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Montserrat mountain: a national park with a spiritual dimension

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Montserrat mountain: a national park with a spiritual dimension

The beauty of Catalonia, protected by the Pyrenees and washed by the waters of the Mediterranean Sea, has always aroused admiration and creativity among the artists and poets who visited this region. Thousands of poems and paintings reflected the white dunes, emerald valleys and picturesque cliffs of this Spanish territory, and almost more often than others, the beauty and mystery of Montserrat, also called the Cut Mountain, were extolled. A bizarre jumble of rocks clinging to clouds creates miraculous statues and images, and an ancient monastery spread out on the mountain completes the ensemble and gives tourists and pilgrims the opportunity to visit a landmark for Spain, a place that has the status of a national park.

How Mount Montserrat was formed

Scientists have established that a few million years ago the territory of Catalonia was occupied by the sea, but then strong tectonic shifts led to the formation of the Pyrenean mountain range. Part of it was then broken off and pushed aside by a powerful glacier, and a detached mountain 10 km long and 5 km wide was broken into parts. The highest point of the Montserrat massif is at an altitude of 1236 m.

Major attractions

Mount Montserrat National Park is incredibly beautiful: the contrast between the bizarre relief of bare rocks and the lush thickets that cover the rifts can be admired and photographed endlessly. A variety of tourist routes of varying degrees of difficulty are laid in the park area; for the convenience of guests, there are 2 funiculars, a suspended cable car, and a rack-and-pinion railroad.

Holy cave and chapel

In this grotto, a sculptural image of the Black Virgin Mary was found, which is now preserved in the Montserrat Basilica. The chapel of the grotto, literally merging with the rock and hanging over the cliff, is one of the most revered sacred places in Catalonia.

Benedictine abbey of Montserrat

For the first time, religious settlements on Mount Montserrat are mentioned in documents from the late 9th century. Over time, the scattered sketes of monks seeking solitude and grace on the sacred mountain began to organize themselves into a small order, and at the beginning of the 11th century. The adepts began to build the abbey on a difficult slope. The construction turned out to be truly large-scale and lasted almost a century, and already in the XII century. One could see the complex inscribed in the mountainous relief, which has survived to this day practically unchanged. The fame of the new monastery quickly spread throughout the world, and very quickly the monastery became the spiritual center not only of Catalonia, but of the entire European continent. Christopher Columbus even named one of the islands he discovered after the mountain and the abbey! On the territory of the complex you can listen to the organ and the performance of the Escolania choir, known far beyond the monastery.

Museum of Arts and Archeology

The rich collections of the museum, carefully collected over several centuries of the monastery's existence, include rare lists and folios, archaeological finds, monastery household items, ritual objects, dishes and jewelry. The art gallery, which is part of the museum complex, exhibits priceless paintings by world-class masters: Picasso, Dali, El Greco, Caravaggio, Rusiñol and others.

The legend of the origin of the mountain

An old legend says that there was a time when the mountain was the most ordinary, until angels flew to it and were saddened by the ordinariness of the landscape that was revealed to them. Then the angels split the mountain in two and populated them with bizarre figures of animals and things. Since then, the mountain began to be called Montserrat, which means "sawn" or "chopped", and people began to give names to the natural images on the slopes.

The object belongs to national parks.

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