Santiponce Itálica

Heritage

An immense legacy waiting to be discovered

Cartuja Monastery

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The Cartuja Monastery in Cazalla dedicated to the Immaculate Conception is located in an idyllic place steeped in history, surrounded by forests, with an inexhaustible spring and breathtaking views. There are Celtic, Phoenician, Roman, Muslim and Christian remains. It seems that the first to settle in this place were the Phoenicians who created the Ruta de la Plata and operated the mines of Cerro del Hierro.

In the 8th century the Fihris arrived from Morocco. On the site known as El Castillejo, they built a mosque, the largest oil mill in Andalusia and a flour mill, and remains of all these constructions can still be found.  When the Moors left in the 14th century it is known that Don Pedro El Cruel, King of Castilla y León, stayed in El Castillejo and hunted bears with the Prince of Wales, known as The Black Prince.

Between 1417 and 1420 Fray Lope de Olmedo built the monastery of San Jerónimo de Acela on the site and in 1476 the Carthusian monks took over the monastery from the Hieronymites. The monks hosted the pilgrims who walked the Camino de Santiago in the Casa del Peregrino and devoted themselves to farming the land. They also introduced their techniques for making the liquor now known worldwide as Licor de Cazalla. 

In 1836 the monks were expelled from the Cartuja as a result of Mendizábal's disentailment and the monastery fell into ruins until 1973 when the Englishman Alexander Harrington bought it and sold it to Carmen Ladrón de Guevara, who saw its potential and began a great work of restoration, winning the Europa Nostra award in 1986. The current owners, La Cartuja de Cazalla S.L., bought the monument in 1995 and have continued its overall restoration.

Thus, the former monastery is now a Hostelry and a Centre of Contemporary Culture. As a Centre of Contemporary Culture, it houses a permanent exhibition of more than 100 works distributed around the central cloister and the various rooms. The gardens of the premises also display ceramic works and paintings by contemporary artists. It was declared a Monument of Cultural Interest in 1996.

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