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The Magic Mountain

A privileged space for lovers of culture and nature

A privileged space for lovers of culture and nature

A museum with works by major artists surprises visitors to a mountain full of legends.

Legends and culture

Montserrat Natural Park is a natural space dominated by the characteristic silhouette of its eponymous mountain, a rocky massif of sandstone and extremely hard calcareous cement that over millions of years has adopted its peculiar and recognisable form. The Holy Cave, the Sant Joan and Sant Miquel chapels, and above all, Montserrat Abbey, make this place, which is just a short distance from Barcelona, an unmissable destination.

Montserrat is nicknamed the ‘magic mountain’ due to the numerous legends it has generated. The first of them is the discovery of the wooden statue of the Virgin Mary, which is reputed to have been found in the so-called Santa Cova or Holy Cave in 880. Another legend tells of a woodcutter who made a pact with the Devil to receive a fast horse to carry his wood. But without doubt one of the most popular legends is that of the Drummer of El Bruc, a young man who played his drum to surprise the French troops in the Peninsular War and thanks to the echo of the mountain managed to warn the militia and defeat the invaders.

But Montserrat is much more than a place of legends, it is also the departure point for numerous excursions and routes to appreciate nature in all its splendour. The healthiest option on a day’s visit there is a hike along one of its many trails.

Finally, the importance of the museum, which is full of surprises, should not be ignored. Founded in 1911, it includes works by renowned artists such as Velázquez, Caravaggio, El Greco, Tiepolo, Monet, Sisley, Picasso, Dalí and Ramon Casas, in addition to collections of sculptures, drawings, icons, archaeological pieces from the Near East, Japanese prints, Goya’s "Los Caprichos" etchings and Alphonse Mucha’s printed ephemera.

 

Points of interest

  • Montserrat Museum
  • Route to Sant Miquel Chapel
  • Route to the Holy Cave
  • Route to Sant Joan Chapel
  • Sant Joan funicular
  • Santa Cova funicular