Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey (Monestir de Montserrat)

Monestir de Montserrat


Tel. 93- 877 77 75
Basilica: 7:30am- 7:30pm daily (Jul- Sep: 8:30pm)
Museum: 10am- 6pm, Mon- Fri; 9:30am- 6:30pm Sat, Sun & public holidays


Description of Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey

Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey or Monestir de Montserrat is one of the most venerated monasteries in Spain. It was initially nothing more than hermit caves than monks started living here in the 9th century. Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey is the oldest Benedictine monastery in Spain. It is located on slopes of a high mountain of the same name at an elevation of 725 meters above sea level. For centuries Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey and picturesque mountains that surround it drew many travelers, pilgrims and climbers. Numerous mountain peaks has been a source of inspiration for many artists, musicians and poets.


Legend claims that this mountain was chosen by Blessed Mother of God, Mary herself. Local shepherds discovered a wooden statue of the Madonna and Jesus in her arms in one of the local caves. They believed that it miraculous and brought health to pilgrims who touched it. The statue didn't survive, but this mountain became closely associated with Maria.>


Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey was originally found by monks who settled in the isolated lands in the 9th century. The first chapel dedicated to Santa Maria was build in 1025 by the blessing of abbot Ripoll- Oliva and Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey subsequently quickly grew in size. In fact the monastery in 1409 became independent of Rome. Unfortunately long continuous history was cut short in 1811 than during Napoleonic Wars Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey was taken and all monks were killed. Over time it was rebuild and repopulated again. During Spanish Civil War it was badly damaged in 1936 due to military actions.


One of the most famous features of Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey is their choir of the Benedictine monks who sing the hymn of Montserrat Salve Regina y Virolai at 1pm and 6:45 pm every day except July and from Dec 26- Jan 8. Today about 80 monks and priests live within its walls. Additionally thousands of pilgrims flock to the monastery to pay respect to Virgin Mary (or "Moreneta") patroness of Catalonia.