Although the exact foundation date of this monastery is not known, its existence is documented since the year 1174. King Fernando II finally established its area of jurisdiction, which still today marks the limits of the municipality of Xunqueira.
As regards its spatial distribution, this monument is divided into two parts: the church, built in the Middle Ages, and the monastery, the cloister and the liturgical furnishings, from more modern periods. Today the church serves as parish church and part of the monastery houses the Town Hall offices (where we can get information on visits), the medical centre, etc.
The church, declared a National Monument in 1980, is of basilica design and comprises three 30-m long naves. Its decoration is austere and simple, a characteristic typical of Cistercian constructions. Nevertheless, the historiated or decorated capitals of the central nave, with vegetable motifs, are well worth admiring. The north entrance, of Romanesque style, is also decorated with vegetable motifs. On the vestry door we will find Ionic volutes. It has a Romanesque stone altar. The main altarpiece (there are others in the lateral chapels) was created by Juan de Angés, "El Mozo", and displays the crosses of Calatrava and Alcántara, the coat of arms of the Castilian Congregation, the Ascension of the Virgin Mary and several scenes from the life of Jesus.
The façade of the church is of a much later period, as, according to the inscription it bears, it was finished in 1801. Of Neoclassical style, it contains an image of Saint Bernard. The bell tower is divided into two levels, the first with a quadrangular layout, whilst the upper section is circular.
The monastery was originally Romanesque, but the present day building was constructed later, between the 16th and 17th centuries. The cloister is its most interesting area. Its layout and decoration are simple, but harmonious, giving it unquestionable artistic value.
The coffered ceiling over the entrance displays some curious caricatures, painted directly onto the wood.