Best Place to Go Back in Time Miami 2006 - The Ancient Spanish Monastery, St. Bernard de Clairvaux
16711 W. Dixie Highway
Sunny Isles Beach, FL 33160
Miami, they say, is constantly reinventing itself. When all that reinvention gets your head spinning, take a contemplative walk around the cloisters of this twelfth-century monastery -- the oldest structure around by a long shot. Like most things in South Florida, it's a transplant. It was originally built in Segovia, Spain, and served as a spiritual home to Cistercian monks there for almost 700 years. In 1925, William Randolph Hearst purchased the monastery and had it shipped -- block by block -- to the United States. Fate brought the disassembled building to Miami, where it was resurrected in 1952. Nowadays the monastery's pretty gardens are the backdrop for many a wedding, and its worn stone walkways give some perspective to the probable life span of that new South Beach nightclub. The Ancient Spanish Monastery is open Monday to Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sundays from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $2 for children under twelve, and $2.50 for seniors.