Ancient Spanish Monastery

The Ancient Spanish Monastery was built in 1141 in Sacramenia, a small village near Segovia in northern Spain. An enclave of European architecture and history, this Florida Heritage site has endured a long and interesting history to become the South Florida monument we know and love today.

In 1925, businessman and media tycoon William Randolph Hearst purchased the Cloisters and the Monastery’s outbuildings. The Ancient Spanish Monastery’s structures were dismantled stone by stone, bound with protective hay, packed in more than 11,000 wooden crates, numbered for identification and shipped to the United States. Soon after the shipment arrived, Hearst’s financial problems forced most of his collection to be sold at auction. The massive crates remained in a warehouse in Brooklyn, New York, for 26 years. One year after Hearst’s’ death in 1952, they were purchased by two entrepreneurs for use as a tourist attraction. It took 19 months and the equivalent of nearly $20 million dollars (in today’s currency) to put the Monastery back together. In 1953 Time magazine called it “the biggest jigsaw puzzle in history.”

In 1964, Colonel Robert Pentland, Jr, who was a multimillionaire banker, philanthropist and benefactor of many Episcopal churches, purchased the Cloisters and presented them to the Bishop of Florida. Today the parish Church of St. Bernard de Clairvaux is an active and growing congregation in the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida. Services are held on Sundays and weekdays in both English and Spanish.

Weddings at Ancient Spanish Monastery

Whether you dream of a traditional, contemporary, non-denominational, inter-faith or civil ceremony, the wedding staff at the Ancient Spanish Monastery will help you create your own unique memorable wedding service with beauty, warmth and grace.

Chapel Weddings

With three beautiful Chapels to choose from your wedding can be tailored to your budget, the size of your wedding party, and the number of guests. All fees include a one-hour ceremony and half an hour for pictures.

  • The Main Chapel is perfect for weddings with up to 150 guests. The rental fee includes the organist and pipe organ.

  • The Chapter House is a smaller Chapel which seats up to 80 guests. The rental fee includes the organist and portable keyboard.

  • ​The French Altar is an intimate Chapel for up to 10 guests.

Garden Weddings

Unlike any other South Florida location, the formal gardens of the Ancient Spanish Monastery showcase over 20 acres of rare palms, Spanish oaks, cycads, banyans, flowering trees,  and much more. The landscaped grounds, with the 12th century Romanesque and Gothic building as a backdrop, will make for an unforgettable event.

There are five outdoor spaces for weddings: The Loggia, Prayer Well, Banyan Tree, Saviour Garden, and St. John Garden. The Gardens can accomodate up to 300 guests.

Receptions at Ancient Spanish Monastery

Receptions may be held in the Cloisters (which are the covered passageways that surround an open courtyard), the Loggia or the Gardens. The rental fee is for a three-hour reception. Each additional hour is $500 and may go as late as 12:30 am.

A three-hour reception may also be held in the Gardens or Loggia. Additional hours may be purchased for $500 per hour.  An added benefit of holding your event at The Ancient Spanish Monastery is the ability to bring your chosen team of caterers, florists and decorators.

A cocktail hour may be held in the Gardens or Loggia prior to dinner and dancing for $800.