La Serra de Montserrat appears out of nowhere. Surrounded by plains, a series of giant rocks with a rather unique shape stands over the landscape in the geographic centre of Catalonia.
The foundation of the Shrine is full of legends and mysteries; but it was not until about a thousand years ago, when one of the most important medieval Catalan people—Abbot Oliba—created the first stable community of Benedictine monks. They created the cult to the Virgin Montserrat, also known as “La Moreneta”. From the beginning, it has been an important place of pilgrimage, and still persists. Due to its great veneration, Virgin Montserrat was proclaimed Catalonia’s Patron Saint in 1881.
Montserrat is also an important cultural centre. On one hand, we have the Schola Cantorum, considered the oldest choir of children in Europe. On the other hand, the monastery contains a very important library as for its wealth as for its heart. And, finally, we highlight its artistic heritage gathered in a museum, mainly created thanks to donations. It contains pieces since the Ancient Egypt to avant-garde pieces.
For all these reasons, it is not surprising that Montserrat is considered much more than the spiritual centre of Catalonia.
At the foot of the mountain, we can find the most famous wine region of Catalonia, both for its wines with designation of origin Penedes as for being the capital of Cava, Catalan sparkling wine. So it is recommended to visit one of its wineries, either known trademarks or most familiar ones.
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