Benedictine abbey situated on the outskirts of Anserall, capital of the municipality of Valls de Valira (Alt Urgell), about 300 m to the north of the village head, to the right of Valira River, three kilometers from La Seu d'Urgell, Andorra path. It was closed in 1592.
His origin was a Visigoth and episcopal (1) monastery. Its origins are not very clear since the monks falsified documents several times in order to obtain papal and royal benefits, including a false bull issued by Pope Leo III and Charlemagne provision. Historical data are becoming known in the late eighth century, from the adopcionist or feliciana heresy devised by his abbot Felix (or Feliu) and supported by Elipandus, primate of the Visigoth church. Felix, Abbot of Tavèrnoles (2) while also Bishop of Urgell was persecuted and deposed by Charlemagne.
At 815 they received several donations from the Counts of Urgell and Cerdanya. They founded the monastery of San Salvador de la Vedella (Berguedà) and Sant Pere de Casserres (Osona). The year 1019, passed under his tutelage the monastery of San Lorenzo de Morunys (Solsonès) with the appointment by the Bishop of Urgell Saint Ermengol, the same abbot for both monasteries. Their heyday was the eleventh century, when the possessions of the monastery extended from Berguedà to Andorra, passing through Pallars Jussà and Cerdanya. He also had possessions in Castile and Aragon.
A new church was consecrated on 17 January 1040 by bishops Eribau of Urgell and Arnulf of Ribagorza, in honor of the Virgin and the saints Michael and Sadurní. His time was William Abbot and the ceremony was attended by various personalities of the time like the counts of Urgell, the archbishops of Narbonne and Arles and the bishops of Elna, Béziers, Girona and Toulouse. In the consecration document also contained the possessions of the monastery and reference to the Benedictine order followed by the monks ago.
In 1099 Pope Urban II granted the monastery one Bula of immunity. The splendor of Sant Sadurní lasted until the thirteenth century. Its last abbot (commendatory) was Onofre Ferrer who died in 1584. Although the monastery followed assets without abbot, with a congregation of two monks, was finally secularized and closed by order of Pope Clement VIII in 1592. The income of the monastery ended up in the seminar Seu d’Urgell whereas in the monastery a perpetual vicar was installed.
From his early days is only the great head of the church with the apse facing west. The transept that is topped by absidiolos is conserved. It is known that consisted of three ships although these have not been fully preserved. You can still be a round base and much of the original bell tower.
A basilica church facing west, with three naves, transept, three apses (one at the head and one in each arm of the transept), three apses in the central apse and three niches in the central apse of the apse. Note here the ideological approach of this structure where the number 3 appears repeatedly in a place where adopcionist ideology, which questioned the dogma of the Trinity emerged. Currently the foot of the church we find a group of houses, and the cloister, believed he was on the south side, it is missing. It was said twin Cathedral of Santa Maria de Urgell. Some authors believe that, in general, the building follows the lines of Lombard architecture but with a technological approach to the XI century, especially in the header.
Some capitals are in Barcelona, Sitges and the US since they were sold to a collector; the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya is preserved, among other pieces, capitals, a canopy and a front of the altar of XII century in which they appear represented nine bishops with aureoles and in the cathedral of the Seo d’Urgell several documents, including cartulary of the abbey.
In 1971 was a partial restoration. Many modifications were made: a door opened in the south transept apse resolved covers the apses with half-sphere dome and the nave with barrel vault; also partially it reformed circular eliminating an existing prismatic belfry bell then. The current gateway to the temple is not the original, because the wall which is separating the cruise and the apse of the rest of the ship.
In the years 2013-2014 was made prior to the repair of roofs and the arrangement of drainage archaeological survey.
(1).- It is assumed episcopal foundation, although some historians disagree with this because there is no documentary evidence.
(2).- It also presupposed abbot given the virulence exerted by the delegates of Charlemagne in the reform of the monastery.