Montserrat offers views, architecture and spiritual boost

Montserrat pano by Julie Dodd

View from the Cross of St. Michael

The visit to Montserrat certainly was one of the high points (literally) of the vacation in Barcelona.

Montserrat is a beautiful location – with wonderful views of the surrounding area and impressive architecture.

Montserrat - photo by Julie DoddMontserrat, an hour train ride from Barcelona, is a moutain range that gains its name (serrated mountain) from the jagged mountain peaks. Tucked into the mountains are Santa Maria de Montserrat, a monestary with 70 monks in residence, and the Basilica at Montserrat, which houses the Black Madonna.

A train runs from Barcelona to Montserrat once an hour throughout much of the day. (Be sure to check the time  schedule.) My savvy friend had us arrive at the train station at least 15 minutes before the train’s scheduled departure. We got on the train when it arrived at the station and were able to find seats. Several travelers who arrived just before the train’s departure had to stand.

Once we arrived at the Montserrat train station, we took a cable car to the mountain top. We stood next to the window and had a wonderful view.

We had checked the weather to select a clear day for the trip. When we arrived at Montserrat, we could see for miles, including the snow-covered Pyrenees Mountains.

Hike to Cross of St. Michael

After going through the museum (which I’d recommend) and having lunch in the cafeteria, we decided to explore some of the hiking paths. Even though the sun was shining, the wind was quite cool.

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We decided to take the path to the Cross of San Miguel (St. Michael). As we continued walking uphill, the wind picked up.

By the time we reached the section of the path where we turned to walk to the cross, the wind was really strong. The last 50 yards to the cross was in a blowing cross wind that, when it gusted, could almost take you off your feet. Thank goodness, the cross was surrounded by a railing.

The view was magnificent!

Basilica at Montserrat

After we hiked down, we visited the basilica. An interesting feature of the basilica’s interior were the chandeliers, with no two being the same.

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The sun was setting behind the mountains and the temperature was dropping. It was time to make the return trip back to Barcelona.

Montserrat was a terrific combination of stunning views, architecture and art, and spiritual renewal.

 

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