The Altura Village is located in the south of the province of Castellon, into the Valley of the Palancia River, and in the middle of the Sierra Calderona. It is placed in the natural way joining Aragon with Valencia, and the area has many different sources, farmsteads, landscapes, natural sites and important monuments, making of this area a Protected Natural Park.
It was a Roman village, built over an Iberian settlement, but no news of it until 1237, when King James I donated to Pedro Fernandez de Azagra castles and villages of Altura and Chelva and the farmhouses of Cárcer and Gátova. Its name comes from Castrum Huyturam ( in Arab language meant Stronghold of the Huy´s leader, but lost “Huy-“ in favor of “Al” for Arab influence and lost the end “-m” of the name by Christian influence). The first appearing in the Christian Chronicles is about of the population of Hoytura, where King Jaime spent one night on the way from Aragon to Valencia.
Later the village was inherited by the second daughter of Don Pedro Fernandez Azagra, who married Jaime Pérez of Jérica (legitimated son of James I and his 3rd wife Teresa Gil Vidaure) and the village was reinstate to the crown properties. Segorbe and Altura villages remained united under the Lordship of Jérica until 1296, when it was donated to Sancho Perez de Ribavellosa. In 1327, the inhabitants of the Altura Village obtained Royal Chart, conforming the village as municipality place. The category of “Village” was granted by Martin I in 1407, which donated it in 1391 to the Carthusian Monastery of Valldecrist and since then their existence was overshadowed by the Carthusian Monastery until 1835, date of Monastic Exclaustration, when it was declared Free Municipality.
The Carthusian Monastery of Valldecrist was considered one of the richest Carthusians Monasterys in the Iberian Peninsula, constituting the 5th Carthusian foundation in Spain (the Carthusian Order was founded in 1084 by San Bruno, combining the rules of the Order with the hermit tradition and the monastic life, the Carthusian enclosures were built isolated from the world, devoted to the contemplative life of prayer, study and work). Its foundation was due to King Pedro IV Ceremonious, which at the request of his son, Prince Don Martin, founded it on the lands the Altura Village. According to the story Valldecrist Valley resembled the valley of Jehoshaphat in Jerusalem, this place appeared in a dream to Prince Martin, in a vision of Final Judgement, and taking the dream as a premonition, founded here the ideal place to a Carthusian Monastery.
On April 21 of the year 1383 Pope Clement VI granted permission to build the Carthusian Monastery, and on June 8 of 1385 took possession of it the first monks. In 1386 construction started by the primitive cloister and the first stone of the Church of San Martin was placed. In 1399 Martin was crowned king and with him a new cloister and the church were built in higher proportions. King Martin gave to the Carthusian Monastery the villages of Altura and Alcublas, with all its rights and the inheritance was progressively increasing by donations, Royal Charters, Papal Privileges, etc. This gothic monastic complex suffered neo-classical transformations and was in use over six centuries, becoming an important centre of economic, cultural, religious and political powers whose relevance was evident in the following centuries. Important figures were within its walls as Fray Bonifacio Ferrer, or Fray Luis Mercader, playing the role of influential priors and supporters. The monastery reached its peak in 1785, when the Spanish National Carthusian Monasteries Congregation was founded and it was elected as perpetual residence the Carthusians.
However, in the early 19th century after a long period of crisis, started with the French Occupation, later the subsequent Suspension of Religious Orders and abolition in 1820 of the monastic institutions, and finally ended with the expulsion of the monks on 25 July 1835, with the Confiscation. The Disentailment was the epilogue of a decadent monasticism that found its ending on November 9, 1844, date to be fractionated and auctioned off the assets of the Carthusian
The Monastery was demolished and sold several times, almost in ruins in 1991 the Ministry of Culture of Spain purchased the site and started the process of consolidation and restoration through a Workshop School and Cultural Association that tries to rescue from oblivion the monument and the history of that was one of the most magnificent monasteries of the Carthusian Order; but the process nowadays seems stalled…