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A Cliffside Abbey
15 October 2019 @ 17:27

 

Chiselled out of the cliffside in Cataluña, Spain, this gorgeous monastery overlooks a plunging vista complete with a waterfall that runs straight through the architecture. 

As a rushing waterfall tumbles hundreds of feet into the emerald pool below, it's hard not to imagine visiting (or living in) this place and easily attaining the peace and tranquillity perpetually sought by the most devout religious groups and monks.

 

  

 

The medieval abbey of Sant Miquel del Fai, 50 km from Barcelona, contains the only romanesque chapel in Catalonia to have been built inside a grotto. The gravity-defying ensemble, which nestles among the rocks, is imbued with mystical beauty.

The abbey of Sant Miquel del Fai stands in a leafy valley, the Vall del Tenes, among rocky outcrops and waterfalls which are more than 100 m high. The visit begins in the unusual square in front of the Abbey which is cut into the mountainside. The square affords views of the small lakes formed by rainwater and melting ice. The gothic-style Priory House (15th century) stands on the other side of the square and is now used as an exhibition gallery and restaurant. The terrace boasts wonderful views of the entire valley.

 

 

  

As you go along the rocky gallery which used to be part of the cloister, you come to the Romanesque chapel of Sant Miquel (10th century). Built inside a grotto, next to a waterfall. The site was once used for pagan worship. A flight of steps leads to the cave of Sant Miquel, where the calcareous rocks have formed stalagmites and stalactites. The path continues to a small lake hidden among the rocks, passes below a spectacular waterfall, and ends at the chapel of Sant Martí (10th century) which stands in the middle of an esplanade. At the end of the tour, you'll be given a helmet to visit the mysterious cave of "Les Tosques". Water from the Rossinyol and Tenes Rivers as well as from rains and melting snow has created a unique landscape in Sant Miquel del Fai, one consisting of stalactite and stalagmite caves, fascinating rock formations, ponds and beautiful waterfalls. It is quite simply a wonderful place to visit.

 

 



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2 Comments


Loretstuff said:
19 October 2019 @ 11:26

Sadly this monastery has been closed for about two years for refurbishment, with no fixed date for reopening.


Jo said:
19 October 2019 @ 12:06

Interesting post, so many out of the way places we've never heard of.


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