The monastery was founded in 1194 by Alfonso II of Aragon, with thirteen Cistercian monks from Poblet Monastery, in an old castle next to the Piedra River, and was dedicated to St. Mary the White (Santa María la Blanca).
On February 16, 1983, the entire complex was declared a national monument.
The Monastery is located besides the Piedra (Stone) River. It is undoubtedly one of the most visited places in Aragon because of the many gardens and waterfalls created by the river located in the Piedra Canyon.
This attraction has become a place of rest and recreation for tourists.
The canyon itself includes a network of mossy, garden-like caves (natural and man-made), waterfalls and lagoons that contrast with the otherwise dry hills of southern Aragon.
The tallest waterfall is “Horsetail” (Cola del Caballo), more than fifty meters high.
The dissolution and precipitation of local limestone has created numerous rivulets, springs, and Karst topography.
The Piedra River meanders around a mountain known as “El Espolón” (The Ram).
In 1959, a dam was constructed across the river, which created the 1300 acre La Tranquera Reservoir, flooding part of the canyon, some of the best local farmland, and several villages.
The roofs of some drowned houses can still be seen when the water levels are down.
Address: C. Afueras, s/n, 50210 Nuévalos, Zaragoza, Spain
GPS coordinates: 41°11′35.81″N 1°46′57.34″W
The opening hours of the Historic Garden Park and the Monastery are as follows:
Park: From 09:00 to 18:00. Access closes at 4:30 p.m.
Monastery: From 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Access closes at 5:30 p.m.
Prices for park entrance
Adults, 12 to 64 years old € 15.20
Children, from 4 to 11 years old (children under 4 years old are free) € 10.45
Senior, over 65 years old € 10.45
How to get to?
From Zaragoza 1 hr 21 min (113 km) via A-2
From Madrid 2 hr 30 min (231 km) via A-2