Montserrat National Park is the first nature park in the territory of Spain. It is located 50 km northwest of Barcelona. It is located in the Spanish region of Catalonia. In this area rises the jagged eponymous mountain, whose rounded boulders appear to be arranged next to each other from afar.
The common view here is composed of these strange stone cliffs, destroyed solitary cells, monasteries and hordes of tourists who rest after their holiday on the Costa Brava. Montserrat Monastery was built in 1025 to commemorate the apparitions of the Virgin Mary. This is the holiest place in all of Catalonia. The religious complex consists of a basilica, a monastery and hermitage. This holy place is just at the foot of the mountain Montserrat.
The religious community of Montserrat has existed since 880, when it was based here. Two centuries later it was enlarged by detached buildings. The religious complex is dotted with small chapels and hermits' caves. Even today there are about 80 monks and pilgrims living here.
Undoubtedly the greater light beyond the walls of the Monastery of Montserrat is a small wooden statue of the Black Virgin, called by locals ”La Moreneta”. The sculpture dates from the 12th century, and since 1881 is considered the patroness of the Catalan region.
Nowadays Montserrat monastery is a Benedictine temple, and has an extremely rich and valuable collection of art works. Among the exhibits are even some from Egypt and the Middle East. Besides these, here can be seen religious masterpieces of El Greco, Zurbaran, Caravaggio and some of Picasso's early works.
There are several ways to get to Montserrat Monastery – the car and rack railway is the fastest. Undoubtedly, however, you will be able to enjoy the beautiful views and natural scenery most, if you decide to go the way on foot. Most of the tourists arriving here, however, prefer the cabin lift.