Albelda, Abbey of
ALBELDA, ABBEY OF
Former Benedictine monastery of St. Martín in the Diocese of Calahorra, Spain, six miles south of Logroño. The fortress Albailda (Arabic: "white") built by Muza II of Saragossa in 850 was destroyed by Ordoño I of Oviedo in 851. Hermits, however, there as monks probably before 850, formed a monastery soon afterward and in 924 grouped themselves under the Benedictine rule with a large number of monks sent there from León by Ordoño II. In 951 the abbey had 200 monks and was a famous center of learning. In 976 the monks (Vigila) completed the beautifully illuminated codex Albeldensis (Escorial d-I-2) that contains a collection of 61 councils, the valuable Chronicle of Albelda of 883, and other items in Visigothic script. A copy of the Albeldensis (Escorial d-I-1) completed in 994, a Liber ordinum of 1052 (now in silos) sent to Rome in 1064 for the approval of the Mozarabic liturgy, several other extant codices of the 10th century, and several lost codices (including works by Salvus, d. 962) gave the scriptorium of Albelda a fame that Alfonso X recognized in 1270. From 1033 to 1092 the bishops of Calahorra-Nájera resided in Albelda, and the monks became secularized canons. In 1435 the canons, the treasure, and many documents of Albelda were moved to Santa María la Redonda in Logroño. The cartulary of the abbey (891–1092) went to Simancas. Archeological remains of the monastery, recently discovered, seem to be Visigothic in style.
Bibliography: c. j. bishko, "Salvus of Albelda … ," Speculum. A Journal of Mediaeval Studies 23 (1948) 559–590. m. alamo, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912–) 11:327–333.
[j. pÉrez de urbel]