The 10 most jaw-dropping things to visit at Montserrat
Montserrat is a rocky massif located only 30 kilometres from the city of Barcelona.
Traditionally, it is considered Catalonia’s most important mountain, whose unique look has given rise to many myths and legends, that make the visit an unforgettable experience.
Here are 10 places in and around the mountain that you simply can’t miss.
Monastery of Santa María of Montserrat
Located at a height 720 metres above sea level one finds the Benedictine monastery of Santa María of Montserrat, where one can see the Mother of God of Montserrat, patron of Catalonia, known popularly as La Moreneta.
The monastery was founded in 1025, and since then has become a famous for the pilgrims that to this day go in search of miracles or in hope that the Virgin will listen to their prayers.
Inside you’ll also find the stunning library, with more than 250,000 books from across the ages, the nave of the church or the cloisters with parts dating back to the 10th century.
With our experienced guide you can enjoy all this and more.
Santa Cueva of Montserrat
Here the image of the virgin of Montserrat was seen in the year 880.
The legend says that one night, some shepherds saw a great light fall from the sky accompanied by a beautiful melody, landing half way up the mountain.
Each week, the image repeated itself, and upon seeing it, the Bishop of Manresa decided to move the virgin to his town.
The attempt was unsuccessful, in such a way that it was understood to be divine will.
These days, in place of Santa Cueva there is a chapel built in 1705, although it has undergone various reconstructions through the passage of time.
Hanging from the side of the mountain, it gives the marvellous sensation of being suspended in the air.
Child choristers of Montserrat
On a daily basis, a chorus of school children perform who form the Escolanía of Montserrat, one of the most prestigious musical institutions in Europe.
It was created in the middle ages, the oldest on the continent, a fact known thanks to a document from 1703.
Funicular Railway of Sant Joan
The first funicular of Sant Joan open in 1918 and linked the Monastery of Montserrat with the hermitage of Sant Joan, at 1000 metres of altitude, where today there is a spectacular viewpoint and the point of departure for many excursions.
We recommend a guided tour on horseback around Montserrat for an authentic visit, Montserrat para una auténtica visita de época.
Aeri of Montserrat
The Aeri is a cable car which allows you to get to the monastery from the nearby train station. It was opened in 1930 and still preserves the charm of its time.
Viewpoint Sant Jeroni
On clear days, you can even see Mallorca. In order to reach the viewpoint, at 1236 metres of altitude, you can use the funicular railway or walk. Above everything there is a hermitage converted into a restaurant.
El Cavall Bernat
El Cavall Bernat is the highest and thinnest needle of the Montserrat sierra. Until 1935 it was said to impossible to climb, until the opposite was demonstrated and these days, it is a point of reference for climbers the world over.
The thousand year old church of Saint Cecilia, found near the monastery, is the perfect place for enjoying peace and tranquillity – it was home to a community of Benedictine monks until 1954.
Walk of the Degotalls
Amongst the many trails around Montserrat, one of the most entertaining is that of the Degotells, ideal for doing with children. It is flat, and full of mosaics celebrating the virgins of different towns of Catalonia, as well as monuments that honour the memory of intellectuals and cultural activists.
Caves of Salnitre
Amongst the many caves of Montserrat, the Salnitre stand out. A long time ago, the abundance of bats gave rise to a great accumulation of bat excrement, which upon decomposing formed saltpetre, and essential component of gunpowder and preservatives.
Thanks to the action of the rain water and the limestone, today one can enjoy the place which inspired artists including Santiago Rusiñol, Jacinto Verdaguer and Antoni Gaudí.