Santa María de la Vid – the first Premonstratensian monastery in Spain

The Monastery of Santa María de la Vid, or La Vid Monastery, is located in the municipality of La Vid y Barrios, Burgos, Castile and León, Spain.

It is a Premonstratensian monastery and today an Augustinian one, founded in the 12th century on the place where, according to tradition, the image of Santa Maria was found, made of polychrome stone and unusual in terms of its size for being Romanesque, which makes it a rather exceptional image.

The Order of Canons Regular of Prémontré (Latin: Candidus et Canonicus Ordo Praemonstratensis), also known as the Premonstratensians, the Norbertines and, in Britain and Ireland, as the White Canons (from the colour of their habit), is a religious order of Canons regular of the Catholic Church founded in Prémontré near Laon in 1120 by Norbert of Xanten, who later became Archbishop of Magdeburg. Premonstratensians are designated by O.Praem. (Ordo Praemonstratensis) following their name.

Norbert was a friend of Bernard of Clairvaux and was largely influenced by the Cistercian ideals as to both the manner of life and the government of his order. As the Premonstratensians are not monks but Canons Regular, their work often involves preaching and the exercising of pastoral ministry; they frequently serve in parishes close to their abbeys or priories.

This monastery was initially founded on a different site called Montesacro in about 1146 by Domingo Gómez, illegitimate son of Queen Urraca of León and Castile and her lover Count Gómez González de Candespina. Domingo had become interested in the Premonstratensian order on a visit to France, and this was the first Premonstratensian house in Spain. The monastery was then moved to its present site in 1152, having been given the estate of La Vid by Alfonso VII of León and Castile, who was the half-brother of Domingo Gómez.

Saint Dominic, who would later found the eponymous Dominican Order, was sent to the monastery at 14 years of age, before going on to study at Palencia. He also joined the monastery as a canon and received holy orders before going on to join the cathedral chapter of Osma. A statue of Dominic in the monastery depicts him in the habit which he would have worn as a Premonstratensian canon.

The monastery was closed as a result of the ecclesiastical confiscations of Mendizábal in the 1830s. It was re-opened in the 1860s by the Augustinians who still inhabit it.

It is one of the most important centers that the Order of Saint Augustine (OSA) has in Spain and from 1926 to 2020 it belonged to the Augustinian Province of Spain, with a library of great importance open to the Augustinians themselves, researchers and any other person.

How to get to?

Address: C. Cam. Real, 3, 09471 La Vid, Burgos

From Burgos 1 hr 2 min (93.7 km) via A-1

From Valladolid 1 hr 37 min (120 km) via A-11 and N-122

From Madrid 2 hr 6 min (191 km) via A-1

GPS coordinates: 41°37′44″N 3°29′17″W

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