S. Maria de Vallbona
Community ID
 
1230
 
Alternate Names
 
Vallbona
 
Town
 
Vallbona de les Monges
 
Diocese
 
Lérida (Lleida) (one source says Urgell)
 
Region
 
Catalonia
 
Corporate Status
 
Abbey
 
Date Founded
 
1176
 
Date Terminated
 
Still active
 
Religious Order
 
Cistercian
 
Foundation Information
 

The hermit Ramon de Vallbona fused nuns of two local communities.

 
Notable Heads
 

Abbesses (note: final year is not necessarily the year of each abbess' death): 1177-1190: Oria Ramirez // 1190-1209: Ermessendis de Rubio // 1211-1230: Eldiardis d'Ager // 1230-1247: Ermessendis de Fontova // 1249-1259: Eldiardis d'Anglesola // 1259-1267: Arnalda d'Altarriba // 1267-1270: Jeromina de Cardona // 1270-1273: Elisendis de Timor // 1273-1282: Jeromina de Cardona (second term) // 1282-1294: Jeronima de Queralt // 1294-1328: Blanca d'Anglesola // 1328-1340: Alamanda d'Avinyo // 1340-1348: Elisenda de Copons // 1348-1377: Berenguera d'Anglesola // 1377-1379: Sibilia d'Anglesola // 1379-1392: Saurina d'Anglesola // 1392-1401: Constanca de Cabra

 
Population Counts
 

Early 14th century: approximately 75

 
Patrons/Benefactors
 

Protected by the kings nobles and popes, became the most powerful of the cistercian monasteries in Catalonia. Enjoyed the patronage of many of the noble families of Catalonia (who sent their daughters there), as well as the kings and queens of Aragon. Queen Violant of Hungary (second wife of Jaume the Conqueror) is buried there, as was her daughter Sanca.

 
Social Characteristics
 

Daughters of the nobility

 
Relative Wealth
 

Extremely wealthy

 
Assets/Property
 

After buying several juristictions from King Pere III in 1380, the community's territories included the districts of Vallbona, Llorenc, Rocallaura, Vilamanyar, Montesquiu, Eixaders, Preixana, La Quadra de Masdeu, Valerna, Els Obells de Na Gaia, and Rocafort.

 
Art & Artifacts
 

Santissima trinitat i corpus christi (Holy Trinity and body of Christ). Monastery maintians a good museum, archive, and some works of art.

 
Architecture & Archaeology
 

Both romanesque and gothic styles are visible in the cloister, as it was constructed over the course of several centuries (begun in the 13th century and completed in the 16th). The church is cistercian gothic, and is the oldest of the buildings. Latin cross, with triple apse. Much of the architecture typifies the transition between romanesque and gothic, or is a combination of the two.

 
State Of Medieval Structure
 

Walls surrounded the community beginning in the 14th c., but these were destroyed in the 16th to construct a town, according to Tridentine decrees.The Brotherhood of S. Maria de Vallbona was created in 1957, and is dedicated to maintaining and restoring the community's buildings.

 
Manuscript Sources
 

Maintains its own archive (see below). In addition: Archivo de la Corona de Aragon / Arxiu de la Corona de Aragó, Cancelleria, Registros, nos. 436, 264 r. - v.. (1330, feb), no. 354, 132 r. (1315), no. 363, fols. 37 r. & 38 r. (1318), no. 364, 66 r. (1319/20), no. 369, 224 r-v (1321), no. 376, 20 r-21 r. (1325), no. 388, 32 v. (1323, March 6), no. 429, 154 r. - 155 r. (1328, Feb), no. 429, 216 r. (1328, Apr), no. 431, 84 r. - v. (1328, June 15), no. 432, 293 r. - v. (1328, Sept. 25), and others. Hill Monastic Manuscript Library has also microfilmed the entire collection of the community's own library, comprising 27 medieval codices (notably musical manuscripts), plus various fragments. For a complete listing, see Checklist of manuscripts microfilmed for the Hill Monastic Manuscript Library, vol. II, pp. 233-34.

 
Published Primary Sources
 

España sagrada, Vol. 44, appendix, no. 28 (1328)

 
Miscellaneous Information
 

Although the monastery is currently located in the center of the town of Vallbona, it was alone in the valley until the 16th century, when the Tridentine council of that century decreed that women's communities should not be in isolated locations. It is a testimony to the power of S. Maria de Vallbona and its abbesses that this decree provoked the construction of a town, rather than the closure of the community.

 
Contributors
 
Marie Kelleher
 
Date Started
 
1176
 
Length
 
2587