St. Bernard de Clairvaux Church

St. Bernard De Clairvaux Church


St. Bernard de Clairvaux Church

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St. Bernard de Clairvaux Church is a medieval Spanish monastery cloister which was built in the town of Sacramenia in Segovia, Spain, in the 12th century but dismantled in the 20th century and shipped to New York in the United States. It was eventually reassembled in North Miami Beach, Florida, where it is now an Episcopal church and tourist attraction. It is one of the oldest buildings in the Western Hemisphere.

History to 1925

The Cistercian monastery, dedicated to Santa Maria Real, was constructed during the years 1133-1141. Its Romanesque abbey church remains one of the monuments of Sacramenia. Originally, it was named "Monastery of Our Lady, Queen of the Angels", but 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 1830's.

History 1925-1964

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....
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