Located in the mountains, in the municipality of Port de la Selva, is the Benedictine monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes which dominates the entire Cape Creus peninsula. Dating from the 1st century AD (the first official mention of the monastery is dated 878AD), it is the prime example for the Catalan-Roman era.
Sant Pere de Rodes monastery was been constructed in the hillside of the Verdera mountain below the ruins of the castle of Sant de Verdera that gave protection for the monastery. It offers an exceptional view over the bay of Llançà, to the north of Cap de Creus. Near the monastery Santa Creu de Rodes is the ruins of a medieval town, of which its pre-Romanesque style church is the only remains dedicated to Saint Helena.
According to the legend, Christians coming from Rome were stranded in the bay and predicted this as a sign from God to erect a
monastery here. The Christian doctrine at Sant Père de Rodes ranks among the most significant monasteries. It still dominates the bay of Llançà and Port de la Selva today.
During a long period, its power reached from Barcelona far into the Roussillon (now within France). During the twentieth century, the
monastery was restored at considerable cost, although many consider that the work was carried out in a somewhat unfittingly modern way
By car the monastery can be reached via Port de la Selva or Vilajuïga. Numerous footpaths lead there as well, out of which the path from Vall de Santa Creu, although being slightly difficult, is especially recommendable.
During the summer regularly guided tours take place. Information leaflets in all major languages are available at the ticket office. We recommend a visit on a very clear day in order to enjoy the grand view over the Empordà.
It is in the municipal area of El Port de la Selva in the province of Girona, Catalonia (Spain).
The true origin of the monastery is unknown, although it is thought that it was founded by monks who disembarked in the area with the remains of Saint Peter and other Saints, to save them from the Barbarian hordes that had fallen on Rome. Pope Boniface IV then commanded them to construct a monastery.
The first documentation of the monastery is dated 878AD, being mentioned as a simple monastery cell consecrated to Saint Peter. In 945AD, an independent Benedictine monastery was founded, prevailed over by an abbot. Sant Pere de Rodes reached its maximum splendor between the 11th and 12th centuries but decayed in the 17th century.
In the 17th Century XVII it was attacked on several occasions and in 1793 was deserted by the Benedictine community who transferred to Vila-sacred and finally settled in Figueres in 1809 until it was finally dissolved. The monastery was declared a national monument in 1930. In 1935 the Generalitat of Catalonia initiated the first restoration work.
Being on the steep hillside, the buildings are constructed in terraces. Cloisters of XII century form the central part of the complex and around them are the rest of constructions. The Church, consecrated in 1022AD, is a prime example of the Romanesque style, well ahead of others of its time.