New Norcia was founded as a mission in 1846 by Spanish Benedictine monks Dom Joseph Serra and Dom Rosendo Salvado, who were originally from Santiago de Compostela in Spain. The monks’ vision for the mission was to establish an agriculturally self-sufficient village that could peacefully coexist within the local indigenous community.
By 1900 Dom Fulgentius Torres began to design and supervise the construction of many of the Spanish influenced buildings that today make New Norcia such a unique site.
New Norcia is Australia’s only monastic town. It stands as a testimony to the dedication, spirituality and resilience of its founders. Twenty seven of the buildings have been registered on the National Heritage List and the town as a whole has been listed on the Register of the National Estate.
The best way to experience New Norcia is to take part in a two hour guided tour. The informative and enlightening tour includes entry to some of the magnificently decorated buildings (the frescoes are a highlight) and provides a fascinating insight into the daily lives of the monks past and present.
The monks welcome visitors to join them in their daily prayers.
The New Norcia museum and art gallery contains paintings by Spanish and Italian masters, contemporary Australian artists, gifts from the Queen of Spain and a fascinating array of artefacts which provide an historical perspective of New Norcia’s long history and its relationship with the indigenous people of the area.
New Norcia’s renowned olive oil, bread, nut cake, pan chocolatti and Abbey wines are available from the gift shop. You’ll find accommodation at the New Norcia Hotel, along with great food.
New Norcia is one of Western Australia’s most unique locations.
Location: New Norcia is located 132 kilometres north of the city of Perth.