Miami Hidden Gem: Spanish Monastery Pt.1

Miami Hidden Gem: Spanish Monastery Pt.1

Many of you have asked me to share some of the most beautiful places in Miami. For me, beauty is in the undiscovered and “forbidden.” I remember reading The Secret Garden wishing I could open a door to a magical place. The Spanish Monastery felt like this place for me, therefore it’s kicking off my tour of Miami’s Hidden Gems!

My goal for this series is to showcase the beauty of Miami that has been lost in time and there is nothing more timeless or interesting than the Spanish Monastery. As I sit here typing this to all of you {while eating Gluten-Free Ginger Snap cookies} I realized that this place is remarkable. It was so peaceful inside and for the time we were onsite, I felt like we were in another country.



I thought I’d be able to capture the Monastery in one post, but the reality is, the grounds were too beautiful to limit to one sesh. Check out Part 2.

This building’s history is robust as it is the oldest European-built structure in the Western Hemisphere. Personally, I loved strolling around the gardens soaking in the sunshine.

That is until a raccoon started rummaging through our bags. We screamed. And that was the end of my outdoor exploration.

I’m really excited to share this piece with you and I hope you enjoy my Hidden Gem series.



Red Dress (a similar fun option) // Belt // Bamboo Handbag // Pink Sandals // Earrings

From the museum you enter into the gardens. There you will find an iron gate with an image of the Spanish nobleman who owned it on top. You can also see a stone with the date of 1141… which is when the original building was built.



 Belt // Bamboo Handbag // Pink Sandals // Earrings

Built in Segovia, Spain in during the years 1133-1141, the Monastery Cloister is the oldest building in the Western Hemisphere. In 1925, Newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst brought the pieces to America in wooden crates each piece came box by box.  The cloisters, the chapter house, and the refectory of the monks, comprised of 11,000 crates total for shipment to the US.

That’s a lotta stone if you ask me!



Red Dress (a similar fun option) // Belt // Bamboo Handbag // Pink Sandals // Earrings

There was an issue however, the cloister stones had been shipped with hay that was possibly contaminated with Hoof-and-Mouth Disease, which had just broken out in Spain.

It’s gross don’t Google it. 

The boxes were then quarantined and emptied, the hay was burned, and the stones were returned randomly to the boxes.

For Hearst, this posed a serious issue because that’s 11,000 puzzle pieces all jumbled up!



This was only the beginning of Hearst’s problems, however, as his financial situation forced him to sell most of his belongings. The cloisters remained in boxes in a warehouse in Brooklyn until Hearst’s death in 1952. Check out Part 2 to learn how the Monastery was built. 


Red Dress (a similar fun option) // Belt // Bamboo Handbag // Pink Sandals // Earrings


I hope you enjoy my Miami Hidden Gem series. Hopefully it inspires you to explore more of our city!

+ Learn more with Part 2
+ And check out these Brickell Historical Spots

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Evelyn Torres
Evelyn Torres

As one of Miami’s top bloggers, Evelyn Torres has become one of the leading voices in fitness, fashion, and Miami. Brickellista started as a Twitter alias in 2009 and has expanded to become a lifestyle blog capturing a Miami girl’s perspective. Evelyn is a businesswoman, entrepreneur, brand ambassador and on the pulse of the Miami social scene.

Today as founder and Managing Director of BrickellistaFiles.com, Evelyn is not only the face of BrickellistaFiles, but oversees the strategy and direction. She is the driving force behind the brand and has built the go-to site for everything Miami.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Facebook

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