Located at a one hour drive from Barcelona, Montserrat Mountain offers a dazzling view over Catalan landscapes. The main attractions there are the Montserrat Monastery and the black Madonna, called “La Moreneta” in Spanish, who is the patron saint of Catalonia.
Montserrat Mountain and Monastery
The Monastery of Montserrat
The origins of Montserrat Monastery date back to the year 1025 when it was built near the Santa Maria hermitage. At this period, it started welcoming pilgrims who spread the stories and miracles made by the Virgin. During the 17th and 18th centuries, it became a real cultural center, and great musicians went to Montserrat Music School.
The monastery was destroyed, abandoned and restored several times because of various wars (1811-1812 and 1936-1939).
Located in Montserrat Abbey, Our Lady of Moreneta was proclaimed patron saint of Catalonia by Pope Leo XIII in 1881. It is a Romanesque polychrome carving created during the 12th century. In 1947, the statue was enthroned on a silver altarpiece financed by private individuals. Many pilgrims have come to see and worship her over the years. You can learn the symbolism of the various parts of the statue during your visit.
The museum of Montserrat
The museum hosts pieces created by various artists such as Dali, El Greco, Caravaggio, Monet or Giordano, as well as temporary liturgical and archaeological exhibitions. Since its restoration in 1844, it has accumulated many masterpieces, mainly from private collections.
There are six different themed exhibitions: Archaeology of the Biblical East, Iconography of Our Lady of Montserrat, a collection of Byzantine and Slavic icons called Phos Hilaron (joyful light), the area called Goldsmithery hosts liturgical objects from the 15th to the 20th century, Painting from the 13th to the 18th century, and 19th and 20th Century Painting.
Open air Museum
Montserrat Mountain holds many examples of artistic, historical, and cultural heritage. For your visit of the open air museum, you will be given a map, a booklet, and an audio guide to learn about Montserrat history and the main sights of the route.
You will be able to discover the Sanctuary where the Moreneta is kept, the Santa Cova or Holy Grotto, where the image of Our Lady of Montserrat was found, and all that while enjoying magnificent views and various statues.
The boys’ choir of Montserrat
To discover more about the history and legends about Montserrat Mountain, the Monastery and Our Lady of Montserrat, come and see it by yourself!
For more information about routes, schedules cog railway to reach Montserrat Mountain or find out where you can sleep in the night, you can visit the official website.