Monastery of St. Bernard de Clairvaux - North Miami, Florida
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Metro2
N 25° 55.786 W 080° 09.288
17R E 584637 N 2868179
Quick Description: This ancient Monastery built in Spain was relocated here on the West Dixie Highway in North Miami, Florida.
Location: Florida, United States
Date Posted: 1/11/2013 4:11:14 PM
Waymark Code: WMG4GN
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Team Farkle 7
Views: 4

Long Description:
Known as the St. Bernard de Clairvaux Church, this church, monastery and cloisters was built in the 12th century in Sacramenia, Spain.
Newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst in 1925, dismantled piece by piece and rebuilt here as a tourist attraction. It now also serves as an Episcopal Church. The day that the poster of this waymark visited, a yoga class was taking place in one of the chambers...and the Monastery's website indicates that it is also rented out for other events such as weddings.

Wikipedia (visit link) informs us:

"The Cistercian monastery was constructed during the years 1133-1141. It was originally named "Monastery of Our Lady, Queen of the Angels", or the '"Royal Monastery of Saint Mary" (Spanish: Santa María la Real), but it was renamed to honor Bernard of Clairvaux upon his canonization. Use of the building as a Cistercian monastery lasted for almost 700 years until it was seized and sold off to be used as a granary and a stable during a period of social unrest in the 1830s...

History 1925-1964

The historic monastery building is in most part in the United States, this is, the faculty, the chapter house and the refectory of the monks. The rest of the monastic set, that is, the church and other facilities such as Cilla (mullion) remain privately owned in Spain, in Sacramenia village, although the temple can be visited on certain days. It was declared a Spanish national monument on June 3, 1931.

The monastery's cloisters and its outbuildings were purchased by William Randolph Hearst in 1925. In order to be transported to the USA, the structures were carefully dismantled with each piece being numbered and packaged in wooden crates lined with hay. The total shipment comprised 11,000 crates. However, some of the information contained in this labeling was lost when the shipment was quarantined in the USA because of a break-out of hoof and mouth disease in Segovia. During the quarantine, the crates were opened and the hay filling was burned as a measure to prevent the spread of the disease. Afterwards, the content of the crates was not replaced correctly. William Randolph Hearst was ultimately unable to pursue his plan of rebuilding the monastery because of financial difficulties and the pieces were stored in a warehouse in Brooklyn, New York until they were purchased in 1952 by Raymond Moss and William Edgemon, who eventually reassembled them at the site of a small plant nursery north of Miami, where the buildings became a tourist attraction known as the Ancient Spanish Monastery.

The historic building was took charge of rebuilding in 1964 by Raymond Moss and William Edgemon, completing the original set with other pieces of different Spanish buildings, like the large-scale carved stone coats of arms round of the cloister, which belong to the House of Albuquerque and come from the monastery of San Francisco de Cuellar, also in the province of Segovia, whose chapel was erected in the 15th century by Beltran de la Cueva, favorite of Henry IV of Castile and the first Duke of Alburquerque to be earmarked for family vault, which were also sold in the 20th century after the secularization of the monastery. Reassembling the buildings took 19 months and cost almost 1.5 million dollars. Some of the stones remained unused in the process.

History 1964-date

The property was purchased by Bishop Henry I. Louttit in 1964 for the Episcopal Diocese of South Florida, which later was split into the Dioceses of Central, Southeast and Southwest Florida. Financial difficulties forced the three dioceses to sell the monastery, it was purchased by Colonel Robert Pentland, Jr., who gave it to the Episcopal parish of St. Bernard de Clairvaux. Three doors from the monastery are in a private home in Atlanta, Georgia."

See the Monastery's own website at (visit link)
Americana: Roadside Attraction

Significant Interest: Monument

Milestone or Marker: Other

Web Site Address: [Web Link]

Physical Address:
16711 West Dixie Highway
North Miami, FL USA

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