The monasteries of San Millan de Suso (6th century) and San Millan de Yuso (11th century) are two monasteries situated in the village of San MillanCogolla, La Rioja, Spain. They have been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since December 1997.
The two monasteries' names Suso and Yuso mean the "upper" and the "lower" in archaic Castilian, respectively. Suso is the older building and is believed to be built on the site of a hermitage where Saint Emilian lived. Perhaps Suso's major claim to fame is as the place where phrases in the Spanish and Basque languages were written for the first time. UNESCO acknowledges the property "as the birthplace of the modern written and spoken Spanish language". The phrases in Spanish and Basque are glosses on a Latin text and are known as the Glosas Emilianenses. There is some debate as to whether the Spanish words are written in an early form of Castilian or in a related dialect. In either case, San Millan's importance as a cradle of the Spanish language is reinforced by the proximity of the village of Berceo which is associated with Gonzalo de Berceo, the first Spanish poet known by name.
There is a continuous history of Christianity at San Millan since the time of the saint. The scriptorium remained active during the period of Muslim rule and over the centuries, the religious community has overcome various vicissitudes which affected the monasteries. However the type of monastic life evolved: the original monks living at Suso were hermits, but Yuso, the refoundation of the monastery on a lower site, developed as a Benedictine community. As the UNESCO evaluation noted, San Millan shows the transformation from an eremetic to a cenobitic community in material terms.
Suso monastery has been uninhabited since the Ecclesiastical Confiscations of Mendizabal in the nineteenth century. Yuso monastery was also abandoned for some years in the nineteenth century, but was reoccupied. It houses an Augustinian community, but part of the monastery has been converted into a hotel. Today San Millan attracts pilgrims on the Way of St James.