Mar 12, 2014

Montserrat, Spain

We disembarked the Norwegian Spirit bright and early one morning after 9 wonderful days sailing around Spain, Morocco, and Portugal. Instead of heading straight to the airport (our flights home weren't scheduled until 6pm), we decided to make use of what little time we had left of our vacation and booked a tour to Montserrat. Montserrat was never really on my 'must-see' list for our time abroad until my cousin visited during her weekend trip to Barcelona. After seeing her beautiful photos and knowing we'd make it to Barcelona on this cruise, I jumped at the chance to see Montserrat for ourselves! I'm so glad we did, because the photos I got while there have become some of my most favorite images I've taken during our time abroad. The beauty of this place is unparalleled.


Montserrat (meaning "saw" or "serrated") is a part of the Catalan Pre-Costal Mountain Range and is just a 30 minute drive from the heart of Barcelona. While it's famed as a part of Spain's first national park, that's not what drew us into seeking out an excursion there. High atop the mountain, nestled in between Monserrat's unique rock formations, is a Benedictine monastery inhabited by 30 Catalunyan monks. This monastery has quite a rich history, having been almost entirely destroyed by the French in 1811. The only piece that remained was the Black Madonna, which the monks hid away during the attack. In the 1850's, the monks returned to rebuild the Montserrat monastery and, in turn, created a powerful symbol for the Catalan people. Today, you can visit the monastery and marvel in its beautiful views, fascinating architecture, and opulent basilica. In addition, you can enjoy many hiking trails and funicular rides to incredible vistas overlooking Barcelona and its coastline below. TIP: Don't miss out on your chance to see the Black Madonna in the Holy Grotto! According to the history of Montserrat, the wooden relic (also known as the "Virgin of Montserrat") was unmovable by monks, so the monastery was built around it. Its story and significance now draws in religious pilgrimages from all around the world. Lines can be long to see her and touch her golden sphere, so be patient or arrive early!


We absolutely enjoyed our short time at Montserrat and hope to make a visit back there someday. If you find yourself with time to spare in Barcelona, make the 30 minute journey to this iconic Spanish landmark. 
You won't be disappointed!

Have you ever been to Montserrat?

[Miss any of my Spanish Cruise recaps? You can read through them here, here, and here!]

32 comments:

  1. Oh, I know! Isn't it gorgious! Did you happen to visit Figueres too?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Stunning!!! What a great place... definitely on my ´to-visit´ list =)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Such a beautiful place, although, riding the gondola to the top about gave me a heart attack, haha! I love spending time in old churches/cathedrals and this one was gorgeous!

    ReplyDelete
  4. oh my goodness, these photos are unreal!! this makes me want to go back to spain!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Looks beautiful! I am hoping to spend some time in Barcelona this summer and I am definitely going to add Monserrat to my list of places to visit now.

    xoxo, Elena
    http://the20-somethingproject.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely do!! It's such a unique and beautiful area. Worth at least a half day of enjoying. :)

      Delete
  6. I just love how life is built around those beautiful rock formations!
    http://liveitinerantly.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Neat, right?! I was so hoping to see a monk, but they stayed behind closed doors. Such a beautiful experience, though. :)

      Delete
  7. whoa, gorgeous! I'm a sucker for beautiful rock formations :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wooowwww it is GORGEOUS there! Adding this to my bucket list.

    xo Denise
    lovelybohemian.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. wow, those mountains make me feel so small! i've never been on a cruise, but getting to see all these different corners of the world must be quite an experience x

    ReplyDelete
  10. what am I supposed to do when you're back in the US and I no longer have your gorgeous Europe pictures to drool over??? #selfishproblems

    but seriously, this scenery is gorgeous. and you look so tan! My super fair complexion and I are kind of jealous.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This place is unreal. I don't think I've ever seen a place so amazing and unexpected. When I was scrolling through the pictures I started loving this place more and more. That church is out of this world, can you imagine a wedding there?! I am speechless! I feel like I'm getting a little mini tour of so many beautiful places every time I visit your blog.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Ugh... Montserrat is one of the things I regret not making it to when we were in Barcelona for our honeymoon. Unfortunately we really only had 2 days there so I insisted on taking Mark to some of my favorite places from my last visit there. But I think that was part of my master plan... now he is just going to have to take me back some day!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Very pretty! Such amazing views!

    ReplyDelete
  14. OMW How small is the world we live in! My friend worked on the Norwegian Spirit up until last month! And once again amazing photos! http://johced-ourjourneytoeverywhere.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wow wow wow. This is so beautiful I can't wait to go to spain. It's definitely a priority on my list!

    My fashion blog: www.isamour.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. It is awesome isn't it? I was named after that mountain (it's a very popular name in Catalonia) and so did my mum <3 I can see Montserrat from the window back at my parent's home :)

    http://amorinmay.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wow your photos are amazing! What a beautiful place!

    ReplyDelete
  18. This town is absolutely amazing, I will have to add it to my list!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

    ReplyDelete

I appreciate your feedback, friends! I read every comment and try my hardest to respond to each one, but if your email address isn't attached to your blogger profile, you might find my response in the comment thread instead. As always, thanks for reading!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...