Barcelona: Day Tour Part 1 – Montserrat

La Moreneta, the statue of the Black Virgin Of Montserrat-001
One of the most popular attractions in Barcelona is the famous pilgrimage site up in Montserrat, a mountain located 30 miles from the city and houses the Abbey of Montserrat and La Montera or the Black Virgin.

We booked a day tour with Barcelona Day Tours that also included an afternoon city tour. Since our group consisted of 18 adults and kids we had a small bus to ourselves. Our guide was the very knowledgable and friendly, Marta. Be sure to ask for her when you book with this company.

Our group stayed in three different hotels and they picked us up from each hotel. We were also able to tailor the tour to our preference. We paid €55 per person which was a very good deal.

Montserrat day tour Montserrat day tour-001

Even if I’m not Catholic I really enjoyed the drive up the mountain, the scenery, the architecture of the beautiful Basilica and the serenity of the place.

This is L’Escolania de Montserrat, a choir school for young boys. They perform at the Basilica everyday but unfortunately they were off school the day we were there.
l’Escolania choir school

In the Apostles’ Square is the work called “Stairway to Understanding” by sculptor Josef M. Subirach.  The monument was inspired by the thinking of Ramon Llull.Monserrat

The Abbey of Montserrat is a Benedictine abbey located on this mountain with beautiful rock formations.
Abbey of Montserrat

This building called “Apostles Lookout Point” had restaurants, cafeteria and retail shops as well as terraces where you can see magnificent views. We bought sandwiches there for a quick lunch after our tour.

A small market sold cheese and dried fruit. Rochelle and I were able to buy stinky goat cheese and a fig bar while the rest of our group was walking.

Abbey of Montserrat-002 Abbey of Montserrat-001

There was a funicular that brought one up 820 feet above the monastery that led to the St. Joan chapel as well as several scenic hikes in the area. We didn’t have time to do this.
funicular de la santa cova

Abbey of Montserrat-003 Abbey of Montserrat-005

This work of art was created by Josep M. Subirach, a Catalan sculptor known for his work in Sagrada Familia. This cross is dedicated to San Miguel, the Patron Saint of Montserrat. The meaning of the name of the Archangel Michael is “Who is as God?” and it is engraved on the cross in several languages.
Josep M. Subirach (1927) San Miguel, the Patron Saint of Montserrat. The menaing of the name of the Archangel Michael "Who is as God ? ".

What do you think does the rock formation looks like?
Abbey of Montserrat-006

Here’s another work of Subirach of the Virgin. Look at the eyes and move. You can almost see the eyes follow your movement.

Museu de Montserrat-001
Sta. Maria Square

Museu de Montserrat-002
Atrium’s Entrance

Museu de Montserrat-003

In this atrium is the baptistery with its door which has a representation of the cycle of Church sacraments according to the catechism beginning with baptism. source

The original church from the 11th century was destroyed in the war and this neo-Romanesque church was built only in 1850.
The Basilica at Montserrat
The Atrium

This impressive facade was restored in 1968.
The Basilica at Montserrat-001

Initially our guide Marta said there was little chance for us to see the Black Virgin since we were on a time schedule and the lines were usually long. But Marta saw an opening in the line and quickly gathered us to stand in the queue. We were very, very lucky to get in.
The Basilica at Montserrat-003

When we went in we were able to see the Basilica on the left. The Basilica was consecrated in 1592 and rebuilt at the end of the 19th century. The main altar (1959) was from an 8 ton block of stone from Montserrat.  source
The Basilica at Montserrat-004
The Basilica

The line went very slow but nobody minded since there were so many things to see.
The Basilica at Montserrat-005

The Basilica at Montserrat-007

Look at the details in the marble.
The Basilica at Montserrat-006

The Basilica at Montserrat-008

La Moreneta, the statue of the Black Virgin Of Montserrat

Legend has it that the Benedictine monks could not move the statue (12th century) to construct their monastery, choosing to instead build around it. The statue’s sanctuary is located at the rear of the chapel, where an altar of gold surrounds the icon, and is now a site of pilgrimage. sourceLa Moreneta, the statue of the Black Virgin Of Montserrat-001

The ritual gesture used to venerate the image is to kiss or touch the right hand which holds a sphere which is a symbol of the universe.
La Moreneta, the statue of the Black Virgin Of Montserrat-002

We exit to the Throne’s Chapel decorated with ornamental motifs by a very young architect named Antonio Gaudi.

neo-Romanesque prayer chapel-001 neo-Romanesque prayer chapel-002

neo-Romanesque prayer chapel
Throne’s Chapel

Candles were sold for €1.80 and you can place it here along with your prayers and offerings.
candles for offertory of prayers

On the left is a bronze statute by Manuel Cusachs (1933), dedicated to the Abbot Oliba, founder of the Monastery.

Abbey of Montserrat-004 Montserrat

We all bought sandwiches in the cafeteria. I chose the Jamon Iberico with Camembert which was a bit salty and a slice of delicious almond cake.

Jamon Iberico & camembert cheese sandwich almond cake
After our quick lunch we left Montserrat to continue with our tour of Barcelona.

3 thoughts on “Barcelona: Day Tour Part 1 – Montserrat

  1. Loved it here. CHEE said he would want to stay a whole day and do the hikes in Montserrat if we were to come back again. Or also interesting was the simple rooms for 1 that they rent out for people that want to have some alone time with God. Really glad we had Marta for that trip. She was full of info.


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