The area in which the Carthusian Monastery of Cazalla de la Sierra is situated is a place full of history. The monastery is built on a natural plateau surrounded by walls and a 30 meter cliff facing east . It has one of the most beautiful views of the Sierra Morena, especially at sunrise. In the centre of this plateau rises a natural spring that never dries. Archaeological studies agree that this place has always been used for religious purposes. It was used even before the Phoenicians opened the ‘Ruta de la Plata’ (The Silver Road). In the middle of the 8th century, Muslims from north Africa came to this area to work in the nearby mines of ‘Cerro del Hierro’, prospecting for iron ore. Their leader had good reasons to choose this place to build a Mosque, his home, and olive oil and wheat mills. Traces of all these buildings remain today. Later on, when the Christian kings conquered Sevilla from the Moors, the Mosque was closed and the place was used as a hunting lodge for the kings and a gust-house for the pilgrims who travelled on the Silver Road on their way to Santiago de Compostela. In 1418, Fray Lope de Olmedo founded a Jeronimus Monastery in brotherhood with the Monastery of San Isidoro del Campo, near Sevilla. Both Monasteries were closed by the Inquisition as these monks had the audacity to write and publish a bible. A few years later, in 1476, the place became a Carthusian Monastery. The monks, following tradition, kept the guest-house open for the public next to the outdoor chapel known as “Capilla de Peregrino”. In the nineteenth century, with the unfortunate law of Mendizabal, a period of decadence began for all of the Spanish Monasteries. This particular one was destroyed and used by the farmers as barns and stables. In 1973, this property was bought by an Englishman who sold it in 1977 to Carmen Ladrón de Guevara y Bracho, representing a company which, despite many obstacles and difficulties, has achieved the preservation of this historic build
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