Huesca temática

Number 179. December-January of 2014 Spanish language Principal menu

Casbas Monastery

Great artistic value
in a monastic building

    The Monastery of Our Lady of the Glory of Casbas de Huesca, is about 29 km. from the capital, heading Barbastro town. You have to take a left turn after exceeded the villages of Angüés in Junzano direction, a town that you will leave behind.
    This monastery is included in the town, it seems to belong. It is accessed by a small door inside in a gate of great proportions. Once transferred this door, we surprised with a small paved patio, in form of passage and that tops its departure in an arc, from which the various constructions suggest various times in a wide open space.
     It was founded in 1172-1173 and dedicated to Our Lady of the Glory of Casbas de Huesca, for the express wish of the Countess of Pallars Oria -daughter of the Count of Urgel- who had a clearly intention to devote to family vault, although in it was received Christian assistance and protection also. A few years later, in 1196, Pope Celestine III allows the adoption of the Cistercian Rule of St. Benedict so became dependent of the Morimond French monastery. In 1178, it ended up having legal influence on various places and villages.
    The construction of all different accessories of this monastery was started immediately after its foundation in 1173, although in 1208 it was still continued working the corresponding part of its church. A building with plant of latin cross, three semicircular apses, cruise and central nave covered with a barrel vault, with high chorus and below. The dome that is octogonal, could be attributed to the abbess Jerónima de Azlor (1609-1615). The portico, has eleven round arches (in gradation), and a decorated tympanum with chrismon. The door of the temple, romanesque, dates from about 1200. The disappeared chairs of the high chorus, was carved between 1515 and 1520, by the sculptor of Saragossa Juan Bierto. In spite of having been reformed the church in the XVII century, still keeps romanesque remains. In the inside, moreover, there is two tables from XVI century in the main altar, -representing to saint Bernardine of Claraval and the Virgin with the Child- and a predella of the altarpiece from XV century. It was venerated a Romanesque carving of the Virgin, -XIII century- that proceeded from the masculine Cistercian monastery of Santa María of Glory, in the valley of Abena. A lot of furniture disappeared during the civil war of 1936. To stand out, a small Gothic cloister of warheads, XIV-XV centuries located in an inner courtyard.
     The Cistercian style, with Romanesque forms still, is detected in the more ancient constructions; but the whole possesses buildings of different times until the XVIII century. There was a fortress of which remains can be seen, very evident in the main entrance, under the Tower of Homage.

     They can currently be seen, notwithstanding, in the whole of the monastery some ruins of the original structure: walls, abbey house, homage tower, cloister and capitular room, as well as the monastic church, of abundant modifications taken to the end during the mandate of Luisa de Laporta (1652-1656). In the capitular hall there are some tombstones with reliefs sculpted of some abbesses from XIV century.
     In general, the buildings are distributed in two rectangular courtyards. In those of the major surface will find the source, the washing place and the well of ice, vegetable gardens, the southern facade of the church and a pavilion from XVIII century. In those of smaller proportions will find the hospice, different dependencies destined to services and the main entrance to the monastic area.
      The monkish dependencies are found about an cloister from XV century subdued to several reforms. it is where is found: wineries, refectory and capitular room, as well as access to the church for the side of the Gospel.
      The life of the monastery, in the last lustrums, progressively was beginning to languish, in spite of some attempt for recovering somewhat of its activity. The religious community was present until the year 2004. Afterwards, all went to the Progea Foundation, that tried to reactivate it.

Another photograph

      The monastery was declared a Historic Artistic Monument, of national character, through the Royal Decree of 16th November 1979 of the ministry of culture. This statement was published in the official bulletin of the state of 22th January 1980, to be completed on 16th February 2004 as good of cultural interest. Without doubt, a well deserved distinction, that does justice to so peculiar monastery.
      The place is of undoubted appeal, even seeing it uninhabited. Its visit keeps a remember like a place of spiritual absorption, transmitting peace and quiet also. A certain nostalgia by the absence of the radiant past accompanies us; all are sensations that I recommend to enjoy.

Fotografías del lugar  Manuel Tomé *  Diversas fuentes
** Manuel Tomé Bosqued

The Aragon Kingdom

 Conozca Huesca y su provincia

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