Fodor's Expert Review La Moreneta

Montserrat Religious Building/Site/Shrine Fodor's Choice

The shrine of La Moreneta, one of Catalonia's patron saints, resides in a Benedictine monastery high in the Serra de Montserrat, surrounded by jagged peaks that have given rise to countless legends: here St. Peter left a statue of the Virgin Mary carved by St. Luke, Parsifal found the Holy Grail, and Wagner sought musical inspiration. The monastic complex is dwarfed by the grandeur of sheer peaks, and the crests above bristle with chapels and hermitages. The hermitage of Sant Joan can be reached by funicular. Although a monastery has stood on the same site in Montserrat since the early Middle Ages, the present 19th-century building replaced the rubble left by Napoléon's troops in 1812. The shrine is world famous and one of Catalonia's spiritual sanctuaries—honeymooning couples flock here by the thousands seeking La Moreneta's blessing on their marriages, and twice a year, on April 27 and September 8, the diminutive statue of Montserrat's Black Virgin becomes the object of one of Spain's... READ MORE

The shrine of La Moreneta, one of Catalonia's patron saints, resides in a Benedictine monastery high in the Serra de Montserrat, surrounded by jagged peaks that have given rise to countless legends: here St. Peter left a statue of the Virgin Mary carved by St. Luke, Parsifal found the Holy Grail, and Wagner sought musical inspiration. The monastic complex is dwarfed by the grandeur of sheer peaks, and the crests above bristle with chapels and hermitages. The hermitage of Sant Joan can be reached by funicular. Although a monastery has stood on the same site in Montserrat since the early Middle Ages, the present 19th-century building replaced the rubble left by Napoléon's troops in 1812. The shrine is world famous and one of Catalonia's spiritual sanctuaries—honeymooning couples flock here by the thousands seeking La Moreneta's blessing on their marriages, and twice a year, on April 27 and September 8, the diminutive statue of Montserrat's Black Virgin becomes the object of one of Spain's greatest pilgrimages. Only the basilica and museum are regularly open to the public. The basilica is dark and ornate, its blackness pierced by the glow of hundreds of votive lamps. Above the high altar stands the polychrome statue of the Virgin and Child, to which the faithful can pay their respects by way of a separate door. The famous Escolania de Montserrat boys' choir sing the Salve and Virulai from the liturgy weekdays at 1 pm and Sunday at noon.

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Religious Building/Site/Shrine Fodor's Choice

Quick Facts

Montserrat, Catalonia  08640, Spain

-No phone

www.montserratvisita.com

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: Free, interactive exhibition €6, €16 sanctuary, audio guide, museum, and audiovisual presentation

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