Catalonia’s Holy Mountain, Montserrat

Posted by Anne & Kirk Woodyard – Music and Markets Tours

The most popular day trip from Barcelona is the ascent of craggy Montserrat, topped with a vast monastery and dotted with hermit’s caves. First a short train ride from Plaça Espanya, as we watch the serrated pinnacles piercing the clouds ahead then the Cremallera de Montserrat, a cog railway that zigzags up, up, up through the clouds to the holy mount.

Shrouded in mystery and rife with millenias- old legends (Saint Peter brought an image of the Virgin here?) the jagged mount is the site of a Benedictine monastery tucked into the crags. The pure voices of the Escolania boys choir, Europe’s oldest choral school, soar to the vaulted ceiling of the Renaissance- era basilica daily at 1 pm.

A pilgrimage site second only to Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain, Montserrat is laced with walking trains to caves, chapels, and photo-worthy vistas. Funiculars can take you even further up the pinnacles.

Our trip down, via the Aerie, goes much faster than the zig zag ascent, which took about twenty minutes. We swoop down through the clouds and in about five minutes we see our destination and gently swing into the station, and soon we’re on the train back to Barcelona. In just a short time, we’ve experienced a unique part of Catalonia, not to be missed!


The The best way to describe us (Kirk and Anne Woodyard) is that we’re interested in the stories that make the places we visit come alive.
We’ve visited Europe more times than we can count, lea
rned some entertaining stories there, and met some warm and helpful people who also enjoy the wonders of music and life in Europe.
Between our music-related travels, we split our time between our homes near Washington DC and the south of France. We look forward to sharing these stories and friends and experiences with our Music and Markets guests.
While both of us have experience in organizing travel and music groups Kirk’s background is in project management and competitive writing, and Anne is an accomplished pianist with over thirty years of teaching experience, and a travel and food writer specializing in France and Italy.

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