This is a Roman Catholic Monastery . . . now an Episcopal Church . . . . dating from the early 1100's and was used as such for over 700 years before the new secular government of Spain seized it. It was then used for various purposes. In 1925, the American newspaper publisher, William Randolph Hearst purchased the Cloisters and the various out-buildings . . . . . . . had them dismantled stone-by-stone and each stone numbered so it could be reassembled in America. About the time they arrived in this country, Hearst fell upon hard times and the stones were stored in a warehouse in Brooklyn until 1952.......... when they were purchased to build a tourist attraction.
It took 19 months and $1.5 million dollars to put the Monastery back together again. It was later purchased and given to the Episcopal Diocese of South Florida and part of it serves as an active Episcopal Church.
The old building along with various statues, Spanish strong boxes, photographs, furniture, paintings, and altars all combine to make this a worthwhile stop when touring the area.
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