Today the Monastery of San Vicente is a luxury hotel, the Parador of Monforte de Lemos. It is surrounded by the remains of the Castle of Monforte, and the Ducal Palace. The complex of buildings, including a Church, is on top of a hill overlooking the town.
The Monastery of San Vicente was established in the 10C but today’s building is from the 16C. A central Cloister, with a well over a cistern, is a dominant feature of the building. The Cloister’s upper floors are the hotel rooms, with seating areas and sitting areas. It is quiet and very comfortable indeed – a marvellous retreat after a day’s sightseeing.
The Castle of the 13C/14C with its Tower of Homage was built to defend the town but also was a residence for the Dukes.
The Church of the Monastery was locked while we were there but I believe it is interesting. Oddly the Parador did not have a key.
The Ducal Palace
The Counts of Lemos were the ruling family in Monforte de Lemos, and one of the most important families in Spain. The Palace was originally built in the 15C but destroyed by a fire and rebuilt in the 17C. Today it is part of the Parador. The 7th Count was Viceroy of Naples and it is his collection which is housed in the Museum of the Clarissas, the Museum of Sacred Art, in the town.
Parador of Monforte de Lemos
The Parador of Monforte de Lemos is a wonderfully atmospheric and comfortable hotel on top of a hill, overlooking the countryside – do stay if you are in the area.
Spanish Heritage network