The Monastery of the Avellanes (hazel nut trees-which were grown on the monastery grounds) is a bit of an oddity among our many visits to churches and monasteries all over the world. Yes, a good part of the original 12th Century monastery is there, including this charming window portrait of Saint Lawrence in the chapel, but the whole thing now has been transformed into a hotel, restaurant, and conference center. Which, come to think of it, is not too far in spirit from the original concept of monasteries as working commercial enterprises which supported the monks who lived and worked and prayed there.
The place features a very nice restaurant, where we were treated to a lovely lunch, courtesy of the tourism bureau of the province of Lleida. Lleida is one of the provinces that makes up Catalunya in northeastern Spain, in case you were wondering.
I went on a whirlwind three day tour of the province with the tourist bureau in April 2015, and while I appreciated the lunch, I certainly appreciated more the chance to see yet another bit of Spain's rich cultural history.
You can get a lot more info about the monastery from its website. If you choose to have a look at it, you'll also get yet another good idea of why using Google Translate to translate your website is a really bad idea. Spend some money, people. Hire a real translator.
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