Montserrat is a rocky mountain located 50 km to the southwest of Barcelona. It is considered the most significant and important mountain of Catalonia. The etymology of Montserrat comes from Catalan Mont (mountain) and serrat (serrated). The mountain receives its name for its peculiar morphology. In 1987 Montserrat was declared a Natural Park to ensure its conservation. The highest peak is called Sant Jeroni (Saint Jerome) and stands at 1,236 meters above sea level.
The importance of this mountain is due to the legend of the miraculous appearance of the Madonna and Child in one of the caves. This cave received the name Santa Cova (The Saint Cave). To this day the wood carving of the Madonna and Child are kept in the Church of the monastery and it is possible to visit it. This image of the Madonna is popularly known as La Moreneta (The Black Madonna) for its dark color. The color is the result of a reaction caused by varnish. La Moreneta's holiday is on April 27th.
Due to the legend of the Madonna, the mountain has been linked with spirituality. Besides the main monastery of Santa Maria de Montserrat, there is a great number of small churches and chapels, some of them abandoned. The main monastery stands at 720 meters above sea level. Nowadays there is a community of 80 monks that live there and follow the rule of Saint Benedict.
During the first part of the tour you will enjoy an introduction to the history of the monastery. Once the guided tour has ended, you will have free time to enjoy the fabulous landscape by yourself, to visit the local food market, to visit the audiovisual exhibition and to taste some typical liqueurs.
What to visit in Montserrat?
-La Moreneta: the most popular option, both for the locals and the foreigners. Depending on the time of the year there can be a long queue.
-Escolania: one of the oldest Boys Choir in Europe. They usually have concerts on weekdays at 13:00. It is recommended to consult the timetable.
-Museum: wide variety of archeological and an art gallery with works from medieval times to avant-garde. The entrance fee to the museum is not included in the tour. Time to visit approximately two hours.
-Funicular of Sant Joan and funicular of the Santa Cova: The funiculars offer the possibility of get to different points of the mountain. The price of the tickets is not included in the tour and it is recommended to consult the timetable.
-Hiking routes: The Mountain has many hiking routes. The routes are long and it can take hours to finish them. A good option is to walk to the cross of Sant Miguel (approximately 15 minutes away from the monastery), it offers one of the best panoramic views of the mountain and the monastery.
Duration: 5.5 Hours
Departs: 9:30 a.m. - Returns: 3 p.m.
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