saints) were brought to this hilltop by Benedictine monks to save them from being pillaged during the invasions of what was left of the Roman Empire in the early 7th century. Once the danger had passed, Pope Boniface IV (who was also a Benedictine) commanded them to build a monastery here, and they kept the name of Saint Peter, whose remains they allegedly guarded here.

From the 11th to the 14th century it was the main spiritual center of the county of Empúries and its splendor is shown in the large dimensions of the monastic complex. This is made up of the church, the bell tower, the cloister, the sacristy, the conventional outbuildings for living there and the Abbot’s Palace.

The monastery is built on terraces to adapt to the terrain and the various buildings are organized around the cloister and the church , built between the 10th and 11th centuries. In these two buildings you can appreciate an exceptional example of Romanesque sculpture : the columns (originals from antiquity) and the capitals that crown them tell us about the marked classical influence that this unique church has.

On the outside, the portal, by the Master of Cabestany , showed different scenes from the life of Christ sculpted in white marble. The few fragments that remain show us its extraordinary quality, probably one of the best of its time.

From the monastery you can enjoy one of the best views of Cap de Creus . Shortly before reaching it, there are the remains of the medieval town of Santa Creu de Rodes , among which the church of Santa Helena de Rodes stands out .


Traveling to The Monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes:

Address:  Camino del Monestir, s/n, 17489 El Port de la Selva (Alt Empordà)


Email: santperederodes.cultura@gencat.cat

Click here for the official Catalonia website describing the Monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes (there is an English-language option)


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