Named in honour of Bernard of Clairvaux in 1174, the monastery was home to Cistercian monks for nearly 700 years. In the 1830s, the social revolution in Spain brought with it the cloisters of the building: they were sold, then converted into an attic and a stable. In 1925, the American businessman William Randolph Hearst acquired the monastery, dismounted it stone by stone, then repatriated it to California, distributed in more than 10,000 cases. It was not until the 1950s that the structure was partially rebuilt on American soil, earning it the title of “the greatest puzzle in history” by Time magazine.
Today, some religious services are being performed both in English and Spanish. It is also an ideal setting for many newlyweds who have their photographs taken in the cloister and gardens of the monastery.
The Ancient Spanish Monastery
16711 West Dixie Highway
33160 North Miami Beach
+1 305 945 1461