- Issue date: 08/03/2004
- Printing Process: Huecograbado
- Paper: Estucado,engomado, fosforescente
- Size of stamp: 28,8 x 40,9 mm.(verticales)
- Size of block sheet: 78 x 105 mm. (verticales)
- Postal value of the stamps: 1,90 €
- Print run: 600.000 hojas bloque
- Dented: 13 3/4
This Souvenir Sheet is dedicated to the monastery of Santa María de Carracedo .
The monastery is situated in the northeastern part of the province of León, on the road to Santiago in the region called Bierzo. The monastery was founded in 990 by Bermudo II with the name of San Salvador. The monastery was supposed to function as sanctuary for the monks persecuted by Almanzor who finally came to destroy it. After it was rebuild, the monastery acquired great importance for the northern part of Spain, having jurisdiction over several monasteries in León, Zamora, Galicia and Asturias. The monastery changed its name around 1203 to Santa María de Carracedo when the monks joined de Cistercian Order. This order suffered from a spiritual and economic crisis in the 14th Century from which it recovered from 1505 onwards. After the reform of the Cistercian Order in Spain and the rise of the Congregation of Castile to which Carracedo belonged, the monastery expanded its facilities. At the same time it underwent a structural reorganization, dividing its territory in seven priories. In the 16th Century a new lay cloister, the sacristy, the roof of the refectory as well as the monastic wall were built. The guest cloister, the Bell tower and the so called "Third courtyard" were added in the 17th and 18th Century. At the same time a new church was constructed on the foundations of the old building. When the Provincial Government of León was created in 1808 the Monastery of Santa María de Carracedo came to prominence because it served as the seat of the Electoral College, which in 1810 elected the deputies who were to represent León in the Parliament of Cádiz. The election, presided by José Baeza Flórez, took place on 29. August 1810. After the Secularization the monastery was abandoned. It was declared a National Monument in 1928. Although some reforms on the buildings were made in the 1960s the most complete restoration took place in 1988 under the auspices of the Provincial Council and the Diocese of Astorga, the joint owners of the monastery.