I recently visited the Spanish Monastery in North Miami Beach, FL.
The Spanish Monastery has quite a history. Construction of the Monastery of St. Bernard de Clairvaux was begun in the year 1133 AD in Sacramenia, near Segovia in northern Spain and completed eight years later in 1141.
In the 1830’s, the Monastery’s Cloisters were seized, sold, and converted into a granary and stable.
In 1925, William Randolph Hearst purchased the Cloisters and the Monastery’s outbuildings. The structures were dismantled stone by stone, bound with protective hay, packed in more than 11,000 wooden crates, numbered for identification and shipped to the United States.
All the crates remained in a warehouse in Brooklyn, New York, for 26 years where after one year after Hearst’s’ death in 1952, all the containers were purchased by two entrepreneurs for use as a tourist attraction. It took 19 months and nearly $20 million dollars (in today’s currency) to put the Monastery back together.
In 1953 Time magazine called it “the biggest jigsaw puzzle in history.”
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