The monasteries of Ripollès

One of the human drives of all time is the need to abandon collective life in order to move away from cultivating spirituality. This human impulse was very well received in Christianity. In the first millennium, many religious communities were founded throughout Europe, many of them organized according to the rule of St. Benedict, an Italian hermit who promoted a way of living in community based on the work of the soul and the search for Ten.

Monasteries became the most important centers of culture on the continent in the Middle Ages. The monks copied and created wonderful books in their scriptoriums, and brought together the most important libraries with contemporary books, from antiquity or other civilizations, which allowed them to know the world, the great work of God. In order to organize the religious life of their environment, they transmitted systems of government and human relations typical of the Frankish world. Its buildings and movable property intended for worship are still true jewels of Romanesque art.

These monastic communities also reach Ripollès: Santa Maria de Ripoll, Sant Joan de Ripoll (later called Sant Joan de les Abadesses) and Sant Pere de Camprodon are Benedictine monasteries, founded before the year 1000 on the initiative of the counts, such as Guifre el Pelós, in order to help the repopulation of the territory. All three had a long life, full of vicissitudes.

They combined spiritual life, cultural life, the triumphs of civil power and the difficulty of human relations. Even today, they continue to show their splendor and are still living meeting places for the Christians of Ripollès and a sign of identity for the inhabitants of their villages. So don’t be surprised if the people of the village tell you “I’m going to the Monastery”. Even though there are no monks left, for us it always will be!