Montserrat Barcelona is known for being home to a Benedictine Monastery that offers incredible mountain views. Montserrat Mountain is located one hour northwest of Barcelona by train. Some travelers may wonder whether it is worth leaving the city for a day trip to the Monastery of Montserrat, but the views along the way are worth the journey. While there are many wonderful attractions in Barcelona including museums, beaches, and restaurants, none of them offer the stunning views of the countryside in Catalonia and mountains that a trip to Montserrat provides.
Santa Maria de Montserrat is the name of the Benedictine Monastery. One interesting fact about the monastery is that it is home to the world’s oldest continuing press—its first book was published in 1499. Santa Maria de Montserrat is also a significant religious retreat. It is a custom for young pilgrims from Barcelona and elsewhere in Catalonia to make the overnight hike at least once in their lifetimes to see the sun rise from the peaks of Montserrat Mountain. Today, many travelers visit Santa Maria de Montserrat to listen to the famous boys’ choir. One of the oldest choirs in Europe, the group performs as part of the religious ceremonies held every day at 1 pm.
Montserrat Mountain translates as “serrated mountain,” which is a reference to its jagged formation. Located more than 4,000 feet above sea level, Montserrat Barcelona offers spectacular hikes and views. The unusual rock formations are often what people remember most about their trip. For the best views, take the funicular to the top of the mountain and enjoy one of the mountain walks. Sweeping views out to the Catalonian countryside will make you glad you left the city to see this regional landmark.
During any trip to Montserrat Barcelona, you are sure to hear religious stories. It is believed by some that Virgin Mary visited the Holy Grotto of the monastery. Another popular story tells how the site for the Holy Grotto was chosen. The story goes that during the year 880, a group of shepherd children saw a bright light in the Montserrat mountains. At the same time, the children saw angels and heard beautiful singing. After the children told their parents, the parents also experienced the same phenomenon and interpreted it as a sign from God. Visitors today can walk to the Holy Grotto to see for themselves where this story was supposed to have taken place.
Seeing Catalonia’s great landscape is the perfect reason to leave Barcelona for a day. Joining an organized tour ensures that you make the most of your time in Montserrat. Many tours are available, but one popular option is a half-day, five-hour trip from Barcelona to Montserrat for approximately 50 euro per person. A visit to the basilica and seeing the craggy mountain landscape complete this tour. Interesting facts, such as that the island Montserrat in the Caribbean is named after this striking landscape, will be revealed on the tour. The combination of the fresh mountain air, charming boys’ choir, and odd mountains make a day trip to Montserrat one you won’t soon forget.