Montserrat Monastery tickets & tours

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BarcelonaMontserrat Monastery

What is Montserrat Monastery?

Located on Monserrat or 'serrated mountain' in Catalonia, Monserrat Monastery is an abbey of the Order of Saint Benedict with a community of monks that have dedicated their lives to prayer and providing shelter for pilgrims. Founded almost a thousand years ago, in the 11th century, it has undergone a number of reconstructions and is still fully functional even today, with around 80 monks. Many travel from Barcelona to Monserrat to take in attractions such as the Virgin of Montserrat, the Escolanía and the Basilica of Montserrat.

Quick Facts about Montserrat Monastery

Montserrat Monastery
  • Official name: Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey
  • Location: 08199 Montserrat, Barcelona, Spain
  • Founded: 1025
  • Architectural style: Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance
  • Number of visitors per year: 2,000,000 visitors every year (approx.)
  • Function: Benedictine Monastery

Plan Your Visit to Montserrat Monastery

Montserrat Monastery Opening Hours

Opening Hours

The monastery is open everyday from 7:30 AM to 8 PM.

Throne of Our Lady: 8 AM to 10:30 AM, 12 PM to 6.25 PM

Holy Grotto: 10:30 AM to 4 PM

Museum of Montserrat: 10 AM to 5:45 PM

Escolanía Boys Choir Timings:

Monday to Friday-1 AM, Monday to Thursday-6:45 PM, Sundays and religious holidays-12 PM and 6:45 PM

Montserrat Monastery Location

Location

Address: 08199 Montserrat, Barcelona, Spain

Find On Map

Montserrat Monastery is located on the Montserrat mountain, in Catalonia, Spain.

Nearest Train Station: Montserrat, 130 m away

Landmarks nearby: Museum of Montserrat

What to See at Montserrat Monastery?

Montserrat Monastery - The Black Madonna

The Black Madonna

The spiritual centerpiece of Montserrat Monastery is the revered statue of the Black Madonna, also known as La Moreneta (Dark Virgin), due to the colour of her face and hands. Pilgrims and visitors are drawn alike to this sacred icon of Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus and it is believed to have miraculous properties. The statue is housed in the Basilica of Montserrat and in 1881 was proclaimed the patroness of Catalonia.

Montserrat Monastery - Atrium

Atrium

Once you enter Montserrat Monastery from the Plaza de Santa María, visitors are greeted by the atrium of the Basilica. This interior open-roofed courtyard showcases the facade of the Basilica adorned with depictions of the 12 apostles surrounding Jesus in the center. Each apostle is identifiable by a characteristic element of their life or death. You can also spot an iron sculpture of St Benedict here.

Montserrat Monastery - Crucifix of Montserrat

Crucifix of Montserrat

Within the basilica, you will find the Crucifix of Montserrat, an ivory sculpture depicting the crucified Christ. Attributed to the genius of Michelangelo, this 23-inch masterpiece adds a touch of artistic significance to the monastery. The sculpture, created between 1496-1498, stands at 58.5 cm high. It has been at the main altar of the basilica for around 70 years, showing just how important a figure it is at the Montserrat Monastery.

Escolania de Montserrat - Monastery

Escolania de Montserrat

Within Montserrat Monastery is the Escolania de Montserrat, one of Europe's oldest boys' choirs with written references dating back to the 14th century. Beyond its historical significance, the choir offers a captivating auditory experience, particularly during their performances of the "Virolai" (Montserrat anthem) in the basilica. You can witness the choir's renditions of the "Salve" and the "Virolai" at 1 PM from Monday to Friday.

History of Montserrat Monastery In A Nutshell

Montserrat Monastery's rich history is steeped in legend and religious significance. Its origins trace back to around 880 when the statue of the Virgin of Montserrat was discovered, marking the beginning of the cult of the Moreneta virgin. In 1025, Abbot Oliba founded a new monastery and it became a venerated site thanks to the statue of the Virgin.

During Napoleon's invasion in 1811 and 1812, the monastery was burned down twice and many of its treasures were looted. In 1835, it was temporarily closed, reopening after restoration in 1844. 1880 marked Montserrat's 1000 year anniversary, culminating in Pope Leo XIII proclaiming the Virgin of Montserrat as the patron of Catalonia on September 11, 1881, on Catalonia's national day.

Architecture of Montserrat Monastery

Architecture of Montserrat Monastery

Montserrat Monastery's architecture is a blend of styles, spanning various periods and reflecting a rich historical tapestry. The Plaza Santa Maria and Gothic Cloister, designed by modernist architect J. Puig i Cadafalch, serve as the main entrance. The Gothic cloister, dating back to 1476, features ornate columns adorned with plant and animal motifs, symbolic representations of Montserrat, and intriguing anthropomorphic figures.

The Monastery and Basilica showcases a variety of styles including Romanesque, Gothic, and Renaissance, embodying an eclectic architectural approach. This harmonious mishmash creates a unique visual experience, enhanced by historical paintings, sculptures, and contributions from renowned artists, making the monastery an architectural masterpiece with a story to tell across the ages.




Frequently Asked Questions About Montserrat Monastery

What is Montserrat Monastery?

Montserrat Monastery is a historic religious site nestled in the Montserrat mountain range near Barcelona, Spain. It houses the iconic statue of the Black Madonna and is a center of pilgrimage, spirituality, and cultural richness.

How can I get tickets to Montserrat Monastery?

Tickets to Montserrat Monastery can be purchased at the gate or online. To avoid long queues and the potential disappointment of tickets selling out, it's highly recommended to buy tickets in advance online. Purchasing tickets online also allows you to opt for tickets based on your preferences, such as guided tours, tickets with audio guides and round trip travel options.

How much are Montserrat Monastery tickets?

Admission tickets with audio guide to Montserrat Monastery starts at €18. There are also options to purchase additional experiences like guided tours or round-trip travel options at an extra cost.

When was Montserrat Monastery built?

The construction of Montserrat Monastery began in the 11th century, and it has undergone various renovations and additions over the centuries, incorporating a mix of Romanesque, Gothic, and Renaissance styles.

Where is Montserrat Monastery located?

Montserrat Monastery is situated northwest of Barcelona, Spain, atop the Montserrat mountain.

How can I get to Montserrat Monastery?

The best way to reach Montserrat from Barcelona is by train, bus, or taxi. There are also tickets available with round-trip transfers included to ​​Montserrat from Barcelona.

What are the Montserrat Monastery timings?

The Montserrat Monastery opens at 7:30 AM and closes at 8 PM, daily.

What is the best time to visit Montserrat Monastery?

The best time to visit Montserrat Monastery is from February to May, when the weather is mild. Weekdays are generally less crowded than weekends, offering a more peaceful experience.

Is Montserrat Monastery wheelchair accessible?

Most of Montserrat Monastery is accessible, however there are certain parts that are not accessible by wheelchair.