A Fantastic Day Trip From Barcelona Spain
A short trip out of Barcelona, Spain is the mountain of Montserrat. It is a area famous for rock climbing, great hiking trails, grand vistas and is a major religious site with an impressive Basilica, monastery and convent. The mountain is also a tourist destination featuring several restaurants and two hotels.
From Barcelona it is not difficult to plan a trip for a day on your own. Start at the Plaza Espanya train station in Barcelona. The train station is in the same building as a metro station so it’s easy to get to from anywhere in the city. Follow signs for the R5 train which runs about every fifty minutes. The train will take you to stations at the foot of the mountain but, before buying tickets, you will need to decide whether you would like to travel up Montserrat Mountain by Cable Car or by the Rack Railway. There are agents selling combination tickets who can help you decide, so ask for advice. You will also need to confirm which station to exit based on your choice. A single journey train plus Aeri de Montserrat Cable Car is currently €13.75 with asSingle journey train plus Cremallera Rack Railway being €13.25.
The mountain of Montserrat would be worth a visit if it was only a geological spectacle as that alone draws hikers and rock climbers from all around the world. It has also been a religious site from the days of the Roman Empire with a temple to Venus having been built there more than two thousand years ago. Since 888 AD it has been the Christian sanctuary of the Virgin Mary of Montserrat and, in 1025, Oliba, Bishop of Vic, founded a larger monastery at the hermitage of Santa Maria de Montserrat. The monastery soon began receiving pilgrims and visitors who contributed to the spread of stories of miracles and wonders performed by the Virgin. In 1409 the monastery of Montserrat became an abbey and from 1493 to 1835, the monastery underwent numerous improvements, expanding and increasing in size and splendor.
During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the Monastery of Montserrat became a cultural centre with The Montserrat Music School producing a number of significant composers. From the early nineteenth century on the Monastery was abandoned, rebuilt and restored a number of times because of the French War and the Spanish Civil War. Today, Montserrat is again a cultural and religious center playing host to pilgrims and tourists alike.