Famous mainly for its impressive Romanesque cloister, the Monestir de Sant Cugat (Monastery of Sant Cugat), run by the Benedictine order, contains pre-Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance elements.
Constructed between the 9th and 14th centuries, the church features the classic basilica plan of three naves and three apses, which are based on the remains of a Roman castrum. The temple is characterised by the sobriety of the Romanesque period in the lack of decoration and low light, and the Gothic grandeur thanks to the thirteenth century dome: an eight-sided tower with large windows.
The prosperity of the twelfth century led to the construction of the first floor of the cloister, consisting of long galleries with arches that rest on pillars and several pairs of columns. However, the most eye-catching feature for visitors must be the 144 Romanesque capitals.
Made with stones from Montjuïc, they were carved between the late twelfth and thirteenth centuries and feature something completely unusual: the author's signature. As such, we know that the sculptor, Arnau Cadell, made a self-portrait on a Corinthian capital and wrote in Latin: "This is the image of Arnau Cadell, sculptor, who built this cloister for posterity".
Discover the art and history of this outstanding building through periodically scheduled guided tours and workshops.