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Montserrat from Barcelona Day Trip

Montserrat from Barcelona

Montserrat from Barcelona is a day trip worth taking. Montserrat is a monastery located atop an unusual rock mountain in Catalonia, Spain. It has a history that goes back to the 11th century when Benedictine monks built the monastery. Extremely popular among Catholic pilgrims, the Black Madonna, mother of Jesus, is one reason for its popularity.

Getting to Montserrat from Barcelona

Montserrat is a 30-mile journey from Barcelona and it is easily accessible by train or car. If you travel by train, and I would highly recommend that you do, take the cable car instead of the Funicular option.

From Barcelona, take the FGC R5 train from Placa d’Espanya to one of two stops. Montserrat Aeri is the stop for cable car and the next stop, Monistrol de Montserrat, is the stop for the funicular.

Which stop is best? For the views, the cable cannot be beat. For comfort after a long day, take the funicular. By the time the train arrives in Montserrat Aeri, it is usually quite full. This requires passengers to stand or sit on the floor for the hour journey back to Barcelona. Another point about the cable car ride, the station at the top requires a 500m walk on a narrow paved path with stairs at the end (around 40 steps).

Trains run every hour. As the signage inside the train station is almost non-existent, leave yourself an extra 15-minutes or so to find the train. Just keep looking for the little R5 sign. Oh, and try to take the 9:30 am train or earlier – that will allow you to beat the tour buses that arrive at Montserrat at around 11 am or so.

Black Madonna
Black Madonna

Pope Leo XIII declared the Virgin of Montserrat patroness of Catalonia. The Virgin of Montserrat is a statue of the Virgin Mary and infant Christ located in the sanctuary of the Mare de Deu de Montserrat (rear of the Basilica chapel) and surrounded by altar of gold. The line can be long but it will also give you access to a view of the altar and church from up above. Well worth the wait.

The famous Black Madonna. You can touch the ball she holds for good luck!
The famous Black Madonna. You can touch the ball she holds for good luck!

L’Escolania or Boys’ Choir

L’Escolania is a boys’ choir of sopranos and altos, singing every day in the Basilica of Montserrat, except when we there.
L’Escolania is a boys’ choir of sopranos and altos, singing every day in the Basilica of Montserrat, except when we there.

The inside of the Basillica where you can hear the Boys’ Choir. The light in the middle of the picture, above the altar, is the Black Madonna.

Enjoy the panoramic views
Enjoy the panoramic views

Monserrat has numerous well-marked hiking trails. Taking a journey up to Montserrat’s highest point, Sant Jeroni, allows for a view of nearly all of Catalonia and the island of Majorca on a clear day.

Gaudi’s influence

Gaudi was 31 years old, in love, but rejected for not being upper class. Jilted, Gaudi instead went to Montserrat, left his mark and came back with the inspiration for Sagrada Familia.

The grounds of Montserrat.

In summary, this is a very easy day trip from Barcelona, leaving plenty of time afterwards for a short rest and an evening dinner back in Barcelona. Lastly, I have been told that pick-pocketing is quite common at the train station, especially around the automated machines. Do you have any tips for visiting Montserrat?

View of Basillica
View of Basillica

Sources:
Train Information: https://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.com/en/tour/barcelona-montserrat.html

The Travel Tipster
The Travel Tipsterhttp://inspiringtravelexperiences.com
Discover travel experiences. Learn new travel tips. Add to your bucket list. Travel the world with points and miles. Follow The Travel Tipster on social media for travel news and information from his team of global travelers.

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