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Dear travelers, welcome back to our weekly appointment for the ‘Unveiling Barcelona’ series!

Today, we want to take you on a day trip to Montserrat, located near Barcelona. This place is famous for its spectacular rock formations, and the Benedictine monastery nestled in its mountains. If you are staying more than a couple of days in Barcelona, Montserrat is an absolute must-visit!

Tip#4: Day trip to Montserrat! Ready for a hike?

From Barcelona, you can start your journey to visit this beautiful location by taking FGC (Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat) trains to Montserrat, departing from Barcelona-Plaça Espanya Station or The R5 (Barcelona—Manresa) line, which also links up with the Montserrat cable car and rack railway stations. From there, you can reach the monastery on foot by taking the cableway or taking Montserrat’s Cremallera. 

Montserrat stands as one of Catalonia’s most distinctive gems. It is a multi-peaked mountain range in Catalunya that was declared a natural park in 1987 for its geological characteristics. Its peculiar shape creates breathtaking landscapes. The main peaks are Sant Jeroni (1,236m), Montgros (1,120m), and Miranda de les Agulles (903m). It is well known as the site of the Benedictine abbey, Santa Maria de Montserrat, which hosts the Virgin of Montserrat sanctuary.

Its name means “serrated mountain” in Catalan; it perfectly encapsulates its unique, handsaw-like rock formations, sculpted over time by the persistent forces of wind and rain to form monolithic rocks with different shapes. These geological marvels have sparked the imagination of observers, who have recognized human or animal-like shapes in their peaks. As a result, these mountains have been accompanied by legends, adding to the allure and mystery of Montserrat’s captivating panorama.

Wear comfortable shoes and set off for a hike from the Monastery square towards the Sant Jeroni peak. Along the way, you will walk through different landscapes and vegetation, enveloped in nature’s embrace, until you reach the highest point of this mountain with a breathtaking view that will be worth the hike! 

As you return to the monastery square, take some time to connect with the spirituality of this place, visiting the Benedictine monastery and the basilica. Its status as a place of spiritual significance complements the beauty of this natural scenery. Here, the patron saint of Catalonia, Our Lady of Montserrat, La Moreneta, is said to have appeared inside a cave. In 1025, the monastery of Montserrat was built to commemorate the local shepherd’s vision of the Virgin Mary. Today, 55 monks inhabit the building. 

Entering the Basilica allows you to admire La Moreneta, or Black Virgin, a 12th-century Romanesque polychrome carving that people have revered for centuries. Pope Leo XIII proclaimed Our Lady of Montserrat Patron Saint of Catalonia in 1881, cementing her significance in the hearts of Catalans. In 1947, the image was enthroned in a silver altarpiece and installed in the upper section of the basilica apse. The monastery also hosts cultural events such as concerts by the famous Escolania de Montserrat, one of Europe’s oldest boys’ choirs. 

Montserrat seamlessly blends natural splendor, spirituality, and culture, offering the perfect backdrop for introspection amid breathtaking vistas and centuries-old traditions. 

Knowing that this hike will make you hungry, we’ll wait for you at The Paella Club to continue your discovery of Spanish culture through its culinary traits. There’s no better way to conclude your day in Montserrat than with laughter, good company, and the vibrant energy that only a shared freshly made paella can give.

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