Day Trip: Montserrat, Barcelona
There are some shops, restaurants, museum, church, etc. You can find the accommodation too. Besides, you can choose the Sant Joan Funicular or Santa Cova funicular to get to the hiking route. I took the Sant Joan Funicular and walked 2 easy walking path with a view of the whole mountain range.
How to get there:
Take the Monsterat-Manresa line from the FGC Pl. Espanya station and alight at the Montserrat-Aeri station, where you should then take the cable car that climbs up the mountain of Monsterrat.
Phone: 93 8377 7701
The Montserrat mountain from which the top is 1236 metres high is home of the monastery of Montserrat.The first time there is spoeken about this monastery is in the 9th century. Montserrat was destroyed in 1811 when the French invaded Catalunya. In 1844 the monastery was rebuilt.Everyday you can hear the Escalonia Choir sing the 'Virolai' at 13:00 and the 'Salve Regina' at 19:10.
The monastery is surrounded with a lot of peace and quietness. You will hardly hear anything while being on this mountain. The main attractions of Montserrat are the 'Black Madonna' and the 'Basilica' it is in. In the summertime there are a lot of people that want to visit Montserrat, so there are very long queues in front of the Madonna. I visited in wintertime and we were amongst the few visitors. There is also a museum with a lot of 19th and 20th century Catalan paintings.
You should really take a whole day to visit Montserrat. To start with the train only goes once an hour from Plaça d'Espanya to Aeri de Montserrat. Then you have to take the cable car up to the mountain. So travelling already takes upp quite some time. If you really want to see everything on the mountain you just need a whole day. But it's worth it.
I went to Montserrat knowing only very little of the place, a mountain outside of Barcelona with an abbey... So naive as I sometime am I expected something like "the Sound of Music" with nuns/monks all over the place, but truth is that what I saw most of was tourists ;)
Besides this little stupid misunderstanding of my own, I must say that I really enjoyed the visit to Montserrat - I went together with my bf and his two children (7&9years old) - and apart from me always being "yet another tourist" with my camara taking pics of everything and nothing, I enjoyed walking around the place sensing how life must have been there years ago, when there were less tourists and when you at this place actually dedicated your life to Christ (with this said I should probably mention that at the moment the abbey still runs and there are about 80 monks living there).
The Basilica is very beautiful, and is somewhere between the Gothic and Renaissance traditions, and contains a little room where you can bring a picture or some other thing, to offer to the virgin so that she will protect you / your family or whom every you may pray for. It is said that she can cure people - especially with prosthesis' of any kind - so my boyfriend told us, that earlier you could easily find a prosthesis in this room from people whom had visited the virgin and e.g. could leave without need of their prosthesis. Personally I didn't see any, but I did see a lot of wedding-dresses as well as pictures of people who had obviously asked the virgin to protect them or help them through a rough period in their lives.
There is a lot of history and culture to learn while there, and some increidible views to check out. On the webpage below several hiking trips are suggested to visitors, and all though I didn't do any of them - YET - I very much hope to be able to go back and enjoy a hike there, because the place is so beautiful.
While we were there, there was an exposition of veteran cars.
Trains depart from Espanya Rail Station, Barcelona on to Montserrat regularly (Platform R5) and take just over an hour to reach Montserrat. The attached web link will take you to a page with recommended departure times throughout the day. It also contains ticket prices.
The site makes readers aware of problems in locating the departure platform due to the size of the underground station. Give yourself extra time to cover this potential problem.
We did not use the train service as we were on a 16 day coach tour which stopped at Montserrat for a few hours on our way to Andorra.
Once you arrive there are many sights which are free.
The Black Madonna is the star attraction of this Basilica. We had to wait a few minutes for our turn to view, it is protected so it cannot be touched, however we had approximately a minutes to view, and were only inches from it.
Take the train from Barcelona around 30 miles to the Monastery of Montserrat to see the 12th century 'Black Virgin'. From the train you'll take a cable car up the mountain, it is a very dramatic ride. Even if you're not religious, this is an experience to have. I highly recommend staying the night at the only hotel at the top of the mountain (Abat Cisneros Hotel). It allows you to experience the sunrise from a wonderful vantage point and a chance to hike and explore the area. The hotel is around $50-80 a night, make sure you get a room with a front facing window.
2 Image of Our Lady
3 Pastoral Co-ordination Centre
4 Museum of Montserrat
5 Interactive Exhibition
6 Hotel 'Hostal Abat Cisneros'
7 Restaurant 'Hostal Abat Cisneros'
10 Rack Railway (Cremella)
11 Sant Joan Funicular
12 Santa Cova Funicular
13 Aerial Tramway (Aeri)
14 Holy Grotto
15 Monumental Rosary
16 Mirador dels Apostles Building & Restaurants
21 Bar de Placa
22 Stations of the Cross Walk
Ideal place to view the mountains and valleys, the walking tracks and beautiful vegetation. There is also the chance of seeing someone climb the monument, how foolish it was as the wind was very strong.
A viewing platform is a great place to take photos and also view the cable car.
Montserrat is a national park widely visited by pilgrims and tourists. Besides the Monastery (and the Black Madonna), the mountains also hosts a huge diversity of ecological life. The more adventurous ones can scale the great peaks. I went hiking on one of the routes on the mountains. Montserrat is very accessible from Barcelona, around a hour's train ride away. It is definitely worth a visit, you can take a look at the pictures on my Montserrat page.
An hour by train from Barcelona is the impressive Montserrat. From the train station at Espana, you can buy the round trip tickets that include both the train and the cable car for around 18E. The Church features the famous Black Virgin, and there can be a long line to walk up next to the figurine. Unfortunately, we timed it during a school field trip.
Climb the Mountain MONTSERRAT , another symbol of Catalonia - it's a fantastic view! It is a unique natural environment and a religious centre. Montserrat is home to the SACTUARY OF OUR LADY and the BENEDICTINE monastery , which has, for almost 1000 years, served all the pilgrims and visitors who come to this unusual mountain. Come up to the image of Our Lady of Montserrat , popularly known as 'dark woman' due to the dark colour of her face. If you put your right hand on the apple she is holding - any wish will come true. For more information: 08199 Montserrat, Espagne; tel: 34 3 835 02 01, fax: 34 835 06 59
To be completely honest we don't like the guided tours that much. We definately prefer to have a look around ourselves and explore the historical grounds by just watching and learning. The guided tours are so well attended that you're unable to hear the guide anyway and we therefore we think that you will miss out on the beuatiful details and it's also one type of tourism we don't like ... the massive groups of people wandering around (and getting in your way!).
We took our self-guided tour with some help of a map and booklet. This itinerary lead us to the most significant monuments and areas of the Sanctuary, such as the Basilica and the throne of Our Lady of Montserrat. We learned the amazing Montserrat's history through some of its architectonic and sculptoric remains and the story which was told to us by some people we spoke to. Finally we visited Montserrat's Museum which owns an important collection of modern painting, with works by Dalí, Casas, Picasso, Rusiñol, Monet, et cetera. We also saw archeology of the Biblical East and painting from 13th to 18th century, with an exceptional work by Caravaggio. So at the end of the day we could say that we had a great time at this historical place, a real pilgrimage to the Holy Mountain!
08100 Montserrat, Catalonia, Spain.
56 kilometers north western of Barcelona.
Daily throughout the yes (except on 25th December and 1st January) you can make a nice trip by coach to MONTSERRAT.
It will take you one morning!
The departure is at 9.30AM at JULIATOURS TERMINAL, Ronda Universidad 5 , ending at aproximately 2.30PM.
Driving across picturesque vollages you will reach the outstanding Montserrat Mountain situated at an altitude of 1.25 m..
It is the most important religious CHAIR of Catalunya.
The old Monastery built at the height of 721 mtrs. was once destroyed by invaders but rebuilt somewhat lower and in a more robust style.
The 12th century VIRGEN MORENETA (a black Madonna) if high up in the Basilica and you can visit her. I joined the long row and step by step we reached her and like everyone did I kissed her feet and had to go on because of the people waiting behind me. She has indeed a black face and during my travels I have seen many more so-called BLACK MADONNAS although I still don't know why they are black. All info differs, so what to believe??
The atmosphere is impressive and teh day I was there especially impressive and moving because a CATALAN COUPLE WALKED ALONG THE AISLE to get married there.
Imagine a dark Spanish beauty with long black hair in a whiter than snowwhite bridal gown, a magnificent wedding dress. What made me laugh and which I enjoyed was the fact that it was such a festive event, the little pages and little girls were laughing and dancing around......it was so sweet!
Another nice tip: opposite the church/monastery you can go up with a cable-way/lift TO ENJOY THE MOST FANTASTIC VIEW.......
AFTERWARDS THE COACH WILL DRIVE YOU BACK TO terminus WHERE YOU STARTED THE TRIP.
BTW the rocks around the Monastery are very specially eroded and all have names because they look like animals and people or a building....but I caa only put one photo here.....
What to do on a day that you don’t want to go to the beach, don’t want to stroll the lanes in the Old Town of Barcelona, and whenever you have been to for example beautiful Tarragona the day before? What to do? We took our travel guide out of the bag and started reading it. At the page of Montserrat we read ”For many visitors a trip to Montserrat is the highlight of their visit. Montserrat is a spectacularly beautiful Benedictine monk mountain retreat about one hour North West from Barcelona by train. Not only is Monestir de Montserrat of significant religious importance, but the natural beauty surrounding the monestary is simply breathtaking.” . The pictures enclosed to this article did the rest for us. We knew that we wanted to do, we took the car and went to Montserrat.
Driving to it was a great experience by itself. We could see the “Serrated Mountain” (Mont Serrat) from kilometres away. Its highest peak rising to 1,236 metres. We were quite early and driving the mountain road was relaxing as we did not have too many busses or coaches in front of us. We also experienced magnificent views of some of the most unusual rock formations in the whole of Catalonia. Because of our early time scedule it wasn’t crowded at all and therefore we were able to park the car on a nice spot not too far away. It was an one hour and 15 minutes drive, and there we were!
08100 Montserrat, Catalonia, Spain.
56 kilometers north western of Barcelona.
While I wouldn't recommend this place to anyone with only a few days in Barcelona, I'd say this is a must-do for anyone spending at least a week in the region. It's not that far away, and you can do it in half a day too. Basically, Montserrat is a monastery that is built into the side of a mountain. The best part, the mountain basically juts out of the earth in the middle of a flatland, so you see for miles and miles on a clear day. Also, if you get lucky you'll be able to literally walk through a cloud...it's damn fun!