St.Bernard De Clairvaux Church

 

The St. Bernard de Clairvaux Church is a 12th century medieval Spanish monastery that was built in Spain over 8 centuries ago. It was shipped to America piece by piece with New York City being the port of entry.

 

The story of this church started back in 1133 when construction began. It took eight years to complete and was originally named Monastery of Our Lady, Queen of the Angels. It was later renamed after St. Bernard when he received canonization

The monastery was sold around the beginning of the 1800ís and used as an agricultural storage facility. It would remain this way into the 19th century until it was sold again to William Randolph Hearst in 1925

 

Mr. Hearst, an American, decided to ship the castle back to his home country piece by piece.

It required over 11,000 crates to fit all of the blocks from the monastery (each carefully packed with hay added for cushioning) and hours of endless labeling to ensure it could be put back together properly after it made it to the States.

 

In a stroke of bad luck, there was quarantine for foot and mouth disease in New York and all the crates had to be unpacked and the hay and crates burnt to avoid the risk of spreading the disease. In the rush to get everything done things were lost and mislabeled and the entire project became a mess.

 

Mr. Hearst gave up on ever getting the chance to put the castle back together in the 1950ís and sold it instead. The new owners, Raymond Moss and William Edgemon, transported all of the crates south to Miami and reassembled it there.

St. Bernard De Clairvaux Church

 

The Ancient Spanish Monastery (the name they advertised under) took them 19 months and $1.5 million to reassemble.

It was an instant hit with the tourists to Miami though and soon became one of the most visited sites in southern Florida.

 

A Bishop for the Episcopal Church felt that a monastery of this historical value deserved to have religious teachings once

again performed within its walls. He convinced the owners to sell it to the Episcopal Diocese of South Florida in 1964.

 

The church quickly fell into financial difficulty shortly after buying the monastery and needed to sell the newly acquired medieval landmark.

Thankfully a good man by the name of Colonel Robert Pentland Jr. purchased the church and soon after gave it back to the Episcopal parish

of St. Bernard de Clairvaux where it has remained ever since.