The origin of the construction of the monastery is reflected in a legend that tells how King García, the king of Nájera, ordered the transfer of the remains of San Millán that were in Suso to the monastery of Santa María La Real de Nájera. The oxen that pulled the cart stopped the valley as if the remains of the Saint did not want to leave it, building the current Yuso monastery there.
A Romanesque monastery from the 10th and 11th centuries, of which no remains remain today, on which the current Yuso monastery was built between the 16th and 18th centuries by the Benedictine abbots. The Benedictine monks moved to the monastery in the 10th century. One of the most important abbots was Domingo, a native of the Riojan population of Cañas, better known as Santo Domingo de Silos.
The entrance to the monastery was made in 1661 and in it appears the relief of San Millán "Matamoros" since according to tradition he fought Islam together with Santiago in the battle of Simancas. The entrance hall was made a little later in 1689, all of this gives access to the Hall of the Kings, named after the four large canvases of benefactor kings of the monastery.
The lower cloister was started in 1549 and although its vaults are Gothic, the conception is Renaissance. The upper one is classicist and contains twenty-four paintings by José Vexes, whose main scenes deal with the life of San Millán, written by San Braulio, Archbishop of Zaragoza.
The sacristy is one of the most beautiful in Spain, the old chapter house began to be used as such around 1693. The ceiling frescoes from the 18th century retain all the richness of the original color without having been restored. The chest of drawers is made of walnut wood, on top of which there are twenty-four baroque oil paintings on copper of Flemish, Madrid and Italian origin.
The church of the monastery is the first thing that was made of this whole complex, begun in the year 1504 and finished thirty six years later, it is cataloged within the decadent Gothic. The grandiose altarpiece of the main altar contains a canvas by Fray Juan Ricci, from the El Greco school, which represents Saint Millán on horseback in the battle of Hacinas. The extraordinary grille by Sebastián de Medina from 1676 completes the artistic ensemble of the main chapel.
The low choir stalls were made by a Flemish carver around 1640, the French Rococo style retrochoir is decorated with round sculptures representing disciples of Saint Millán, highlighting for its beauty the Plateresque pulpit decorated with reliefs of the evangelists and symbols of passion. The upper choir, somewhat later than the lower one, is supported by an arch with sixteen medallions, from the first half of the 17th century.
The monastery's cantoral shelves have 25 volumes copied between 1729 and 1731 to their credit. The monasterial archive and library of great value to researchers is considered among the best in Spain; in it two cartularies and three hundred original volumes are kept.
In the exhibition hall, the replicas of the Romanesque ivories of the caskets stand out: reliquaries of San Millán from the 11th century and of San Felices from the 12th century.
It was built by Benedictine monks, who remained there until the confiscation and exclaustration of the XIX century. Currently the Augustinian Recollect friars are the ones who keep the spirit of the monastery alive.
|Type of place||Religious|
|Approximate cost||From 1€ to 5€ per person|
|Asset of Cultural Interest||RI-51-0000704|