Montserrat is at the same time name of the monastery and of sand stone mountains. It is one of the landmarks of Catalonia. The highest peak, Sant Jeroni is 1,236 m high.
Montserrat is about 40 km north-west of Barcelona, so why not make a day trip from Barcelona to Montserrat.
We take the train from Barcelona and arrive about 30 minutes later at the lower cable way station, built 1930 by the Leipzig company Adolf Bleichert & Co.
A cable car takes us up to the monastery of Montserrat, which is located at an altitude of 720 m.
Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey
Apart from the cable car, there is a winding road and since 2003 a rack railway to the monastery.
From there you can take a funicular railway to the summit of the mountain. Another funicular railway brings you down to the holy cave where the dark Madonna, since 1880 the patron saint of Catalonia, was allegedly found.
Of course, the mountain can also be reached by foot over steep trails.
The monastery from the 12th century is visited by many pilgrims, who worship the Black Madonna, which can be seen in the apse of the monastery church. Approximately 80 monks live here today.
In addition, the monastery is known for its boys’ choir Escolania de Montserrat, which is proved documentary since 1307. Every day around 13.00 they sing the Marian hymn Virolai the in the church.
Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey is famous for its spectacular location, but also as a symbol of Catalan nationalism.
During the Franco dictatorship it enjoyed religious privileges. It was not subordinated to the bishops appointed by Franco, and therefore the holy masses in the monastery were celebrated in Catalan, which was forbidden in the rest of the country. During our visit we got an impression.
On the square in front of the church the people are dancing the Sardana.
In 1881, Pope Leo XII declared the church a Basilica minor. The Montserrat monastery is a Benedictine abbey. Here, St. Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, took his vow.
Adjoined to the monastery is a library of 200,000 volumes and an archaeological museum.
Please read also > From Lloret de Mar to Banyoles
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