The mountain Montserrat with the Benedictine Monastery Santa Maria de Montserrat is located about 45 km northwest of Barcelona. Already from far away, the 1,236 meter high mountain offers a magnificent view.
Images sources: © AllPlacesToVisit.com
  1. #ES18
  2. 08199 Montserrat, Barcelona, Spain
  3. +34938777777
  4. ccpastoral@santuari-montserrat.com
  5. http://www.abadiamontserrat.cat
  6. Working hours*:
    Monday - Sunday 7:00 - 19:30
    Thursday (Assumption Day) - Hours might differ
  7. Prices*:
    FREE
  8. * - opening and closing times as well as entrance prices, are subject to alterations without notice. Visitors are advised to check before visiting.
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    #Monasteries

The massif is surrounded by a beautiful nature park. Even the journey by car or motorcycle on well-developed and winding serpentines is a taste of what awaits you on the summit of Montserrat.

Once you arrived at Montserrat Monastery, you can see an indescribable view all the way to Barcelona. However, the view of the city itself is not possible because of the Conserolla Mountains.

The monastery of Montserrat itself is architecturally not a special attraction, the backdrop in which the walls were built is more inspiring. Many of the tourists come here only because of the statue of the Black Madonna, patron saint of Catalonia. The 12th-century figure is enthroned above the high altar in the basilica of the monastery. In her honor the "Escolania de Montserrat", consisting of about 50 choirboys from the boarding school of the monastery church sings songs daily - Salve Regina and Virolai - (Mondays to Fridays at 12 by the boys choir of the monastery school, Satuardays by the monks and Sundays again by the boys choir).

In the Montserrat Monastery Museum, you can see works by major artists, such as Dalí, El Greco, Monet or Giordano. You will also find archaeological and liturgical exhibits.

In the lower part of the monastery area there is a restaurant where you can eat and drink for a quite favourable price.

Hiking in the Montserrat Nature Park

From the monastery, it is another 300 metres up to the peak of the Montserrat. A funicular goes almost all the way up to the summit. From there several good and well-marked hiking trails lead through the nature park Montserrat. Several hiking trails of different lengths lead from the summit station of the funicular to the deserted hermitages. It is worth the effort - you will be rewarded with a magnificent view of Catalonia. Though the trails are well-developed, you should wear sturdy shoes and be in good condition in order to manage the hike. Please don't leave the marked hiking trails so that the fragile and austere vegetation doesn't get destroyed.

History of Montserrat

The mountain Montserrat has been of religious significance since pre-Christian time. Before Christ a temple to worship Venus was built by the Romans. In the first written mention of 888 the adoption of the construction by the first monastery of 880 AD was reported. They were hermit monks, who built various hermitages on the Montserrat. The monastery was founded by expanding the hermitage of Santa Maria 1025.

Miracles were attributed to the in the 12th Century found Black Madonna. It is still the target of pilgrimages. A strong growth period of the monastery is due to those miracles.
Numerous famous personalities went on pilgrimage to the Montserrat: Pope Benedigt XIII., Columbus, Cervantes, von Humboldt, King Fernando and Isabella, Carlos I, Felipe II. and Louis XIV..
Columbus named an Antilles island Montserrat on his second trip in 1493.
In 1811, the monastery was largely destroyed by Napoleonic troops. The Benedictine monastery was rebuilt.

At the time of the Franco dictatorship the monastery put up resistance. Despite the ban, Catalan was still spoken and fairs were held in Catalan, many hundreds of persecutees of the Franco regime were hiding there. More than 20 monks were executed as a result.
This resistance makes the monastery an important symbol of Catalan self-evident and the fight against oppression. The Catalans are still grateful today.

Getting to Montserrat Monastery

Arriving by Car

Whoever is going there by car or motorcycle, truly enjoys one of the most beautiful serpentine streets of Spain.

The approach is quite simple: A2 motorway, exit Martorell, then the National Road N II, to the junction Montserrat. From Barcelona's centre about 70 km to go.
You can see the peculiar shape of the mountain from the highway. Montserrat is English for "sawed mountain".

If you are not using your own car, but still prefer a car, a rental car is a favourable and convenient solution.

Arriving by Train

The trip by train to Montserrat takes about 1.5 hours. There are two different ways to get up the Montserrat, the cable car or the rack railway "Cremallera".
Get off at the subway station in the Plaça Espanya train the FGC (Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat) in the R5 line in the direction of Manresa. The train departs hourly from 08:36.
If you would like to take the cable car, you need to get off the train at the station "Aeri de Montserrat". For the rack railway you need to stay on the train for one more stop "Monistrol de Montserrat". From there, every 20 minutes a rack railway runs up to Montserrat, directly to the monastery. The 15-minutes ride is worthwhile. The price for adults for the rack railway is € 8.45 (roundtrip ticket), for the cable car €10 (roundtrip ticket).

Last Updated: 14 August, 2019
Information sources: © barcelona.de/en