The 3 monasteries of the Cistercian order
The Cistercian route is one of the oldest tourist routes in Catalonia and runs through the three monasteries founded in the 12th century by the French Cistercian monastic order.
Santes Creus, Poblet and Vallbona de les Monges. The monasteries were built during the conquest of the territories of New Catalonia by the Crown of Aragon from the Muslims of Al-Andalus.
Vallbona de les Monges has been inhabited without interruption since its creation in the 12th century. And Poblet also currently houses a community of monks. Only Santes Creus is not in use today. Even so, all three can be visited. One of the best ways to do it is with guided tours, through which you will be able to learn many details of the history of the Middle Ages in Catalonia.
The three monasteries belong to the Romanesque and Gothic architectural styles. It is worth noting the cloister of the Poblet monastery for its beauty and austerity.
Due to their location in the interior of the territory, the monasteries of the Cistercian Route will also lead you to discover the nature of the landscape, the wines and cavas produced in the region, the gastronomy and the traditions of their regions.
Among the typical gastronomy of the area, it is worth mentioning the calçots (sweet onions made on the grill and eaten with romesco sauce from January to March), the carquiñolis from Espluga de Francolí (typical sweet pastries), the “montblanquins ” de Montblanc (typical sweet pastries) and the coca en recapte (a coca made with onion and red pepper). Be sure to try them, I’m sure you’ll love them.
For more information: Cistercian Route