Montserrat (Spain)

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Montserrat (Spain)

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For other places with the same name, see Montserrat (disambiguation).

Montserrat is a mountain top monastery in Catalonia, Spain. Situated atop an unusual rock mountain, it is very popular among Catalans, and Catholic pilgrims come from far and wide to see the Black Madonna.

Official Site

Link to official site of Montserrat: [1]

Get in

Montserrat is situated approx 30 miles away from Barcelona, and is easily accessible by train, car and bus. [2]

By train + cable car

Travelling from Barcelona, take Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat (R5 Line) train from Plaça d'Espanya to Montserrat-Aeri. Trains run every hour, combined return adult ticket costs 15,60€.

Timetable: [3]

From Montserrat-Aeri, take the cable car up.

By train + Funicular

Similarly to the previous option take the same R5 Line train from Plaça d'Espanya, Barcelona but to the next stop: at Monistrol de Montserrat you can change for the funicular railway (Cremallera de Montserrat). Combined return adult ticket costs 14,60€. Total travel time is 90 minutes one way. Last funicular runs at 18.22 downhill.

By bus

Buses from Barcelona leave from the Plaça de la Universitat in the morning.

By car

Get around

The only way to get around the Montserrat monastery complex is on foot (it's not too big though!)


Look around the impressive buildings

Monastery and The Black Virgin of Montserrat

The Virgin of Montserrat [4] is a statue of the Virgin Mary and infant Christ venerated at the Santa Maria de Montserrat [5] monastery.

It is one of the black Madonnas of Europe, hence its familiar Catalan name, la Moreneta ("The little dark-skinned one"). Believed by some to have been carved in Jerusalem in the early days of the church, it is a Romanesque sculpture in wood from the late 12th century.

Legend has it that the Benedictine monks could not move the statue to construct their monastery, choosing to instead build around it. The statue's sanctuary is located at the rear of the chapel, where an altar of gold surrounds the icon, and is now a site of pilgrimage.

In 1844, Pope Leo XIII declared the virgin of Montserrat patroness of Catalonia.

L'Escolania choir [6] school is a boys' choir of sopranos and altos based at the Benedictine abbey Santa Maria de Montserrat. When the repertory requires it, they are accompanied by the Montserrat Chapel Choir, composed of old choirboys and the monks of the Ministry Chapel Choir.

L'Escolania sings every day in the Basilica of Montserrat, often to a great affluence of pilgrims and visitors from all over the world. The midday Salve has become, over the past decades, the most visited daily act of the Sanctuary.

  • The fantastic views over the local landscape


View from above
  • Take the cable car ride up - definitely not for the faint hearted, this cable car is at some height!
  • Hike around the peaks.



Places to eat at Montserrat are limited and expensive but of high quality and good meal choices (cafeteria style), so it's a great idea to bring your own lunch. If you're coming from Barcelona, a good plan is to get up early and head to La Boqueria, the big open market near the head of Las Ramblas, to stock up on sandwich/snack fixin's - bread, cheese, meat, olives, wine, etc.. Pack it up and bring it with you. Mmm...

The marketplace also offers many delectable homemade goods sold by locals, including canned honey, pastries, preserves, cured meat and candy.



Stay Safe

Montserrat is a very large summit, although the town is relatively safe and tourist-friendly, it can be very dangerous for hiking as much of it is unchartered woodland. By all means, if you are traveling with a group, do not stray from them if you decide to go hiking. If you find out that someone has strayed from your group, summon the local authorities.

Get out

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