Montserrat Monastery in Catalonia
Long history through time.
One of the best things to do in Barcelona is visiting Montserrat Monastery, a pilgrimage site, an ideal location for climbing walls, a view point from where to have the most amazing views, a place of culture with an art museum filled with masterpieces from all over the world. We call Montserrat “our Ayer’s rock” our Uluru Kata Tjuta” as called by the Australian Aborigins and we so enjoy going to visit as we always notice something new and different on every trip.
During the Eocene epoch (some 50 million years ago), this rugged mountain was at the bottom of what it is the Mediterranean Sea today. The whole of Catalonia dried up and with time, deposits left rose up until mud and pebbles became rocks polished by the Llobregat River and the elements shaped it to how it looks today.
It has become an important place of pilgrimage since early age as according to history, a Black Virgin was found in the holy grotto (Santa Cova) in 880AD which was carved by Sant Luke the Evangelist, who was a surgeon as well as an artist. This sculpture was brought to Spain and then hidden in the serrated mountain of Montserrat.
The statue was found by shepherds after seeing a bright light accompanied by celestial music which guided them towards the grotto to find it. Thank heavens it was extremely heavy so it had to stay in its present location at Montserrat, as the Manresa Bishop had proposed to move it from where it was found.
During the 9th C. four chapels were built on the mountain and by the 11th C. the Oliba Bishop founded a Monastery in the heart of Montserrat. The 12th C. saw Montserrat become a site of pilgrimage and to manage visitors volumes, the monastery building extended in size. The basilica of Montserrat achieve its consecration on 1592.
Check out our Barcelona trip and wine tasting experience in Montserrat: