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St. Bernard de Clairvaux Church is a medieval Spanish monastery cloister which was built in the town of Sacramenia, in the Province of Segovia, Spain in the 12th century and relocated to North Miami Beach, Florida, USA in the 20th century.

The Cistercian monastery dedicated to Santa Maria Real was constructed during the years 1133-1141: its Romanesque abbey church remains one of the monuments of Sacramenia. Originally, it was named "Monastery of Our Lady, Queen of the Angels", but was renamed in the honor of Bernard of Clairvaux upon his canonization. Use of the building as a Cistercian monastery lasted for almost 700 years until it was seized and sold off to be used as a granary and a stable during a period of social unrest in the 1830s.

The monastery's cloisters and its outbuildings were purchased by William Randolph Hearst in 1925. In order to be transported to the USA, all building structures were carefully disassembled with each piece being numbered and packaged in wooden crates lined with hay. The total shipment comprised 11,000 crates. However, some of the information contained in this labelling was lost when the shipment was quarantined in the USA because of a break-out of hoof and mouth disease in Segovia. During the quarantine, the crates were opened and the hay filling was burned as a measure to prevent the spread of the disease. Afterwards, the content of the crates was not replaced correctly. William Randolph Hearst was ultimately unable to pursue his plan of rebuilding the monastery because of financial difficulties and hence the pieces were stored in a warehouse in Brooklyn, New York City until they were purchased in 1952 by Raymond Moss and William Edgemon who intended to turn it into a tourist attraction in northern Miami-Dade County. Reassembling the buildings at the site of a small plant nursery took 19 months and cost almost 1.5 million United States dollars. Some of the stones remained unused in the process.

The property was purchased for the Episcopalian Diocese of South Florida by Bishop Henry Louttit in 1964, which later became the Dioceses of Central, Southeast and Southwest Florida. When the dioceses had to put the monastery up for sale due to financial difficulties, it was purchased by Colonel Robert Pentland, Jr. and given to the parish of St. Bernard de Clairvaux.

LocationEdit

The postal address of St. Bernard de Clairvaux Church is 16711 West Dixie Highway, North Miami Beach, FL 33160, USA.

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