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Romanesque Architecture and Plainchant combine in this majestic setting where rooms are about $25/full board.

Saturday, April 24th, 2010

Erected over the ruins of a Visigothic abbey destroyed by the Moors, the tranquil setting and spiritual aura of the monastery has roused a myriad of poets to sing its praises. The Romanesque cloisters are among the most beautiful in Spain. The double cloister was edified between the 11th and 12th century. Each of the columns is a work of art, an unusual mixture of Arab and French Romanesque. In this museum of Romanesque beauty, the superb bas-relief panels are particularly outstanding. Emotional motifs abound throughout the panels, a singular feature of Romanesque art.

Since 1880, the Abbey has housed a community of French monks. They introduced a style of singing called plainsong or plainchant, an ancient and austere unharmonized melody in free rhythm. Throughout the day, services are sung in plainchant. Less strictly systemized than Gregorian Chant, the origins can be traced to early Christian times and are derived from Greek and Jewish music.

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