The Cistercian monastery, dedicated to Santa Maria Real, was constructed during the years 1133-1141. Its Romanesque abbey church remains one of the monuments of Sacramenia. Originally, it was named "Monastery of Our Lady, Queen of the Angels", but was renamed to honor Bernard of Clairvaux upon his canonization. Use of the building as a Cistercian monastery lasted for almost 700 years until it was seized and sold off to be used as a granary and a stable during a period of social unrest in the 1830's.
The monastery's cloisters and its outbuildings were purchased by William Randolph Hearst in 1925. In order to be transported to the USA, the structures were carefully dismantled with each piece being numbered and packaged in wooden crates lined with hay. The total shipment comprised 11,000 crates. However, some of the information contained in this labeling was lost when the shipment was quarantined in the USA because of a break-out of hoof and mouth disease in Segovia. During the quarantine, the crates were opened and the hay filling was burned as a measure to prevent the spread of the disease. Afterwards, the content of the crates was not replaced correctly. William Randolph Hearst was ultimately unable to pursue his plan of rebuilding the monastery because of financial difficulties and the pieces were stored in a warehouse in Brooklyn, New York until they were purchased in 1952 by Raymond Moss and William Edgemon, who eventually reassembled them at the site of a small plant nursery north of Miami, where the buildings became a tourist attraction known as the Ancient Spanish Monastery. Reassembling the buildings took 19 months and cost almost 1.5 million dollars. Some of the stones remained unused in the process.
The United States is one of the most diverse countries on earth, jam packed full of amazing sights from St. Patrick's cathedral in New York to Mount Hollywood California.The Northeast region is where it all started. Thirteen British colonies fought the American Revolution from here and won their independence in the first successful colonial rebellion in history. Take a look at these rolling hills carpeted with foliage along the Hudson river here, north of New York City.The American south is known for its polite people and slow pace of life. Probably they move slowly because it's so hot. Southerners tend not to trust people from "up north" because they talk too fast. Here's a cemetery in Georgia where you can find graves of soldiers from the Civil War.The West Coast is sort of like another country that exists to make the east coast jealous. California is full of nothing but grizzly old miners digging for gold, a few gangster rappers, and then actors. That is to say, the West Coast functions as the imagination of the US, like a weird little brother who teases everybody then gets famous for making freaky art.The central part of the country is flat farmland all the way over to the Rocky Mountains. Up in the northwest corner you can find creative people in places like Portland and Seattle, along with awesome snowboarding and good beer. Text by Steve Smith.