Montserrat, symbol of Catalonia

Montserrat, symbol of Catalonia

Montserrat is much more than a mountain in the interior of Catalonia, it is a must-see symbol for all those who want to delve deeper into the country, it is a natural park where we can enjoy marked hikes, it is a monastery with a community of monks active and a choir of great renown, it is a plural museum with painting, goldsmiths, sculpture... and it is the Sanctuary of the Mare de Déu de Montserrat, La Moreneta, patron saint of Catalonia. From we encourage you to visit it.

Sanctuary of Montserrat The history of Montserrat begins in the 11th century when Abbot Oliva commissioned the construction of a small monastery where we now find the Monastery of Montserrat. The years made and undid this construction on numerous occasions but since 1844 work has been done to have the monastery we have today.

Currently the community of monks remains active with about eighty people as well as young members of the choir known for its quality and for being one of the oldest music schools in Europe. On April 27, a festival dedicated to the Mother of God of Montserrat, we can enjoy numerous events in the monastery area.

The ascent to Montserrat

The ascent to Montserrat on foot has always been a path much traveled by many Catalans who, as pilgrims devoted to the Mother of God of Montserrat used to do, choose to enjoy the natural landscape that the mountain offers in approximately two hours of walking.

We can start the ascent from Monistrol de Montserrat following the Camí dels Canals i de l' Aigua , a route that we will find marked with the white and red lines of the GR6 and which correspond to a section of the Camino de Santiago that starts from Barcelona. From the same town we can choose to go up the old Camino Ral, signposted with the yellow and white marks corresponding to PR-C19. If we want to start walking from Collbató we can take the Camino de les voltes, the most frequented by hikers before the construction of other transport, or the Camino de las cuevas de Salnitre, a path that will allow us to visit the Cueva del Salnitre and the Holy Cova following the red and white markings of the GR5 and GR6.

Santa Cova de Montserrat (La Moreneta) These walks are not very difficult and are perfectly signposted and conditioned, but for more details we recommend visiting

For those who prefer not to walk, they can also easily access the top of Montserrat by taking the rack railway from Monistrol de Montserrat, which will take us to the top in just 15 minutes, or by taking the air plane from Monistrol de Montserrat, the cable car that from the year 1930 brings us to the top in just 5 minutes. Finally, there is a road access with a guarded car park that, out of respect for the environment, we should consider as the last option.

Once at the top...

The best way to enjoy your stay in Montserrat is with the different outdoor itineraries that you can follow without any loss by requesting a booklet at the information point. This proposal includes short walks, such as 15 minutes from Pla de les Taràntules to the hermitage of Sant Joan, which allows us to easily access a viewpoint or longer excursions, up to three and a half hours to reach the highest peak. from the mountain, to Sant Jeroni (1236m). In addition, there is also the possibility of visiting the open-air Museum, a tour that allows you to see the archaeological remains of the monastery, the most important set of modernist sculptures in the country dedicated to the mysteries of the Rosary, the Santa Cova or the basilica, where we can enter to venerate The brunette.

Montserrat Library With regard to interior spaces, we will begin with the audiovisual space called “ Montserrat portes endins ” (Montserrat indoors) that will allow us to discover the daily life of the people who make up the Benedictine community of Montserrat. Next we recommend a visit to the Library, a huge space of cultural and historical interest due to the rich collection that it houses with manuscripts dating from the 11th century and maintained to this day. The work of the Abbey of Montserrat in the production of books is noteworthy with the creation of the publishing house Publicacions l'Abadia de Montserrat supported by the productions of the sciptorium of the monastery itself and at the same time the creation of a record company to record the Escolania and the Chapel of Music of Montserrat. You can acquire all his publications in the same monastery.

Choir of Montserrat Finally we will direct you to the Museum of Montserrat, interesting for the room that houses it, designed in the 20s by the well-known modernist architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch, as well as for the collections that we can see inside. The type of exhibition that we will find in the museum is very plural as it covers many specialties from different periods: archaeology, iconography, painting, sculpture and goldsmithing. We want to highlight the collection of paintings from the 19th and 20th centuries, one of the best collections of Catalan painting with such relevant artists as Rusiñol, Casas, Picasso or Dalí, among others.

The surroundings of Montserrat

Saints of Montserrat Taking advantage of your stay in the area, we recommend a visit to the nearest towns. First we will go to El Bruc, a town known for the legend of the Timbaler del Bruc. Popular history says that the inhabitants of El Bruc defeated Napoleon's army at the beginning of the 19th century thanks to the echo that was produced in the Coll de Can Massana when the drummer played his drum, and produced such a noise that it seemed to come from a huge column of soldiers, which made the French flee in fear. Every year at the beginning of June this feat is commemorated by reenacting the battle.

Secondly, we recommend a visit to Monistrol de Montserrat, a charming little town where we can visit the porticoed Plaza del Bo-bo built in the 17th century and which over time has housed notorious buildings of the town, and the Gothic bridge on the river, dating from the fourteenth century.

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