The origins of the Benedictine monastery of Sant Pere de Casserres
stand half way between history
. The latter explains that one of the sons of the viscounts of Osona
spoke only three days after being born to announce that he wouldn't live for more than 30 days. Once dead, they had to put his body on a mule that would walk without being guided. At the spot where the mule would stop, a monastery was to be constructed.
The version that speaks about the monastery's strategic position
seems more likely, with the monastery situated in a very pronounced bend of the Ter
river. Previously, it was the site of a castrum serrae
or defence tower. It was a building that the viscounts would decide to convert into a monastery.
Ermetruit, viscountess of Osona, was the monastery's promoter
, the only one from the Benedictine order
in Osona. Construction began in 1005 and, seven years later, monastic life
began; the church was consecrated in 1050.
With the exception of short favourable periods (when the abbey had the support of the local nobility like the lords of Savassona
), the monastery was marked by misfortune
. Only ten years after the consecration of the church, the abbey fell to the category of priory
because it had less than 12 monks and in 1079 Sant Pere de Casserres came to be a "branch" in Catalan lands of the powerful abbey of Cluny
Between the 13th
and the 15th
century, Sant Pere de Casserres entered into decline
from famines, wars and epidemics, such as the Black Plague of 1348
. In the 19th century, the monastery passed into private hands
and was used as a farm and tenant housing. The current group is the result of a series of restorations, like those done by Camil Pallàs (1952-1962) and Joan Albert Adell and the County Council of Osona (1994-1998).
The temple is a compendium of the Romanesque
: three naves separated by pillars and crowned by semi-circular apses
. The decorative architectural elements also rigorously follow the "style" of time, with blind arches, toothed friezes and a small cloister with semi-circular arches
supported on columns. The church's interior was completely decorated with mural paintings
, although nowadays only a few very deteriorated
Two elements, escape the canon: on one hand, the church measures longer in width than length
, an uncommon fact in the Catalan Romanesque style. On the other hand, the bell tower is
-unusually low- is no more than two floors in height. Two curiosities of the monastery's exterior must be highlighted: the rectangular shaped building that serves as hospital
and the area where numerous anthropomorphic tombs
Author of the photographs: Josep Giribet.