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MONTSERRAT

 
 

This natural park, which emerges as if from a dream, protects the spiritual essence of Catalonia. For almost 1,000 years, a Benedictine community has lived in these mountains located 60 km away from Barcelona. Their Basilica houses the serene image of the Virgin of Montserrat, the patron saint of Catalonia.


 
 

Sense of spirituality is awoken at the mere sight of the mountain of Montserrat. Its astonishing rocky outcrops, which rise up into the air like sandcastles, have stimulated the imagination for millennia. The legend says that in the year 880 some shepherd boys found a statue of the black madonna, the "Moreneta", in a grotto. A chapel was built on this site which soon became a place of pilgrimage. The image now on display is a Romanesque wood carving dating from the late 12th century and the dark tones are the result of the deterioration of the varnish. The Benedictine monastery was founded by Abbot Oliba in 1025, but the 16th-century building and basilica were razed to the ground by Napoleon’s troops in 1811.

 

The monastery has always been an active cultural centre. The library conserves the most ancient Catalan text (12th century) and a collection of 300,000 volumes. The museum showcases works by El Greco, Caravaggio, Berruguete, Miró, Picasso and Dalí. And every day you can hear the oldest children’s choir in Europe, the "Escolania de Montserrat", sing. At the present time, the Benedictine community numbers 100 monks who devote themselves to prayer, work and welcoming pilgrims. The mountain is also the perfect place for hiking and climbing.

 

Address: Monestir de Montserrat


Phone: 938 777 701


How to get there: Train FGC from Pl. Espanya, stop Monistrol de Montserrat + Cremallera. | Train FGC, from Pl. Espanya, stop Aeri de Montserrat + Aeri. | Bus Julià from Estació de Sants.


Web site: www.abadiamontserrat.net

 


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