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Sant Maria de Montserrat Abbey

MONTSERRAT is a short train ride away from Barcelona and allows visitors to stretch their hiking legs outside of Barcelona's urban scenery.  Tickets for the 45 minute train ride on the Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (Catalonia regional train) can be purchased underground at Barcelona's Plaça d'Espanya train station (look for signs and a tourist kiosk with pictures advertising Montserrat).  Visitors may also include the price of the cable car to the top of the mountain with their ticket, thereby skipping the additional purchase at the train stop at the bottom of the mountain.  Serious mountain men and lumberjacks also have the option of making the strenuous hike up the mountain.

 

 
 

At the top lies a Benedictine Abbey, Santa María de Montserrat.  Santa María de Montserrat Abbey is the home to the Virgin of Montserrat, a statue of the Virgin Mary and infant Christ which is a pilgrimage site. 

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Cable Car ride up to the top of Monserrat   Leaving the Cable Car Station on the way up the mountain
View of Montserrat Cable Car Station View of Santa María de Montserrat from level below
Bright red flowers on the window sill with a reflection of Santa María de Montserrat in the window Jagged rock formations above the living quarters
The benches and walkway above the plaza in front of the abbey provide great views and photo opportunities Walkway across from the abbey
View from the walkway across from Santa María de Montserrat Crucifix near the benches above the pedestrian plaza in front of the abbey
Santa María de Montserrat abbey lightposts   Crucifix outside Santa María de Montserrat
View through archway exiting the abbey, with rock formations in the background   Abbey courtyard
Throngs of tourists photographing the abbey choir at their 1:00pm show   Abbey interior
Santa María de Montserrat abbey   Photo using Canon's MyColor mode
Interior of the abbey   Crucifix with Santa María de Montserrat abbey in the background
Santa María de Montserrat abbey   Plaza Statue with rock formations across from the abbey in the background
Santa María de Montserrat from the gift shop below   Santa María de Montserrat plaza archway

The whole site lies on a couple different layers, with a cafeteria, gift shop, and museum on the lower layer, and the Abbey on the second layer. 

The air is cool and crisp, even on those hot summer days, and the views of the surrounding countryside are stunning.   

 

 
 

 

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