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Montserrat and Sant Jeroni Trail
(Sergi, Yolanda & Marta)
If you have to choose a day trip from Barcelona, Montserrat is one of the best options. The most famous place that you can visit the famous monastery, where you
will find the Mother of God of Montserrat (Moreneta), patroness of Catalonia. But Montserrat is much more than this, the curious forms of their mountains will
fascinate the visitor. It is a great place for mountain lovers, from those who practice climbing to those who just want to take a walk on the mountain.
If you have any question about the basilica or the walking trails, you can ask at the information point.
Getting There & Away
If you go by car, it takes about an hour to get there. The road is good until the last section, where there are a lot of curves. Once upstairs, there is a parking lot
(6,50€ per day) at the monastery. Another option is to leave the car downstairs or in one of the small car parks next to the road and complete the route on foot.
If you prefer to go by public transport, there are frequent trains to the foot of the
mountain from Plaça Espanya station, in Barcelona. There you can take the rack railway to go up to the monastery.
The complex consists of two buildings. On the one hand, the basilica and the monastic outbuildings and, on the other, the buildings that receive pilgrims
and visitors. The nave of the basilica dates from the 16th century. The structure of the nave is Gothic, but its interior decoration is Renaissance.
The main attraction of the complex is the Virgin of Montserrat, or Our Lady of Montserrat ('La Moreneta'). According to the legend, the first image of the Virgin of Montserrat
was found in a cave near the sanctuary in the year 880, after seeing a light in the mountain. The current figure is a XII century wood carving,
which represents the Virgin with the child in her lap and a sphere in her right hand that symbolizes the universe.
Its blackened color is due to the candles that have burned at her feet for centuries.
- Santa Cova (Saint Cave)
This is where the Mare de Déu de Montserrat (Our Lady of Montserrat) was found in the year 880. Today, there is a small neo-baroque chapel, built in the middle of the 19th century.
Inside, there is a replica of 'La Moreneta', whose original is now in the basilica. It can be reached in a half-hour walk from the monastery.
- Sant Jeroni Trail
Sant Jeroni (1235 metres) is the highest peak in Montserrat. There are many paths in the area that climb up the mountain, but we chose the Camí Vell (Old Road) to go up
and the Camí Nou (New Road) to go down. The total duration, including the stop for lunch, was around four hours.
If you are coming from the car park, leave the abbey on the right and continue to a square where the climbing to Sant Jeroni begins, following the GR-4 and GR-172.
The beginning of the trail is by many stretches of stairs and it is hard for your legs, so it is advisable not to go too fast and make some stops, which will also serve
to enjoy the spectacular views of the surrounding peaks.
In Placeta de Santa Anna (St. Anne's Square) we left the GRs and, shortly after, we started walking through a forest area. This section is less hard and more pleasant
than the beginning.
We reached the Ermita de Sant Jeroni (St. Jeroni's Chapel) and, after that, we could already face the last part of the trail to the top. Although it is not a very high
mountain, the ascent is hard, so, once at the summit, it is advisable to relax for a while and enjoy the impressive views before starting the descent.
We started to go down along the same path we had taken on the way up, until a fork where the Pla de les Taràntules and Funicular de Sant Joan are well indicated.
Following the Camí Nou, we passed some viewpoints before reaching the funicular station. If you are very tired, you can take this transport to complete the last part, but,
as you have already arrived here, it is better to finish the excursion on foot to the monastery, which is no longer far away.