St. Bernard de Clairvaux Monastery
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In a tropical setting stands the lovely St. Bernard de Clairvaux monastery, a 12th century stone building from Segovia Spain that was transported first to New York and then to Miami! This monastery is almost as confused as me, having lived in so many different places and so far from home! It is incredible a building that was constructed starting in 1133 is in Miami today! The monastery was in a mountainous region on a high plateau but now stands on the flat lands of North Miami!
William Randolph Hearst, of Hearst Castle in San Simeon, California, purchased the monastery (though not the church that was with it) in 1925. Due to financial woes, Hearst had to change his plan of assembling the building (which was in 11,000 crates) at San Simeon and sold it to Raymond Moss and William Edgemon in 1952 to be assembled as a tourist attraction called Ancient Spanish Monastery in Miami.
The Episcopal Church now owns the monastery and there is a small museum at the front that you can explore before walking around the lush green grounds. The Spanish bell, archways, and sculptures blend in well with the tropical landscape.
As you drive up to the monastery, it seems unlikely that something pretty could be in this industrial neighborhood, but then alas you find it and you're transported to another world!
This would be a gorgeous location for a wedding!
Call before visiting because the location is often closed for weddings and film shoots.
There are two more places you must see while in this area, Enchanted Forest Elaine Gordon Park with its wonderful trees, and Oleta River State Park, with its sparkling turquoise water.
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The entry gate to the monastery.
Archway and tropical foliage.
The stone monastery and green grass.
A film shoot at the monastery.
St. Bernard de Clairvaux Monastery is located at 16711 W. Dixie Highway, North Miami Beach, FL 33160.
Open daily 10-4:30 but closed on many of these days for film shoots. CALL AHEAD! (305) 945-1461.
Price to enter is $10 for adults and $5 for kids, students, and seniors.
This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.
Overall Visitor Rating: Unrated.