Montserrat sits atop a large mountain and is home to a Benedictine Monestary and site of the Our Lady of Montserrat the patron saint of Catalonia.
A religious site since the Roman times, the statue of the Virgin Mary is one of the black Madonna’s in Europe and is called La Moreneta by locals.
Legend has it that the statue was moved there in 718 to avoid danger from invaders. Later the Benedictine Monks couldn’t move the statue so built their monastery around it.
Today it is a site of pilgrimage.
The most cost effective way to travel to Montserrat begins at the Placa d’Espanya rail stop toward Manresa in Barcelona.
Tickets are purchased at the station from ticket booths just in front of Line R5 to Manresa.
There are signs and big pictures of Montserrat and you will find attendants that speak English, Spanish and Catalan to explain the ticket prices.
Cable Car or Rack Railway
The train takes you to the base of the mountain of Montserrat, then there is a choice of cable car or a rack railway to take you up the mountain.
Both the cable car and rack railway can be reached from Placa d’Espanya station. Buying the tickets for these rides together can save money.
The Aeri de Montserrat cable car can be taken from the Montserrat Aeri station and takes you up to the abbey.
Make a note of the operating times as they differ from the funicular and rack railway times and are not coordinated.
If you have a fear of heights you might want to opt for the rack railway to take you up.
Montserrat has a beautiful church and monastery to visit as well as great hiking around the mountain.
From the abbey you can take a Funicular to the summit of the mountain.
Funicular de Sant Joan
This funicular will take you from the abbey further on to the top of the mountain. It is the steepest funicular in Spain with a gradient of 65%.
Sacred sites, magnificent viewpoints and walking trails await those who make the trip to the top. If you look carefully various abandoned hovels in the cliff face can be seen where reclusive monks once lived.
Bring plenty of water with you, and while it is about an hour from Barcelona to the Monastery, it is well worth it!