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Monastery of Silos - Santo Domingo de Silos

The town of Santo Domingo de Silos has been directly linked to the history of the monastery since it was founded under its protection.  There have been prehistoric settlements found in this area as well.  The monastery is located in the valley of Tabladillo, where, towards the end of the 9th century, monasti-cism reigned.
Moreover, this magnificent Benedictine monastery still conserves the old con-vent of San Francisco, a building from the 18th century which was recently converted into an inn and centre of monastic studies.

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    • The history of Santo Domingo de Silos begins in the 10th century with a small monastery dedicated to Saint Sebastian.  Thanks to the decadence present at the beginning of the 11th century, Domingo Manso, a monk originating from San Millán de la Cogolla, appeared in 1041.  His mission was to give a boost to the monastery.  Due to his active and miraculous labour as an abbot, he was granted sainthood upon his death.  His fame became such that his tomb became a place of pilgrimage.  For this reason, a new building was constructed, in accordance to its growing importance.  It was consecrated in 1088 by the Abbot Fortunio and soon after it was expanded and construction of the famous cloister began.
      In this time period, the scriptorium of the monastery had a prolific production il-luminating manuscripts.   This is where the well-known Codex of Santo Domingo de Silos originated from. It is currently housed in the British Museum
      In 1512, the monastery united with the Benedictine congregation of Valladolid.
      In 1835 after the disentitlement, the community disappeared and the monastery would be left uninhabited for the next 45 years until a group of French Benedic-tine months arrived to Silos to restore monastic lifestyle.

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    Architecture and Furniture

    • The monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos, with its cloister, is an authentic icon of Spanish Romanesque art.  The cloister is the only element that has been con-served from old Benedictine monastery.  Nothing stands from the church that was consecrated in 1088 and expanded in 1100 when the new temple was built in the 18th century by the Neo-classic architect Ventura Rodríguez.
       The cloister is by far the most unique structure of the monastery.  It is two sto-rey Romanesque style construction.  This is quite peculiar since the majority of the monasteries from this time period only had one floor.  Through the arcades of the four galleries, there is an extensive variety of capitals of great quality with diverse themes (vegetation, harpies, and historiated scenes) taken from nature, sacred writings, and mythical beasts.  However, the reliefs that are found con-necting the galleries are the most spectacular.  It is apparent that the relief pan-els were carried out by two different artists. The first artist sculpted six out of eight panels with the stories of The Ascension, the Pentecost, the Resurrection, the Descent from the Cross, Emmaus Disciples, and the Doubting of Saint Tho-mas.  They are works of art of exquisite style and they appear to have been exe-cuted around the year 1100.  The order and forms of the panels follow the geo-metrical and abstract line typical of Romanesque art and this accentuates the message and symbolism of each scene.
      The second master artist carved the Annunciation relief and the Tree of Jesse towards the end of the 12th century.  The sculptures are more voluminous than the previous ones and they are a prelude to some Gothic forms.
      The union between the east gallery and the north gallery has continued to be known as the Door of Virgins, which serves as the entrance between the ancient Romanesque church and the cloister.  There is a large Gothic-style image of the Virgin from the 13th century known as the Virgin of March.
      Towards the centre of the north gallery there is a Gothic-style funeral monument with an effigy of Saint Domingo.  
      The second floor cloister is inferior in quality and was probably built around the year 1200.
      It is worth mentioning the museum, where the remains of the ancient church, medieval pieces and the chalice of Saint Domingo, from the 11th century, are stored.

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    Regular guided visits

    • Guided tours all year around, no group visits on Sunday.

Monasterio de Silos
Calle Santo Domingo
09610 Santo Domingo de Silos
+34 947 39 00 68

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Opening Hours:

6.00 am - 2.00 pm
4.30 pm - 10.00 pm

Cloister, pharmacy and museum:
Tue - Sat: 10.00 am - 1.00 pm / 4.30 pm - 6.00 pm
Sun: 4.30 pm - 6.00 pm
Closed on Mondays

Monastery of Silos - Santo Domingo de Silos

Monastery of Silos - Santo Domingo de Silos