Located at the Mountain of Montserrat in Catalonia Spain is a gorgeous abbey that has been around since the 11th century (with a renovation done some time in the 19th century). The Monasterio de Montserrat is still a functioning monastery to this day. The location is about 45 minutes outside of Barcelona.
How to get to the Monastery
We went by train to get to the town where it is located. After which we took a funicular. To get an idea of what that is, below are some photos.
As you make your way up the mountain in a funicular, this is the perspective that you see. I don’t think it needs a description. It is one of the most unique structures I have ever seen. Somehow this structure feels like it’s naturally part of the mountain. The views from the monastery are also quite spectacular as well.
One also has to appreciate the care that went into a renovation of a landmark such as this. The attention to detail leaves me quite speechless. The combination of the old and the new, the preserved beauty, and the natural beauty is indescribable.
Things to Experience
I think that taking the stairs and hiking around to the scenic lookout points is a good idea. As you can see, the views are breathtaking. Just make sure that you wear good shoes and bring ample amounts of water. We went there during the late summer (around September). It is definitely not the hottest time of the year, but it was still a bit warm. Dress appropriately and hydrate.
There’s a darling little cafe at the monastery. The Montserrat area is known for its honey and cheese. They have a certain type of honey and cheese dish at the cafe that was delicious. I wish I took a picture of it. If it is still there, my opinion is that you try it.
Walking the grounds is just beautiful. I think that the facade architecture of the Basilica is worth seeing, photographing, and just enjoying. Walk around, take it slow, soak it in.
The Basilica houses the Virgin of Monsterrat. It is hard to see here, but you can actually make it all the way to the Virgin of Monsterrat via a set of stairs and hallways. The Basilica does get crowded so I think you can expect to spend some time if you want to get up close and personal to the Virgin
This visit was prior to the pandemic. Please do your research regarding potential travel restrictions and protocols. For details on a possible visit to the Monasterio de Montserrat, click on the button below