Montserrat Shrine, Barcelona

Monasterio Montserrat BarcelonaAmong many historical places the Shrine of  LADY OF MONTSERRAT has a very unique place.  This is the home to one of the most popular pilgrimage destinations in the world.

The shrine visited by pilgrims since the 12th century to venerate the miraculous statue of the Black Madonna (La Moreneta) is in a mountain not far from Barcelona. It is reported that 2,6 million visitors came to Montserrat in 1996, only.

The story goes as follows; 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) and was found in 880 AD.

The legend says that the shepherds saw a bright light and heard heavenly music that eventually led them to the grotto. Statue Black MadonnaThat was how they discovered the statue.

The Monastery is today tended by 80 Benedictine monks, whose other occupation is the distilling of the herbal liqueur Aromes de Montserrat.

You can take a day trip from Barcelona to the monestary at Montserrat. You can travel by train from Barcelona, (about 1 hour) and then a cable car will take you to the top of the mountain. There are great views from the cable car. You can visit the monestry and museums, and hike on a path through the mountains. It would be wise to bring a jacket or sweater as it can be quite windy and cool even in summer. The church and museum may be fairly crowded at times.