In the eleventh century the Abbot Oliva founded a small monastery near the church of Santa Maria, which is gradually consolidating around itself spiritual life County to top 15 century turned into a large and revered monastery.
Between 1493 and 1835 years, during the period of deep reforms, economic growth and shine, Montserrat monastery joined the Congregation of Valladolid. French War (1808-1811) and the capture of the Spanish territory in 1835 brought monastic farm material destruction and complete disregard of Montserrat. But beginning in 1844 period restoration, briefly paralyzed the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), returned to his former monastery of Montserrat deeper meaning. Nowadays it is not only the largest spiritual center of Catalonia, but also a place of pilgrimage for thousands of tourists, attracted by the extraordinary beauty of nature and the desire to worship the centuries-old statue of the Virgin of Montserrat.
Image of the Virgin, according to legend, was uncovered in the year 880, in a mountain cave. The first documentary evidence of the monastery are 888 year, they mentioned about the four chapels built in the mountains of Santa Maria, San Asislo, St. Peter and St. Martin.
Actually Montserrat monastery was founded in 1025. In XII-XIII centuries in the mountains magnificent church was built in Romanesque basilica, where the image of the Virgin.
In 1221, Alfonso X the Wise suggests some miracles of the Virgin of Montserrat, causing influx of pilgrims. In 1223 established the Brotherhood of Our Lady of Montserrat. In 1409, the monastery became an independent abbey. In 1476 started the construction of a Gothic monastery, the progress of work supervised by Pope Julius II.
In 1493, a hermit from the monastery Bernard accompanied Columbus on his second voyage to America (he was appointed first Vicar Apostolic of the West Indies). From that moment began the veneration of the cult of the Virgin of Montserrat in the Americas.
In 1522 Ignatius Loyola made a pilgrimage to Montserrat. Year 1592 was consecrated a new abbey church. As a result of the war in 1641 in Spain, the monks were expelled from Montserrat. In Madrid, they founded another monastery, dedicated to Our Lady of Montserrat.
In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the monastery of Montserrat became a major cultural center of the region. Music school and a boys’ choir of the monastery become known throughout Europe.
Years 1811-1812 were a period of destruction complex Montserrat Napoleon’s army. Montserrat Monastery is losing its value, the monks leave him. However, in 1844 a group of monks led by the abbot Muntodasa begins reconstruction of the temple complex.
In 1880 the Spaniards celebrate the millennium of Montserrat, in 1881 and is widely celebrated the coronation of the image of the Virgin Mary, which was proclaimed by Pope Leo XIII the patron saint of Catalonia.
In 1901 the opening of the new facade of the basilica. From 1936 to 1939, during the Spanish Civil War, the monks left the monastery. Twenty-three members of the brotherhood were killed during the war. Autonomous Government of Catalonia managed to save the monastery from looting and destruction.
In 1939, after the war, monks, for the umpteenth time in their history, back in the walls of the monastery. Held in 1947 celebrating the enthronement of the Virgin is considered the first step toward reconciliation after the Civil War.
In 1950, a Council of Montserrat. In 1968 he completed work on the new face of the monastery.Since 1976, the monastery became the object of constant pilgrimage, organizes regular trips to the monastery.
In 1982, the opening of a new museum of modern Catalan painting. Year 1982 was also marked by the pilgrimage of Pope John Paul II to the Church of Montserrat.
In 1986, the mountain where the complex is located Montserrat suffered greatly from the large forest fire, so in 1987 the government declared a mountain of Montserrat Catalonia reserve.
In 1991-96 years, work is underway to restore the basilica. In 1994, on the next large forest fires severely damaged the chapel of the Holy cave. complete reconstruction of the shrine will take about three years.
In 1996, the monastery opened museum of archaeology and museum of ancient art.
In 2000, heavy rains cause floods and landslides in the sanctuary, which was forced to close its doors to visitors. consequences of flooding have been eliminated by the year 2001, when also opened a new building for the boys’ choir, shop, cafe, multimedia room.
How to reach the Monastery of Montserrat?
Mountain of Montserrat is located an hour’s drive from Barcelona. If you are traveling by public transport, then it’s best to get to the metro station Placa Espana, where is a direct train line FCG (Catalaun railway) station Monistrol de Montserrat. From the station to the monastery is a train ropeway. In vending tickets you can buy a combined ticket w / d + funicular (cremallera), it will be a little cheaper. Spanish commuter trains are comfortable enough, have special access for the disabled and wheelchairs, there is a toilet.