Montserrat is a spectacular mountain and natural park, as well as the location of the stunning Monserrat Monastery, some 50km northeast of Barcelona. It is the most important mountain in Catalunya. A certain mystery surrounds its history, legend cites that in 880AD a group of shepherds discovered a likeness of a black virgin Mary. At first it was proposed to transfer the virgin to Manresa, but as it weighed too much they simply opted to build a chapel on the spot. The virgin, today known as ‘La Moreneta’, is the patron saint of Catalunya.
Today there is a sanctuary and a Benedictine monastery, dedicated to the virgin. Furthermore there is a wonderful library of over 300,000 volumes, amongst which the first texts written in Catalan can be found, dating from the 12th century. An art exhibition houses works by el Greco, Caravaggio, Berruguete, Miró, Picasso y Dalí.
For centuries it has been a religious and cultural centre and is a perfect place for a day trip out of the city to discover the beauty of the surrounding nature and its historic and artistic treasures. Due to its wild surroundings it is the ideal place for trekking and rock climbing as well.
You can also combine this visit to the Montserrat with a guided tour and wine tasting in different Bodegas, tickets are on sale in Plaza Catalunya and depart usually at 8.30 am to return in the city at 8:00 pm.