What to visit / Near Barcelona / Barcelona / Mount Montserrat

Mount Montserrat

This is one of the most unique places in Catalonia. Located 60 kilometres outside Barcelona, the peculiar shape of massif has earned it the name Montserrat, or “sawtooth mountain”. Its unusual, semi-rounded rock formations, resembling sandcastles, have fired the imaginations of visitors for millennia. The wealth of natural scenery is complemented by its status as a place of spiritual significance. It is the place where the patron saint of Catalonia, Our Lady of Montserrat, La Moreneta, is said to have appeared inside a cave.

The massif is the result of the erosion of hard rock (conglomerate) and softer ones (clays and sedimentary rocks) over thousands of years. The highest peak, Sant Jeroni, stands 1,238 metres above sea level. The massif is a natural park and covers an area of approximately 3,600 hectares. It is the perfect place for hiking, climbing and caving (with wonderful places you can visit, such as the Collbató or Salnitre caves). A park with a wealth of beautiful natural scenery that is reflected in its varied flora and fauna. You'll find squirrels, wild goats, wild boar, evergreen oaks and white pines.

The spirituality of the mountain radiates from the Monastery of Our Lady of Montserrat. The Benedictine community is still active after many centuries, despite having lived through difficult times. Religion and culture go hand in hand. You can combine a visit to the basilica to see the image of the Black Madonna, La Moreneta, with the museum, the Museu de Montserrat, which has one of the finest collections of art in Spain. The monastery is also on two of Europe's main pilgrim routes: the Way of Saint James and the Ignatian Way.

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