Yuso and Suso Monasteries

Yuso and Suso Monasteries
Photo by Els Slots.

The San Millán Yuso and Suso Monasteries are known for their role in the development of the Spanish language.

The twin monasteries are located in San Millán de la Cogolla in La Rioja. They owe their existence to the holy man Millán, who settled here in the 6th century and founded the first 'monastery' at this spot.

Suso is the older of the two monasteries, and it is the site where phrases in the Spanish and Basque languages were written for the first time. The codex in question was subsequently preserved in the monastery library at Yuso.

Yuso monastery dates from the early 16th century. 'Yuso' means 'below', while 'Suso' stands for 'upper'.

Map of Yuso and Suso Monasteries

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Community Reviews

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Malta - 23-Aug-14 -

Yuso and Suso Monasteries by Clyde

I visited this WHS in August 2014. After some reading and research I decided to concentrate my visit mostly on the Yuso Monastery which is the bigger one of the two. It costs 6 euros to visit and we were accompanied by a Spanish guide throughout the visit. A leaflet in English containing the gist of what she says in Spanish is handed out but it isn't really all that necessary. The Yuso monastery houses the first verses written in the Castillian language so it is an important national cultural site apart from being a WHS. The church cloister and gilded furniture are nothing out of the ordinary compared to other WHS I've seen. The sacristy though is beautiful. The Books of Gregorian Chant weighing up to 80kg were the highlight of my visit. Two treasures worth seeing are the boxes/chests decorated with the original 12th century ivory plates of San Millan intricately carved and in very good condition. The exterior is worth a quick photo mostly for the serene environment surrounding the Yuso monastery. The Suso Monastery is very small compared to the Yuso Monastery and there is a shuttle bus that takes you there and back every 15 minutes departing from in front of the Yuso Monastery. Entrance tickets (inclusive of shuttle bus service) are sold at the Yuso Monastery. I enjoyed my visit as another stopping point on my return road trip from Portugal but it's definitely not one of Spain's best WHS in my opinion.

sally herbert

England - 10-Jul-11 -

My husband and I are, at present, staying in the Yuso hostelerie. We have done the tour and visited Suso this morning. We walked back through the woods glimpsing deer on the way.

It is Sunday. Staying in a monastery we looked forward to daily Mass and special celebration today but no............. we will have to go to the chapel in the village since no mass is said in church - at least not for visitors. What a terrible waste of resources.Such atmosphere, such history and the centre of it all ignored!

John booth

New Zealand - 29-Apr-10 -

Yuso and Suso Monasteries by John Booth

The village of San Millan de la Congolla was picturesque and set in an amazing landscape.

I reached it by a bus that travels there in the afternoon from Logrono via Najera, and returns in the evening allowing several hours for a visit to the Yuso and Suso monasteries.

I found the displays of the earliest books in the Castillian language in the Yuso monastery very interesting. Because the bus to Suso was not operating on the day of my visit I hiked up the hill through the forest to see this ancient building.

Els Slots

The Netherlands - 03-Aug-09 -

Yuso and Suso Monasteries by Els Slots

Yuso Monastery is an impressive complex when you first arrive. And popular with the tourists as well. Entrance is only via a guided tour, which costs 4 EUR. The tour (with ca. 40 people) lasts about an hour. It’s a tiring affair for non-Spanish speakers, as the guide will stop often for long talks. It will take you through all the important rooms, however. Especially the Sacristy is a feast of paintings, furniture, frescoes and a golden altar. The church is under restoration at the moment, and all the decorations are packed in a paper (as if the artist Christo had stopped by).

Yuso’s older sister, Suso, is located uphill. When you’ve bought a ticket, a bus will take you there to go on a guided tour. What’s left of Suso is only the church. So it’s only one room, quite tiny. This guide also starts a long story before we can enter the building. No photos are allowed inside, but this is not strictly reinforced. The interior is almost empty, except for graves. What I liked most was the medieval graffiti on the outside of the building.

I stayed overnight in the ‘Hosteria del Monasterio de San Millan’, which is located in a wing of the Yuso Monastery. It’s one of our ‘Hotels in Historic Buildings’! The long hallways give it away that you’re in a monastery. I guess the hotel is quite new, the room at 60 EUR was pretty modern and luxurious (it has a bath, minibar and Wifi!).

The hotel restaurant gets a definite thumbs down on Tripadvisor, and also their breakfast is overpriced at 11 EUR. So I skipped both and only stayed for the night. The village of San Millan does have at least two other restaurants at the central square, which seem to be open while the tourists are there (until 7 p.m.). I ate a good value menu at the more upscale restaurant of the two.

Site Info

Full Name
San Millán Yuso and Suso Monasteries
Unesco ID
2 4 6
Religious structure - Christian

Site History

1997 Inscribed


The site has 2 locations

Yuso and Suso Monasteries: Yuso Monastery and Monastic Kitchen Gardens San Mill
Yuso and Suso Monasteries: Suso Monastery and Archaeological Sites San Mill


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Adolfo Alessandro Votta Alexander Barabanov Alexander Lehmann Alfons and Riki Verstraeten Altacyr AniaCh Anna Wludarska Antonio J. Argo Atila Ege Bin Bob Parda Brigitte Huber Bruno_Pires CFSalazar Carlos Garrido Carstenhansen Caspar Dechmann Cheryl Chinmaya Christravelblog Claire Bradshaw Clyde Craig Harder DMORMAR Daniela Hohmann David Pastor de la Orden Dibro Dorejd Echwel Elaine McArdle Els Slots Emilia Enrique Clemente Erik Jelinek Esther Westerveld Eva Kisgyorgy FGKJR1492X Fabi-ddorf Fabian Teusch Fan Yibo Femke Roos Filip Murlak Gernot Gill Colman Gonçalo Elias Harry Mitsidis Hyoga Iain Jackson Inigo Cia Ivan Rucek Jarek Pokrzywnicki Jasam Jean Lecaillon Jeanne OGrady Jiangnan Cai Joao Farminhao Joel Baldwin John booth Jonas Kremer Jose Antonio Collar Josef Mikus Joyce van Soest Judith Tanner Juha Sjoeblom Juropa Kbecq Kelly Henry Kevin247 Kurt Lauer LaVale Lara Adler Lauren Leontine Helleman Lidiane Loic Pedras Lorenzo Mejino Lucia Luis Filipe Gaspar Luisfreire MAURO PODDA MH MMM MaYumin Martin Lind (Switzerland) Michael Novins Michaelsballard Michiel Dekker Mike Mikko Monchan5396 NCosta Napalm NataliaS Nihal Ege Nmocosta Nmocosta79 PabloNorte Pascal Cauliez Patrik Paul Schofield Petteri Philipp Leu Philipp Peterer Reza Robin Frank Roger Ourset Rom Roman Bruehwiler Roman Koeln Sergio Arjona Shandos Cleaver Solivagant Stanislaw Warwas Stefan and Mia Stijn Szucs Tamas Tamara Ratz Tarquinio_Superbo Thibault Magnien Thomas Buechler Thomas Harold Watson Thomas van der Walt Torkjell Djupedal Van Hung Vanessa Buechler Vlad Lesnikov Voyager Walter Werner Huber Wojciech Fedoruk Wolfgang Hlousa WolfgangHl Xiong Wei Xiquinho Silva Zoë Sheng