Cartoixa d'Escaladei (Carthusian Monastery of Santa Maria d'Escaladei)
Wander around this monastery founded by French monks from Provence, who established here the first charter-house on the Iberian peninsular. They chose one of the most beautiful places to site the monastery, at the foothills of the Montsant mountain range, where a shepherd had dreamt of angels coming down from the sky on a ladder resting on a tall pine tree.
Scala Dei was a fully working monastery until 1835, experiencing moments of great riches and splendour. During the seven centuries the monks lived here, they built mills and taught different farming techniques which included planting vineyards on the steep slate-based slopes of the region. Thanks to these monks, the Priorat is now famous for its wines.
The Prior, whose name was taken to define the region, was in charge of the villages within his territory and was also in charge of their jurisdiction.
In the nineteenth century, the monks fled due to the seizing of their land by the state. The cells, cloisters, church and hostalry buildings were abandoned.
In just two years, this impressive monastery was converted into a ruin, due to the local peasant farmers ransacking and burning it, tired of being submitted to the tirany of tithes, serfdom and oppression.
Nowadays this historical site shares its name with the internationally famous wine appellation DOC Priorat which can be found in the central area of today's county of the same name.
The ruined monastery is open to the public. Visitors are guided around its three cloisters, church and refectory, whilst learning the purpose of each building. There is a reconstructed cell and another cell, which was consolidated during 2007, shows the stone basins which the apothecary monk used.
The Carthusian Monastery of Scala Dei (Escaladei in Catalan) is one of the most important historic sites of the Priorat.
1st October to 15th December and 1st March to 31st May:
10am to 5pm
16th December to 28th February:
10am to 3.30pm
1st of June to 30th of September
10am to 7.30pm
Closed on Mondays (not including Bank Holiday Mondays), 1st and 6th January and 25 and 26 December
For information and advance booking, please call +34 977 638 329 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
General: 3,50 €
Reduced: (people over 65 year and under 25 year, retired, families (2 adults and 1 child or more), dissabled, Carnet jove: 2,50 €
Special reduced (scholar groups with teachers who made a reservation in monuments and archeological sites between the 1st May and 31st Augsut, single parent families and families with 3 or more children): 1,50 €
Free (children under 8 year, unemployed, teachers and tourist guides, members of the Association of Museòlegs de Catalunya, ICOM (International Council of Museums) and ICOMOS (International Council of Monuments), scholar gropus with teachers with advance booking required (except for mNACTEC) and Carnet Súper 3)
Guided tour (general fee): 6,50 €
Guided tour (reduced fee): 5,50 €
Guided tour (special reduced fee): 4,50 €
Free entrance every last Tuesday of the month from October to June
Catalan/Spanish guided tours Tuesday to Friday (advance booking required): 65 € + tickets
Other languages guided tours Tuesday to Friday (advance booking required): 81 € + tickets