Fitero, Abbey of

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Former Cistercian monastery, probably the first in Spain, in the Diocese of Tarazona, Navarre province, near the Ebro River. Originally founded at Yerga in 1140 by Alfonso VII of Castile with monks from Scala Dei (affiliation of morimond), it was moved to Niencebas in 1146 and to Fitero in 1152 under Abbot Raymond Serrat, who founded the military order of calatrava in 1158. The church has a cenotaph of Rodrigo ximÉnez de rada, Archbishop of Toledo (121047), who contributed to the building of the church, hoping to be buried there. Fitero, abbey nullius and one of the most important Cistercian cloisters in Spain, flourished until its suppression in 1834. It has recently been restored and has pastoral care of the town. The abbey church (now the parish church), the cloister, and the chapter hall have excellent examples of ogival architecture. The church, built c. 1200, is typically Cistercian in its main altar, five chapels, ambulatory, and three naves. The chapter hall is Romanesque-ogival, and the early 16th-century cloister is Gothic-plateresque.

Bibliography: m. arigita y lasa, Cartulario de Fitero (Pamplona 1900). t. biurrun sÓtil, El arte romanico en Navarra (Pamplona 1936). m. cocheril, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912) 15:944948, 952.

[j. pÉrez de urbel]