Miami Weekend travel blog

Spanish Monastery







Miami Beach Drive







Lincoln Road

Lincoln Road

Wynwood Walls







Today we begin our weekend of getting acquainted with attractions in the Miami area. Actually we are here because Jim is in a golf tournament, but we will have time for several other visits.

Our first stop was at the Ancient Spanish Monastery in North Miami. The construction of the Monastery began in 1133 AD in Sacramenia, Spain. Completed in 1141 and named The Monastery of Our Lady, Queen of the Angels. Upon canonization of the famous monk, Bernard de Clairvaux, the monastery was renamed Monastery and Cloisters of St Bernard de Clairvaux. Cisterian monks occupied the monastery for nearly 700 years. After a social revolution in Spain in the 1830's the Cloisters were seized, sold and converted into a granary and stable.

In 1925 the Cloisters and Monastery outbuildings were purchased by William Randolph Hearst and sent to America in 11,000 wooden crates, parts numbered for identification. About that time hoof and mouth disease broke out in Segovia and the US Dept of Agriculture feared contamination in the packing hay of the crates. Upon arrival, the crates were opened and the hay was burned. Unfortunately, the stones were not replaced in their original numbered boxes. The crates were placed in storage in New York but financial problems forced most of Hearst's collections to be auctioned. The crates remained in storage for 26 years and after Hearst's death in 1952 they were purchased by William Edgemon and Raymond Ross for use as a tourist attraction in Florida. It took 19 months and almost 1.5 million dollars (13 million in today's currency) to put the Cloisters back together. It was called by Time Magazine " the world's largest jigsaw puzzle".

In 1964, due to financial difficulties, the Cloisters was sold to Col Robert Pentland Jr , a benefactor of many churches, for the Episcopal Diocese. Today the Monastery is home to the Church of St Bernard de Clairvaux which has an active Episcopal (Anglican) congregation.

While we were there the Chapel (originally the Refactory or dining hall) was getting a new marble floor, so while we were not able to go in we were able to see it thru the door. It is so amazing to imagine putting these pieces back together, the work and workmanship is amazing and the gardens, while pretty simple, were beautiful. The site was a nursery before the Monastery reconstruction, now housing nearly 1000 plants and trees that cover 15 acres. This site is well worth the visit.

Then we drove down A1A to see the high rise buildings of Miami Beach and the beautiful homes and boats along the inter-coastal. Time then for lunch and we visited Lincoln Road, a pedestrian walkway lined with shops and restaurants. Despite being HOT and very humid we enjoyed eating alfresco at the Sugar Factory.

After lunch we headed to Wynwood Walls (Wynwood is the area of Miami that supposedly housed the Zika mosquitos last year). It was too hot and too crowded to get out and walk around but we were able to see several fabulous murals from the street in our drive-by. We definitely have to go back to really see this area.

Time then to head to Doral and check in the Trump National at Doral.

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