April 2017 Travel to Western Spain and Portugal Part 3: World Heritage Site No. 16 – Royal Convent of Santa Maria de Guadalupe

April 2017 western Spain and Portugal of the journey
April 2017 western Spain and Portugal of the journey

Visit date: May 3, 2017, overnight

It was my fault, but I didn’t expect it to be a disappointing World Heritage Site.

Sanctuary of the Virgin Mary in all Spain

The monastery is said to have originated around 1300, when a shepherd discovered a carved wooden statue of Mary on the Guadalupe River, and in 1340, King Alfonso XI of Spain defeated an army of Moors (Muslims) after praying to the statue for protection. After that, the Hieronist monks started to build and manage the monastery in earnest. After the Reconquista, this belief in the Virgin was used to Christianize the New World, especially by the Conquistadors.

The city of Guadalupe has developed around this monastery, and its streets are very beautiful.

Guadalupe 04052017-_MG_1800

The Parador was amazing.

And on this day, we were going to stay at a parador just beside the monastery.

Guadalupe 04052017-_MG_1801

It seems to have reconstructed the building attached to the monastery. There seemed to be a good number of rooms. Because the distance from the reception to the room was far, and the inside was like a maze, it was impressive that I could not reach my room easily.

The view of the monastery from the terrace of the room was very beautiful. It would be worth staying at this parador just to see it.

Guadalupe 04052017-_MG_1780

The restaurant at the Parador was also not bad.

It’s a hassle to get there because it’s a land-locked island.

Guadalupe Monastery was one of the places I wanted to visit in 2008 when I first drove in Spain, but I gave it up because of its inconvenient location. There was no major city nearby, nothing to do around it, and the only road was a winding dirt road.

It took me less than two hours to get there from Trujillo, Pizarro’s hometown. It was a relief that the route to Guadalupe was gentler than I expected.

Unable to visit due to lack of prior research and insufficient numbers

Apparently, there is a minimum number of tourists. And instead of applying at the entrance of the monastery (the entrance to the left of the Cathedral), I guess you have to book in advance if you are there (or at most the day before, because there is nothing around). Then you can arrange it by email or phone. I had no idea just by looking at the website. (I think I saw it beforehand, at least)

Real Monasterio de Guadalupe:?http://monasterioguadalupe.com

According to the information on this site, you can visit the site four times daily at the following times.

Todos los días en horario de visita de 9:30 a 13:30 y de 15:30 a 18:30

(I can understand this level of Spanish because it’s almost the same as French)

However, I didn’t get any impression from the man at the entrance of the monastery that the monastery was open in the morning, and he just told us to go home because we couldn’t visit the monastery. I guessed that there were not enough participants for the 9:30 tour that day.

In any case, I apologize for the uncertain information. I hope I can tell you just that you need to investigate well with other sources of information. Perhaps it is important to enter the city a little earlier the day before and collect information in advance at the tourist information center.

By the way, the tourist information center starts at 10 am. Maybe we could join the tour in the afternoon even on the day. However, I can’t spend the whole morning in a place where there is nothing to do except this monastery! So I gave up and decided to go to the next.

Anyway, I was wondering if the city itself welcomes tourists so much. Even though there are many souvenir shops and hotels…. Maybe the monastery is a bit closed. It’s true that in recent years, I’ve heard that locals in many parts of Europe have been annoyed by the rapid increase in the number of tourists.

It is unlikely that I will visit again, but if I do sew, I would like to learn more Spanish and hope to make arrangements in advance.