West Sac Photographer

By Mitchell Lorens in West Sacramento, Ca.

The Abbey at New Clairvaux (Vina, Ca. Part III)

In yesterday’s post I stated that a part III to the monastery at Vina, Ca would appear. Well here it is. I was fortunate enough to be able to go into the future church for the Abbey of New Clairvaux just a couple of weeks ago. Currently, there is construction going on for renovation and to make final a beautiful new church. Completion is planned for the Summer of 2017. Construction of the Abbey is called The Sacred Stones project. I’ve included a link at the bottom that gives a much more detailed history with a lot more photos and video. The church is actually a reconstruction of an 800 year old Chapter House from a Cistercian monastery in Ovila, Spain. Right in the Sacramento Valley… are you kidding me!? This is the most unlikely structure you could possibly imagine in that area. By now you probably know that you can find this settlement at Vina, Ca. – right south of Red Bluff, Ca. just off highway 99. It’s an amazing sight. As I said the new church is still under construction. You first see it off in the distance as you drive into the settlement…

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there’s the church first viewed across the vineyard

You can drive in and park very close to the new church but it is currently under construction. Here it is as viewed in mid October 2016…

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Here’s the new addition and the old church in the background

So looking at the above photo shows new construction in an architectural style obviously the same as the old abbey at Ovila, Spain. Step around to the front of the new church and you will see the glorious vaulted ceilings as reconstructed from the sacred stones of the old church in Spain built between the years 1190 – 1220. Yes that is over 800 years old, reassembled and put back together right in the Sacramento Valley. Take a look…

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Look inside to the vaulted ceilings

The floor is newly poured concrete but those stones in the Abbey are the real deal, imported from the original Abbey built in Spain over 800 years ago. Some of the stones in the wall exhibit the marks of the masons who originally cut them. Obviously, the masons were paid piece work and had to mark their work…

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Sacred stones with marks of the masons who cut them long ago

Below you get an idea of how the church is built with vaulted ceilings and beautiful pillars to support the arches. The acoustics inside are fantastic as you might imagine. This is where the monks will worship and sing…

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And a couple more views… don’t mind the new construction work on the floor.. look at the walls and the ceilings…

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Vaulted ceilings…

By now I hope you have a little better idea about the hidden gem of The Abbey at New Clairvaux – well worth your visit if you are in the area. I’m including a link that covers the Sacred Stones Project which IS the Abbey itself and more thoroughly explains the entire history of how the monastery came to be in Vina, Ca. Enjoy!

One Response to “The Abbey at New Clairvaux (Vina, Ca. Part III)”

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