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New Clairvaux Abbey

The New Clairvaux Abbey is a monastery located in Vina, California, adjacent to a winery.  Established in 1955 by the monks of the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky, the grounds are well maintained & are extremely quiet & peaceful to roam around.  This view shows the church exterior (along with the chapter house), to which monks use to chant the Divine Office seven times per day.  The building is comprised of limestone blocks, half of the blocks having been transported from the ruins of the Santa María de Óvila monastery near Trillo, Guadalajara, Spain.  The Spanish monastery was built beginning in 1181 w/ additions added on over the centuries until its decline around 1835.  The blocks were originally purchased by newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst in 1931 for his private Wyntoon estate in Northern California & over 10,000 stones were tediously shipped to California however they ended up abandoned in San Francisco for decades.  While Hearst's planned goal of a private future castle didn't come to fruition, many of the stones were then used for various places around San Francisco while Father Thomas Davis of the New Clairvaux Abbey eventually made a deal with the city to transport 1,300 of the blocks for construction of the church.  A visit inside the church & one can see a mix of Spanish limestone & equivalent limestone quarried from Texas.  The limestone blocks seen outside at this location are from the original Spanish monastery.  The church, although built in recent times, is often now dubbed the oldest building on the West Coast of the United States (the brochure for the abbey actually lists it as the oldest building west of the Mississippi River though I would dispute that due to most Anasazi cliff dwellings being a couple hundred years older).

Copyright: William L
Type: Spherical
Resolution: 13200x6600
Taken: 29/01/2022
Uploaded: 31/01/2022


Tags: new clairvaux; abbey; monastery; church; vineyard; winery; vina; california; central valley; statue; mary; virgin; limestone; blocks; spain; jesus
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