Why do we recommend Montserrat monastery?
The monastery played an important role in the political and cultural life of Catalonia.
Since 1918 the monastery’s own publishing company have published not only
religious but also secular writings. The Escolanía, or the boys’ choir from the
monastery’s boarding school, has produced quality Catalan musicians.
The monastery has a broad façade, by F. Folguera (1939) with reliefs by J. Rebull.
On the right is the ‘Abbot’s Tower’ and, on the left, are the remains of the Gothic
cloister, which Giuliano della Rovere, Abbot of Montserrat and later Pope Julius II,
had built in 1467. After the atrium comes the inner courtyard (19C), which has a
Romanesque portal (12C) and 16C tombs. The marble façade was designed by D. Villar in the 19C, with sculptures by the
Vallmitjana brothers. The church was consecrated in 1592 and has a central nave
with round Gothic arches and six side chapels. The figures of the four prophets
are by José Llimona. A small chapel in the apse, reached by a marble stair, contains
the black Virgin of Montserrat (La Moreneta, the patron saint of Catalonia
since 1881), a Romanesque carving from the 12C. The throne, which has reliefs in
silver and gold by famous Catalan artists, was dedicated to the Virgin as a gift from
the Catalan people in 1947.
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