Cartoixa d'Escaladei (Carthusian Monastery of Santa Maria d'Escaladei)
Wander around this monastery founded by French monks from Provence, who established here the first charter-house on the Iberian peninsular. They chose one of the most beautiful places to site the monastery, at the foothills of the Montsant mountain range, where a shepherd had dreamt of angels coming down from the sky on a ladder resting on a tall pine tree.
Scala Dei was a fully working monastery until 1835, experiencing moments of great riches and splendour. During the seven centuries the monks lived here, they built mills and taught different farming techniques which included planting vineyards on the steep slate-based slopes of the region. Thanks to these monks, the Priorat is now famous for its wines.
The Prior, whose name was taken to define the region, was in charge of the villages within his territory and was also in charge of their jurisdiction.
In the nineteenth century, the monks fled due to the seizing of their land by the state. The cells, cloisters, church and hostalry buildings were abandoned.
In just two years, this impressive monastery was converted into a ruin, due to the local peasant farmers ransacking and burning it, tired of being submitted to the tirany of tithes, serfdom and oppression.
Nowadays this historical site shares its name with the internationally famous wine appellation DOC Priorat which can be found in the central area of today's county of the same name.
The ruined monastery is open to the public. Visitors are guided around its three cloisters, church and refectory, whilst learning the purpose of each building. There is a reconstructed cell and another cell, which was consolidated during 2007, shows the stone basins which the apothecary monk used.
The Carthusian Monastery of Scala Dei (Escaladei in Catalan) is one of the most important historic sites of the Priorat.
1st October to 15th December and 1st March to 31st May:
10am to 5pm
16th December to 28th February:
10am to 3.30pm
1st of June to 30th of September
10am to 7.30pm
Closed on Mondays (not including Bank Holiday Mondays), 1st and 6th January and 25 and 26 December
For information and advance booking, please call +34 977 638 556 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
General: 6 €
Concession: 3 € ( people aged 65 and over, pensioners, Carnet Jove holders, International Student Identity Card holders, large or single-parent family book holders,
groups of ten or more people who are not tourists. If any of the persons entitled to free admission continues to enjoy this rate.
Free ( children aged under 16, unemployed people upon presentation of proof of their status,accredited members of the ICOM (International Council of Museums) or ICOMOS (International Council of Monuments), accredited members of the Associació de Museòlegs de Catalunya, accredited professional tourist guides upon presentation of proof of their status, teachers who work in education centres that provide government-regulated education,accredited by the head of their education centre. Accredited members of the press visiting in the course of their duties who have provided prior notification of their visit in writing. Disabled people upon presentation of a certificate confirming their disabled status. the person accompanying them will also benefit from a reduced admission rate if the disabled status
certificate states that the disabled person requires a companion. Foster families upon presentation of proof of their status. School parties (pupils in the general education system and special education with teaching staff)
Guided tour (general fee): 8 €
Guided tour (reduced fee): 6 €
Free entrance every last Tuesday of the month between 1st October to 30th June
Groups that book through a tourism-related agency, operator or similar company will benefit from a 25% reduction on the applicable admission rate. the authorised guide or person accompanying the group will be given free admission.
Catalan/Spanish guided tours Tuesday to Friday (advance booking required): 65 € + tickets
Other languages guided tours Tuesday to Friday (advance booking required): 81 € + tickets