Simat de la Valldigna Sightseeing
Monuments and Places to see in Simat de la Valldigna
The most important monument of the village is the monastery of Santa Maria de Valldigna. It was founded in 1297 by James II of Aragon. Since the beginning, it was one of the most important monasteries of the Cistercian order. It was founded by the monks of Santes Creus in the Tarragona province. The whole Valldigna valley belonged to the monks, according to a royal order. The monastery was inhabited by monks until 1835, when a revolt in the Valldigna valley took place after the Ecclesiastical Confiscations of Mendizábal. After that, the monks were forced to abandon the monastery. Most of its goods and works of art were sold, plundered or destroyed. After decades of abandonment, many restorations projects are envisaged, and nowadays the monastery of Santa Maria de Valldigna is, according to the 57th article of the Statute of Autonomy of the Valencian Country, “the spiritual, historical and cultural temple of the ancient Kingdom of Valencia.
La Xara mosque or Saint Anne hermitage. It is a little hermitage, which is placed in the middle of the orange fields. It is the only remaining building from the ancient village of la Xara, which was abandoned in 1609, after the expulsion of the Moorish people from Spain. It is the building of the old mosque. It is rectangular, and there is a gate in the eastern part with a horseshoe arch. Four columns divide the building in three naves: Next to the gate there is an spiral staircase, which had the old function of the minaret. The Qibla is the most important element, since it shows the direction of Mecca and thus it was the place towards which the Muslims had to address their prayers. Nowadays the mihrab can also be seen, and also two side gates in the Qibla wall. Outside the mosque there is also the ancient ablutions well.
Saint Michael Archangel Church. It is the present parish church. It has a baroque style, and the statue of saint Michael is interesting.
Font Gran (Big fountain in English). It is placed in the middle of the square that has this name, inside the village. It is a natural fountain, with a big pool of water.