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Known as the heart of the Catalan people, the serrated mountain range not only offers a breath of fresh air away from the city, but it’s also a peaceful place for reflection and refuge.
There are two ways to reach the top. You can take the cremallera funicular (rack train), or If you’re feeling gutsy, you can reach the mountains via Aeri cable car. The feeling of being half a kilometer suspended above a mountain: concern and wonderment.
In the courtyard by the basilica entrance, a rounded peak shows itself from behind the Apostle-clad facade.
The facade is fairly recent. 1901 — just last century!
The Holy Grail for Montserrat pilgrims. The beloved La Moreneta (“the dark skinned one”) is a wooden statue of the Virgin Mary and Child. It’s turned this color by the many years of candles and lamps burned around its presence. It’s believed that monks could not physically move the statue, therefore possessing miraculous qualities.
Outside the buildings, there are several hikes that you can take even with small children.
Along some paved roads, there are several monuments dedicated to the Virgin and/or other religious figures.
In a separate room, the faithful had left offerings for their prayers. The “L’s” are the learner’s permit for those who passed their driver’s exam. But what about that baby doll’s plastic leg? *scratching head*
These mountains have thousands of years of worth of stories to tell.
California native, churro aficionado, and mom of 3, Justine Ancheta writes fervently about Barcelona and Spain. Since 2008, she's been eating burnt onions (calçots) and tripping on cobblestones in the Gothic Quarter. She shares tips on popular attractions, exposes offbeat non-touristy spots, and gives insight on exploring Barcelona with kids. Her next Catalan culture challenge: top level of a human castle (castellers).
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