The romantic monastery of Santa María de Rioseco

In the province of Burgos are some of the most beautiful architectural works of the national territory. The same goes for landscape matter. It is precisely there where, on the banks of the Ebro River, is the spectacular and practically hidden Manzanedo Valley. Burgos legends tell that in this impressive and green natural park You can still feel the magic and mysticism that permeates the romantic history of the monastery of Santa María de Rioseco.

The history of the monastery of Santa María de Rioseco

The origin of the monastery of Santa María de Rioseco is due to the white monks of the order of the Cister, who inhabited it since the Middle Ages. As a curiosity, it should be noted that This complex was not always located in the location where it is located today. At first it rose closer to the riverbed, whose waters flooded it, forcing the hermits to build it again in the place where its ruins can be seen today.

Monastery of Santa María de Rioseco - Jose Luis RDS

Little by little, new buildings were added to the first cloister and the old church, reflecting the changes in the artistic and architectural styles of different eras until reaching the Gothic.

Already in the nineteenth century, the monks that were still left were forced to leave from there, abandoning it to its fate, expelled by the new laws promoted by the Liberal State of that time.

Although the property was soon returned to the archbishopric of Burgos, he didn't use it again and let it ruin until it becomes what it is today, beautiful medieval ruins.

"Of all the ruins of the world, the ruin of man is, without a doubt, the saddest spectacle."

-Théophile Gautier-

A walk through the monastery of Santa María de Rioseco

Little remains of what was once the abode of Cistercian friars. Despite this, tourists have the opportunity to make an enthusiastic tour of what remains of this beautiful abbey.

The main entrance is a beauty, but the hall that served as a cloister is the most acclaimed architectural jewel by visitors who, upon entering it, feel part of a pure, charming and tremendously rich past in details.

Monastery of Santa María de Rioseco - Jose Luis RDS

For its part, the ruins that can be seen from the church outside also have a certain story air. Something similar happens with the so-called Cloister of the Hospederia, whose access seems taken from the Irish landscapes.

We cannot leave without taking a walk through the space corresponding to the ancient and vast chapter room whose Gothic-Romanesque architectural ornamentation never ceases to surprise those who penetrate it. This was the place where monks used to gather in order to perform joint prayers and confess to all their companions and superiors. This room was the first thing that used to be built just after the chapel was built.

The effect of volunteering in Rioseco

Since 2011, Volunteers from all over Spain have approached to offer their services in the conservation and protection of this beautiful place. All of them, together with the current leader of the Salvemos Rioseco group, Father Juan Miguel Gutiérrez Pulgar, share the difficult tasks of maintenance, rehabilitation and restoration of each and every one of the pieces and parts that make up this monument, which until recently He seemed doomed to get lost in the wild surroundings.

Monastery of Santa María de Rioseco - Manzanedo /

Hundreds of people contribute their grain of sand so that this cultural heritage is not lost in oblivion. One of the latest contributions of this platform is to organize and offer guided tours for free.. They do it both on weekdays and holidays. His explanations get those who approach there learn a little more about this interesting location.

If in spite of everything we prefer to make the journey on our own, we can simply approach the monastery of Santa María de Rioseco to our taste and convenience, since the monastery is open to the public freely every day of the year without paying any fee.