Carmen Convent, Padron, La Coruna, Spain

The Carmen Convent is located in Padron, La Coruna, Spain, on the way to Santiago de Compostela, 22 km from the city of Santiago. The building was built between 1717 and 1752 with a neoclassical style on a promontory next to the river Sar, under the leadership of the Discalced Carmelites Brother Peter of the Mother of God. Alonso de la Peña y Montenegro, Bishop of Quito, had donated a sum of money for its construction. The convent was opened in 1752, belonging to the religious community of the Discalced Carmelites, but in the twentieth century, the building was taken over by the Dominicans who occupied it until the early 80s of this century, but as the building was in very poor condition and the community did not have enough resources to repair it, they had to move. Only a Dominican remains on site to direct and supervise the restoration work carried out by trade schools, with the provision of various public institutions, the students here found their center of learning and work. Carpenters, masons, locksmiths, in fact, young people around the city who are learning a trade, are part of this great work.

Tips

You can reach the monastery by bus, train, car or simply on foot.
The only Dominican who lives in the monastery continues to give the mass in the usual schedule.
On the convent site, you can get great photos of the place.

 

Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand

Ko Pha Ngan or Koh Phangan is an island in the Gulf of Thailand, located in the south-east of Thailand, just north of Ko Samui. It belongs to the province of Surat Thani. The island is a tourist destination known for its beaches and for the Full Moon Party, party grouping a musical mix that takes place on the beach of Haad Rin, southeast of the island, every month with the full moon. Now the island is primarily a tourist destination but fishing and coconut are important for the local economy. Due to its topography, population lives in coastal and mountainous interior is almost inaccessible. More than half of the island is part of a national park and the island has more than 80 km2 of virgin rainforest with a wide variety of flora and fauna. It is also considered a spiritual place with several Buddhist temples with industry for retirement and meditation booming.

Tips

The most convenient way to move around is the scooter, especially if one wants to visit non-tourist areas of the island. The island has many beautiful beaches of white sand along its coastline, some of which are still accessible only by boat.
December to February is the ideal time to visit the island, sunny but not too hot with little chance of rain.
Whatever you are looking for, you’ll have no trouble finding it in Thong Sala and Haad Rin shops, or the recently opened stores along the main road.

Abbey of Beauport, Paimpol, Côtes-d’Armor, Bretagna, France

The Abbey of Beauport is located in the municipality of Paimpol (at a place called Kérity) in Côtes-d’Armor, Bretagne. From here you can find a point zero for the road to Santiago de Compostela. Founded in 1202 with the help of Alain d’Avangour and Goëlo who had appealed the canons regular Premonstratensian community installed at the Abbey of the Holy Trinity of Lucerne, in Normandy. The Premonstratensian Abbey (founded around 1120) included nearly 600 homes from Ireland to Cyprus and from Sweden to Italy. A general abbot ran with a hard hand this multinational company with a mission set by its creator, Saint Norbert, serving the parishes. To create an abbey they need money and land to build the monastery so Goëlo agreed to give to the order a ground on a bedrock between the mouth of the creek of Correc and a marshy area. They built the buildings with a Papal bull. The abbey was very prosperous until the early 18th century but after 1750 it was plundered and destroyed by the revolutionaries, then closed in 1790. Louis Morand bought a part in 1797. The rest became the property of the commune of Kerity. In 1962, it was classified Historical Monument. In 1993, the site became the property of the ‘Conservatoire du littoral’. Important restorations were conducted, the craftsmen, David Puech, Julie Malegol. Gilles Malegol, Alain Plesse, Jean-Claude Motte, took part. From the church built in the 13th century, it remains the façade, the nave under open heaven, the north aisle and the left arm of the transept. Today, the abbey is one of the major tourist places in Bretagne.

Tips

The site offers a wide range of animations, you can inquire at the local authority or the Abbey for what is happening in the period where you plan the visit.
Open every day from June 15th to September 15th from 10:00 to 19:00 and the rest of the year from 10:00 to 12:00 and 14:00 to 17:00.