Santa Maria de Montserrat is a Benedictine abbey located on the mountain of Montserrat, in Monistrol de Montserrat, in Catalonia, Spain.
It hosts the Virgin of Montserrat, and the Publicacions de l'Abadia de Montserrat, a publishing house, one of the oldest presses in the world still running, with its first book published in 1499.
The monastery is Catalonia's most important religious retreat and groups of young people from Barcelona and all over Catalonia make overnight hikes at least once in their lives to watch the sunrise from the heights of Montserrat. Virgin of Montserrat (the black virgin), is Catalonia's favourite saint, and is located in the sanctuary of the Mare de Déu de Montserrat, next to the Benedictine monastery nestling in the towers and crags of the mountain. The Escolania de Montserrat, Montserrat’s Boys’ Choir is one of the oldest in Europe, and performs during religious ceremonies and communal prayers in the basilica.
Montserrat, whose name means serrated mountain, is 48 kilometres (approx 30 miles) west of Barcelona, and can be reached by road, train or cable car. At 1236 metres (4055 ft) above the valley floor, Montserrat is the highest point of the Catalan lowlands, and stands central to the most populated part of Catalonia. The stone monolith is ideally located to play an important role in the cultural and spiritual life of Catalonia.
The Basilica houses a museum with works of art by many prominent painters and sculptors including works by El Greco, Dalí, Picasso and more. Montserrat's highest point, Sant Jeroni, can be reached by a footpath from the top station of the funicular Sant Jeroni. From Sant Joan, almost all of Catalonia can be seen, and on a clear day the island of Majorca is visible. The Spanish Civil War saw the violent suppression of the Abbey of Montserrat. Of the 278 priests and 583 religious men and women killed in Catalonia by Republican forces, 22 were monks of the Abbey of Montserrat. During Franco's rule Santa Maria de Montserrat was seen as a place of refuge for scholars, artists, politicians and students; Franco's men were often waiting for wanted people a few miles down the road.
Santa Maria de Montserrat has the following opinions (reports) create opinion
||Montserrat montaña mágica||Montserrat es sin duda un icono dentro del territorio catalán y no solo por su orografía excepcional y por sus espectaculares vistas sino por su historia y por su tradición. El monasterio es majestuoso y sus alrededores bellísimos. Imperdible. Solo su accesibilidad es tediosa pero merece la pena.||2012-10-14 20:26:30|