The Carthusian monastery appeared in Priorat in the 12th century, after King Alfonso II granted the monks land for its construction in 1194. Historians agree that the Escaladei monastery was the first Carthusian property of its kind on the Iberian peninsula.
The monastery played the role of a religious centre, took active part in founding of other Carthusian monasteries in Catalonia, Aragon and other regions of Spain. It also housed a renowned art school.
The modernization of existing buildings and addition of new ones continued up until the 18th century. At that time, Cartuja de Escaladei was an active participant in the creation of the Spanish chapter of the Carthusian monk fraternity (CongregaciГіn Nacional de Cartujas EspaГ±olas), independently of Grande Chartreuse, the head monastery of the Carthusian Order in French Grenoble.
The Spanish land reform in 1835 resulted in the privatization of the monastery's property, and the monks were forced to abandon it. Only in two years after the fact it was looted and destroyed. In 1990 the family of winemakers who owned the land at the time gave it to the Generalitat of Catalonia.
Since 1993 the monastery of Escaladei has been open to visitors: there, you can see ruins of the original monastery, get an idea of what its courtyards, a church and a dining room looked like. One of the monastic cells is completely restored, with all the small details painstakingly reproduced.