Learn about our legacy

The abbey of Santa María de Retuerta, founded at the end of the 12th century, has witnessed the passing of time on the Retuerta estate. It is one of the most important works of Romanesque architecture in the province of Valladolid. Built by Conde Sancho Ansúrez, its foundation dates back to 1146 and came thanks to Doña Mayor, the fourth daughter of Conde Don Pedro Ansúrez (fundamental figure in the history of Valladolid as founder of the town).

The Premonstratensians were the first to occupy Retuerta, which was constituted as the order’s headquarters in Spain. Sancho, first abbot and monk of the inaugural Spanish foundation, was a descendant of Conde Don Pedro Ansúrez and, therefore, a relative of the founding Condesa Doña Mayor.

From its origins, the monastery of Santa María de Retuerta was supported by the monarchy, pontiffs and individuals and it was here where the General Chapters of the order met. It was part of the network of monasteries used to consolidate the Christian reconquest.

The various documents that have been found describe these lands around the Abbey of Santa María de Retuerta as an ancient estate with much wine-growing tradition. All this reinforces the area’s great tourist potential by combining the cultural interest of the large historical buildings with the appeal of quality wines.

The sale of church lands by Mendizábal in 1835 led to the monks being expelled from the monastery. It was taken over by the State, which transferred it to various companies and individuals until it became the property of the Novartis Group in 1988. Said group has successfully resumed its age-old wine-making tradition through Bodega Abadía Retuerta and, today, Abadía Retuerta Le Domaine.

The abbey is located in the municipal district of Sardón de Duero on the left bank of the Douro River.

It consists of very different architectural styles: late Romanesque and Gothic with elements from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. Where our heritage has been saved in many places thanks to ecclesiastical initiatives and the administration, in certain cases, such as the Monastery of Retuerta, it has been the initiative of private business that has valued our historical heritage, saving this important monument from the destruction suffered by so many others.

Its sculptures and pictures have not been lost and can today be admired in other locations.

The façade shows an extension of the south loggia of the cloister, which is La Hospedería. Above, the belfry stands next to the chancel of the church. It dates from 1655-1656.

The church, which stands as a belfry, has maintained its irregular-shaped layout. The Romanesque-style chancel stands out from parts built later in time and located in the northern Gothic-style section. The cloister, the chapter house and the refectory are also worthy of note.

The cloister is located on the south side of the church and leads to the rooms that include the refectory, situated parallel to the cloister rather than perpendicular to it as in Cistercian monasteries. It is surrounded by common rooms:

the monks’ cellar, in a semi-underground area covered with a false vault.

the refectory: parallel to and occupying the entire length of the gallery of the cloister. A painting with a scene of The Last Supper presides over the room, today home to the Michelin-star restaurant El Refectorio.

the chapter room: this room can be seen particularly from the cloister and is one of the oldest in the monastery. The perimeter is covered with a stone bench, from where the monks of the congregation would sit to listen to the reading of the chapter.

the sacristy: this was also modified around the mid-17th century.

the church: begun in the second half of the 12th century, it remains incomplete.

the hostelry: as an extension of the southern end, today it stands as the façade and was built in the last third of the 18th century. It is joined to the cloister by a monumental staircase with three flights.