RASCAFRÍA, MONASTIC LIFE
Rascafría stands out since its foundation for the impressive Monastery of Santa María del Paular, which seems to stand in the middle of the landscape as if it should be there, perfectly integrated and blended with the surrounding nature.
Founded in 1390, it was ruled for more than 450 years by the order of La Cartuja. However, from 1954 to the present, it has been a Benedictine abbey. Henry II of Castile ordered its construction, in a location chosen by himself. A local legend says that the monarch decided that it belonged to the Carthusian order because, during the previous war years, his army had burned a monastery of the same order in France.
At the beginning of the 17th century, the famous painter Vicente Carducho was commissioned to paint a series of pictures about the life of the founder of the order, Saint Bruno of Cologne, for the 54 hollows of the interior walls of the monastery. However, after the disentailment of the 19th century, the paintings were distributed to museums and other institutions. However, thanks to the initiative of the people of the village among other promoters, in 2006 the works were restored to the walls of the monastery. In addition, we remind you that today the monks still occupy a part of the monastery, which is to the left of the church.
From the Bridge of Forgiveness, the view of the monastery is wonderful! Its name is due to the fact that given the relative isolation of the Lozoya valley, the local authorities used to hold their trials next to the bridge.
Image credits: Monasterio de Santa María del Paular © Region of Madrid