For anyone trying to escape the hustle and bustle from Barcelona, there is the famous and sacred mountain region of Montserrat. This monastery is located on top of a mountain, and it makes for an amazing view on the surrounding area! Here you can really unwind and enjoy the silence this area has to offer. In addition to this, the area has a long history and in this article we will tell you all the interesting facts about Montserrat!
The choir of Montserrat
In the monastery you can find its amazing choir! They were registered in the early 14th century, which makes it the oldest choir in Europe. There is a selection for the choir boarding school and it is available for boys aged between 9 and 14. The boarding school consists of approximately 50 boys and they will be assessed according to three criteria; musical talent, academic achievements, and social adaptation.
Here’s a little tip for you: if you wait around until the evening, you will be able to listen to the children’s choir at 6:45 pm. It makes for the perfect background music, as you enjoy the view from the top of the mountain!
The monastery was destroyed by Napoleon’s army
In the early 19th century, between 1811 and 1812, during the war with the French, Napoleon’s army invaded Montserrat. They burned and destroyed the monastery completely. Not only the library and the archives were lost, but also the numerous works of art. This is why the monastery is still under construction to this day. Due to the destruction only a few walls of the original monastery are still standing. When visiting the monastery, make sure to have a look out for these walls, as they are truly ancient and carry a lot of history.
The Holy Grail can be found within Montserrat
This one is for all Indiana Jones lovers. During World War II, the Nazis came to Montserrat because they believed the Holy Grail could be found in a cave in Montserrat. Led by Heinrich Himmler, the Nazis came searching in the hope of giving the army superpowers. It seems like something straight from the Indiana Jones movies, except it was a genuine attempt! According to many, Himmler’s idea was based on Richard Wagner’s opera, Parsifal, which mentions the Holy Grail could be kept in “the marvellous castle of Montsalvat in the Pyrenees“. Whether the Nazis found what they were looking for is unclear, so if you happen to walk by any caves during your visit, make sure to take a quick look!
How to get to Montserrat?
It is really easy and quick to get from Barcelona to Montserrat. There are numerous ways to get there such as: train, bus, rental car or tour bus. The easiest and quickest way to get to Montserrat is to take the train for Aeri de Montserrat. Once you get there you can take the cable car, which goes every 15 minutes. The cable car will bring you up the mountain in no time! A round trip costs about €23.00 and you can buy combined tickets at the Plaça Espanya station.
A less popular option for tourists is to go by bus. The bus will take a lot longer than the train but it will still get you from A to B. The buses to Montserrat leave from the Sants train station, we advise getting your tickets in advance!
If you want to make a road trip out of it, that’s another option for you to have! Barcelona is home to many car rentals, and you can easily make your reservation online. You simply fill in your personal information and you can choose in which car you would like to drive to Montserrat! Of course, this is a more expensive option, but it can really give a unique touch to your Montserrat experience.