Montserrat Monastery. – First of all one of the abodes of the Benedictine monks. The historic site and is a place of pilgrimage for many believers.
The monastery is located on Mount Montserrat
The total area of the territory is 50 square kilometers. On which rise hundreds of bizarrely shaped rocks of unusual limestone rocks. The bald cliffs are reminiscent of all sorts of figures – idols-giants that invariably stand guard over these places.
The name Montserrat literally translates as sawed mountain. There is a popular belief that the angels who came down from heaven became sad from the general landscape and they sawed the mountain with golden saws.
Montserrat is first of all the most amazing and unique place in Catalonia. For many tourists is a holiday event!
And has not only religious significance, but also as an object of beauty, which offers unforgettable views. Especially for mountain walkers and nature lovers.
At the top you not only have beautiful views of the surrounding area. But also the opportunity to understand the special atmosphere.
Legend and history
As legend has it, in the year 880, shepherd boys grazed cattle at the foot of Mount Montserrat. On the Sabbath day we saw a ray of light coming from heaven and going into the cave, and all this wonderful action was accompanied by heavenly music. The boys told their parents about what they had seen, and on the following Saturday many people watched the miracle.
As a result, word of what he saw spread around the neighborhood. A monk from the Monastery of Manressa came to see the miracle. After it happened again, the monk suggested we go up to the cave.
Consequently, in the grotto they discovered the figure of the Virgin Mary with the baby Jesus in her arms. Then the monk offered to take the image to the Monastery of Manressa. As a result, the Virgin Mary became so heavy that they could not move her.
This was taken as a sign and it was decided that the Virgin Mary should remain on the mountain.
In 888 Wifrid the Hairy – McGrath of Barcelona gave this mountain and the four hermitages on it, to the monastery of Ripoll, where until the 15th century this monastery was the main spiritual center of Catalonia.
And at the beginning of the 11th century, the abbot Oliba of Ripola arrived on Mount Montserrat. In 1025 he laid the foundation stone of the Montserrat Monastery.
And so in place of a small hermitage, a full-fledged monastery is formed.
The monks in the monastery live by the charter of St. Benedict. And as of today there are 80 of them. Each of the monks has a specialty. As in the early Middle Ages, they are faithful to the main motto of the Benedictines: pray and work.
The monastery is gaining popularity among the people, and documents have survived that tell of the first donations in 1027.
In 1223 the first mentions of the boys’ choir appear, it is the oldest school of choral singing in Europe. Now boys from 7 to 14 years old are studying there. In addition to choral singing, each of them learns to play at least two musical instruments.
The school of Montserrat is considered very prestigious. Where they accept children only from Catalonia and the Balearic Islands and the province of Valencia, all these lands once belonged to Catalonia.
In 1493 the first missionary to visit the New World (South America) was Bernardo Boíl, a monk from the monastery of Montserrat. He was invited on the ship of Christopher Columbus and named one of the small Antilles after Montserrat.
In 1811-1982, during the war with the French, the monastery was looted and burned by Napoleon’s army.
In 1844 it was decided to restore the monastery.
We must pay tribute to the heroism of the monks who managed to save, at the cost of their own lives, most of the monastery’s library and the Virgin Mary from destruction.
In the same year the monastery finally gains its independence and is now the head monastery.
The celebration of the coronation of the image of the Virgin Mary in 1881, proclaimed by Pope Leo XIII declares her the Patroness of Catalonia.
1936-1939 Spanish Civil War. The monks had to leave the monastery. Twenty of them tragically die during the war. The government of Catalonia manages to save Montserrat from destruction and looting.
Montserrat is currently undergoing renovation and is ready to receive pilgrims after a thousand years since its founding.
Library – Scriptorium
In medieval monasteries the Scriptorium was the place where books were studied and written. It was, so to speak, the active part of the library.
At Montserrat, the Scriptorium Biblicum et Orientale has been a field of study since the middle of the twentieth century. Who, from her initial initiation into the Bible, has been discovering themes unique to her, such as the history and culture of the East.
The Scriptorium aims to preserve, research, and disseminate a biblical archaeological collection with materials from Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Holy Land, and Xipre.
The main feature of the trip to Monserrat is the opportunity to hear the famous boys’ choir perform in the basilica.
Performing Gregorian chant and other genres of religious choral music. Performances in the basilica are free at 1:00 p.m. .
The choir performs daily, except for Christmas, July, and some other holidays.
Housing in Montserrat
Most guests arrive by car with a personal guide, by bus or by train.
Here you can stay overnight in a hotel. You can view and order a room at the link on the Official Website
View a virtual tour
Order an individual tour
On our site you can order an individual guide with his car. In the end, you will save your time. Where you can see many places that you will never see with a group tour or on your own.