The Benedictine Abbey of Sant Quirze stands in the old county of Empúries. Isolated from the population, the building survived within the Albera Natural Area of National Interest. After a long process of restoration, Sant Quirze still conveys what its builders set down in the 10th century, with solid stone architecture in the Romanesque style bearing influences from Roussillon and Lombard decoration.
The monastery church is the best preserved part of the architectural complex. Its construction is very austere and ornamentation is scarce. Only the main apse is decorated: a high podium holds 5 small arches supported by semi-columns with plain capitals. But one must focus one’s view on the south apse of the Church. it was here that, during the restoration in 2006, the remains of wall paintings were discovered. Even though they are in a state of degradation, a mandorla, two angels, the sun and the moon have been discerned.
Only a part of the cloister has been preserved but, given that it is a very primitive (10th century) construction, it has great value. From here one can reach a large chamber, which could have been the refectory or the dormitory, and the Abbot's Palace. The monastery, fortified in the 14th century, retains a defence tower and the remains of the ramparts.
Outside the monastery enclosure there is the the parish church of Santa Maria, dating from the 12th century, open to the inhabitants of the area.
If you want a different experience at the monastery, attend one of the concerts that are organised there.