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The Monastery

The Monastery of Valvanera is nestled in the Sierra de la Demanda mountains, with San Lorenzo peak – the highest point of La Rioja (2,271 m) – towering above, an eternal sentry; embraced and sheltered by beech woods and always accompanied by the constant flow of water.
With balconies on its southern side to contemplate the lush beech woods and its northern facade resting on the foothills of Mount Mori, only the church and tower maintain their original structure from the temple built in the 15th century.

The history of the Valvanera Monastery is woven with the threads of great devotion, which is perhaps the reason it has survived three fires (in 1111, 1413 and at the end of the 19th century) and the expropriation of Mendizábal, which abandoned the abbey to a state of disrepair in 1839. Avatars of a holy place that is now part of the popular fervour of La Rioja.

In this holy spot in La Rioja, history and tradition intertwine, telling the eternal story of a place blessed by spirituality and protected by nature.

A STORY OF FAITH

Worship since the 10th century

The faith of the devout and the love for Our Lady of Valvanera have worked miracles, allowing the monastery to survive as a place of worship and devotion.

Legend has it that in the 10th century the discovery of an image of Our Lady of Valvanera in an oak tree marked the beginning of Valvanera’s story, the event on which the Monastery was bui

The first documented reference to Valvanera dates back to the year 1016, but it wouldn’t be until 1035 when we would learn how the Abbot of the monastery purchased property – seemingly a vineyard – leaving a record of the existence of the abbey that would become an active, prosperous centre.

Valvanera has born witness to architectural evolution, from Romanesque to Gothic, with its stones reflecting the history and faith of the generations of monks and believers who have passed through its doors. The construction of its guesthouse in the 16th century and subsequent architectural transformations have allowed the monastery to remain a destination for pilgrimage and devotion.

In 1792, a Neoclassical hermitage was built, in the place where legend has it the Our Lady of Valvanera statue was found.

But the history of Valvanera has also been marked by the whims of war and politics, which would lead to the total abandonment and neglect of the monastery in the early 19th century.

A PLACE FOR EVERYONE

Past and Present

After the monastery was abandoned, the statue of Our Lady of Valvanera was ‘exiled’ to the Brieva parish church, under the jurisdiction of Burgos, but shortly thereafter, the secular Pro Monastery Restoration Council was formed, seeking aid and backing.

On 15 September 1883, 7,000 pilgrims went to Valvanera demanding the return of the image of Our Lady of Valvanera. Twelve days later, on 27 September 1883, a congregation of Benedictine monks returned to the monastery, which was still in bad shape. After barely two months, on 22 December 1883, pressure from the Council, parishioners, devotees and neighbours brought the statue of Our Lady of Valvanera back to the Abbey.

In 1886, the Council requested the monastery building be rebuilt. It is said that it was in 1889, when 20,000 people went on a pilgrimage to celebrate the restoration of the church and the building of the current monastery building.

In 2018, after 12 centuries in the service of the Valvanera Monastery, the Benedictine monks handed over guardianship to the Institute of the Incarnate Word, and two years later, they certified their donation to the Calahorra and La Calzada-Logroño Dioceses.

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WORSHIP

Devotion to Our Lady of Valvanera is a tradition that has lasted over centuries, creating a deep spiritual link between the generations that have worshipped her. As a peaceful sanctuary, the monastery offers a path to deep spirituality and a necessary break from the outside world.

CULTURE

The Valvanera Monastery is culture, a place that has been building a network of values and traditions for generations. The monks’ constant search for knowledge has left behind a lasting intellectual footprint, covering an endless array of disciplines from theology to natural science.

HERITAGE

Every dressed stone upon which the Valvanera Monastery was built tells the story of a chapter of history. Each one is linked to eras and styles, from Romanesque to Gothic to the Renaissance. The architecture of Valvanera is a testament to glory in a monumental and magical natural environment.

Mass Hours

Valvanera Sanctuary is open from 5:30 am to 10:00 pm.

Visitors can enter the old church and the chapel of Our Lady of Valvanera for free.

Monday to Friday
At 8:00 am

Saturdays
At 12:30 pm (Conventual)
At 6:00 pm (Sabbath)

Sundays and Holidays
At 12:30 pm (Conventual)

We are always available. Book a time before or after liturgy service or by phoning reception.

Monday to Saturday
Readings and Worship Service at 6:30 am

Sundays and Holidays
Readings Service at 7:30 am
Worship at 8:30 am

Eucharistic Adoration every day at 7:00 pm.

The day before a holiday at 8:00 pm.

Guided Tours

For guided group tours, make a reservation in advance.

We offer organised group guided tours from 9:30 am to 12:00 pm and from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

Guided group tours cost EUR 5 per person and include a tour of the winery with an explanation about how Valvanera Liqueur is made and a tasting.

INFORMATION FOR GROUPS

This is your home

Monasterio de Nuestra Señora de Valvanera
Carretera LR-435 km 5 · 26322 Anguiano, La Rioja

GETTING HERE

CONTACT FORM

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For information about retreats, groups, and events, click here.




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