THE MONASTERY OF SANT BENET AT BAGES

Founded in the X century, approximately in the year 960 by Count Sala. It was consecrated in the year 972. In the year 1002 Bages came under attack from the Moors who, after destroying Manresa, damaged the buildings at the Abbey of Sant Benet and burned down the church. At the start of the XII century building work restarted on the church itself and the cloister, which again suffered an attack by the Moors around the year 1125, as a result of which the monastery was also severely damaged. During the XIV and XV centuries, the monastery began the construction of new buildings, not only around the cloister, as they had done in Romanesque times, but also around the entrance courtyard. The terrible Black Death of 1348 left the monastery with only two monks. In the XVI century, in the year 1593, the monastery was annexed to Montserrat. Another important event is the fire which took place at Sant Benet in the year 1633. This fire burned the altarpieces in the church, blackened the walls and destroyed a large part of the Library and other buildings. The slow decline of the Monastery did not prevent the completion of the new abbots' quarters. With the suppression of religious orders in the first third of the XIX century, the monks completely abandoned the monastery taking with them the most easily transportable items. Sant Benet remained abandoned for some years until, in 1907, Mrs Elisa Carbó, mother of the painter Ramón Casas, bought the building in order to restore it and turn in into her private dwelling. The restoration works were interrupted a short time after having been commenced. The Monastery was declared a National Monument on the 3rd of June 1931. In the month of August in the year 2000 the whole of the Monastery of Sant Benet was acquired by the Caixa de Manresa who took charge of its restoration and reopening to the public, with the main aim of converting it into one of the most important centres of interest, both touristic and cultural, in the Bages region.

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