Montserrat – the spiritual heart of Catalonia

Montserrat is an out-standing landmark that is considered to be a holy mountain since at least medieval times.

It lies 50 kilometres from Barcelona and is part of the Catalan Pre-Coastal Range. The multi peaked mountain, some 10 kilometres long and 5 kilometres wide, has a vast array of astonishing rock pinnacles. Its highest pinnacle, Sant Jeroni (1236 meters) holds the famous monastery Santa Maria de Montserrat, dedicated to the Holy Virgin and for almost 1,000 years has been at the service of pilgrims from all over the world who come to worship the Black Madonna. From this height, extraordinary views from the Pyrenees to the ocean can be seen.

 

Its name translates to ‘serrated mountain’ describing its peculiar appearance, which can be seen from all around Catalonia. Poets claim that little angels carved the mountain with golden saws.

Since the 12th century, pilgrims have been drawn to Montserrat to venerate the miraculous statue of the Black Madonna (La Moreneta). A fact that confirms the special energy these mountains radiate. According to Catholic tradition, the statue of the Black Virgin of Montserrat was carved by St. Luke around 50 AD and brought to Spain. It was later hidden from the Moors in a cave (Santa Cova, the Holy Grotto), where it was rediscovered in 880 AD.

The legend of its discovery says that shepherds discovered the statue. They saw a bright light and heard heavenly music that eventually led them to the grotto and the statue. Nowadays, the Basilica of the Monastery of Montserrat is home to the revered La Moreneta, or Black Virgin. The statue of the Virgin is a small Romanesque statue made of wood. It depicts a seated black Virgin with the child Jesus on her lap.

In 1902 a proposal was put forward by the forest engineer R. Puig I Valles that Montserrat be declared a National Park. He argued that this “jewel of nature” was “ideal for devout people, a natural wonder for naturalists and a prodigy for believers…”. Unfortunately it was not until after a devastating fire in 1987 the mountain was named a National Park.

Montserrat has been considered a sacred or holy mountain since written records have existed and is regarded by many as the spiritual heart of Catalonia. That´s why we have chosen this spot for our Hiking & Meditation Tour. On this tour through the park you will see that the mountains spirit pervades the plants and animals that you can sense around you. It invites you to pause, reflect and look inward. What insights, ideas and feelings will the spirit of the mountain evoke in you?

If you would like to experience this for yourself, try our Hiking and Meditation Tour at Montserrat and connect with the energies of the Mountains!

 

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