THE ANCIENT SPANISH MONASTERY / by Eric Monteiro

Whether you want a traditional, non-denominational, inter-faith or civil ceremony, the Spanish Monastery offers an idyllic setting for your wedding.  

Garden Wedding

If you prefer a garden wedding, five outdoor spaces are located within the 20 acres of lush gardens which feature rare palms, Spanish Oaks, Cycads, Banyans and flowering trees.  The landscaped grounds frame the romanesque and gothic building, providing a unique backdrop for a memorable wedding.

Receptions

Receptions may be held in the cloisters, which are the covered walkways surrounding the open courtyard, the Loggia or the gardens.

Chapel

Three beautiful chapels are available for ceremonies: The Main Chapel, the Chapter House and the French Altar.

History

The history of this venue is fascinating!  The monastery was constructed between the years 1133 and 1141 AD, in Sacramenia, near Segovia in Northern Spain. Cistercian monks occupied the monastery for 700 years. The cloisters were seized and converted in stables and a granary after a social revolution in the 1830s.

William Randolph Hearst purchased the cloisters and outbuildings in 1925. He dismantled the structures stone by stone, packed them with protective hay in more than 11,000 numbered crates and shipped them all to the United States!

Most of Hearst's collection was sold due to financial problems and the crates remained in a storage in Brooklyn, NY for 26 years. In 1952 they were bought by two entrepeneurs and it took $20 million and 19 months to piece the buildings back together. TIME Magazine called it "the biggest jigsaw puzzle in history!"

In 1964, millionaire banker philanthropist, Col. Robert Pentland Jr purchased the cloisters and presented them to the Bishop of Florida.