Cartuja de Aula Dei

Cartuja de Aula Dei
Ctra. de Montañana-Peñaflor, km 14

See plan

976 48 45 47
Opening hours

Saturday October 14 at 10.30, 12.00, 17.00, without reservations.

Special schedules in May and June:

Fridays: 16.30h.

Saturdays: 10.30h, 12.00h

Sundays: 10.00h.

Saturdays reservations: 976 45 00 00 o visitas.cartuja@chemin-neuf.org


Physical Accessibility:

  • Parking: NO.
  • Mobility inside building
    • Adapted entrance
    • Spacious areas: Yes
    • Adapted stairs: Yes
    • Adapted toilets: NO

Siglo XVI




Cultural heritage Monument (BIC)Document pdf in formato


The city of zaragoza is lucky to have two Carthusian monasteries, an extraordinay fact as the Carthusians always prevented having two foundations close to each other due to the problems that were derived from the competition between both when finding vocations and benefactors and due to the supply of fish, an essential food in the monks, diet. The first of these monasteries is Aula Dei. Located in a beutiful spot in the rural district of Peñaflor and as we have seen, whose origin is linked to the monastery of Nuestra Señora de las Fuentes, it was founded in 1563 by Hernando de Aragon, the Archbishop of Zaragoza and grandson of the Catholic Monarchs. A deeply religious man and lover of the Carthusian Order, con Hernando places all the human and economic resources necessary at the disposal of the monks to built a ¿magnificent, sumptuos and extensive¿ monastery in Zaragoza.

Thanks to his generosity, this monastery, built basically in the second half of the 16th century, was the richest and most important of the carthusian establishments in Aragon (its community intervened actively in the recuperation of nuestra Señora de las Fuentes and in the foundation of the Inmaculada Concepcion) and one of the most beautiful in the region. After a placid and happy life, the monastery was to suffer the confiscating consequences of the 19th century. After the monks were expelled from the monastery after 1835, ir was sold to private parties who gave it different uses (among these a spinning mill). In 1901 it was again purchased by the Carthusian Order and occupied by monks from the French monastery of Valbonne.

After this date a rehabilitation process was begun, which partly restored its previous splendour. From the artistic viewpoint the monastery of Aula Dei is especially important both due to the enormous interest of its architecture and the great value of the works of art that are kept within its walls. Its floor plan, which is due to the work of two of the most famous architects of 16th century Zaragoza, Martin Miteça and Miguel Riglos, represented a real novelty in the context of Spanish monasteries. This novelty lay in that for the first time in our country the rooms of the convent nucleus were organised according to stric criteria of orthogonality, symmetry and specialisation, concepts which gave rise to a very functional type of monastery, perfectly adapted to the monks¿ needs and harmonious and balanced from the aesthetic viewpoint.

The great advantages that this floor plan brought about gave rise to it being taken as a model for all the monasteries that were erected later in Sapin (among them the other two Aragonese ones. Of the elevation plans, undoubtedly the most important and the heart of the monastery, is the church, a magnificient example of traditional 16th century Gothic architecture, with a single nave, bevelled transept and ceiling with starred ribbed vaults, decorated with splendid gilt wood keystones. In addition, in thes temple, the sumptuous front with exuberant Baroque plastework can be contemplated, an 18th century work by the workshop of Jose and Manuel Ramirez de Arellano; its high alterpiece, 18th Baroque, attributed to Manuel ramirez de Arellano, and above all, the extremely beautiful mural oil paintings, of rich colour and loose brushstroke, by Francisco de Goya. This ingenious Aragonese painter painted, around 1774, a total of eleven works for the monastery, of which seven have been preserved; San Joaquin y Santa Ana, el Nacimiento de la Virgen, los Desposorios, la Visitación, la Circuncisión, la Epifania and la Presentación en el templo. The remaining four paintings lost were replaced by another four carried out in 1903 by the French Painters Paul and Amedée Buffet.


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Aula Dei

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