The Benedictine monastery of Santa Maria de Montserrat is nestled like a bird's nest under the peaks of the 1236 meter high Montserrat mountain. Barcelona is about 45 km away, but the distant view of the Catalan hinterland allows views almost as far as this beautiful city, if it were not obscured by the Conserolla mountains.
You can reach the monastery by cable car (technology from Leipzig) and get a remarkable impression of the exclusive location of the monastery as you drive up.
Originally the Romans had built a temple of Venus here and the beginning of the era of Christian monasteries dates back to the year 880 AD. Initially designed as a hermitage, the extension to the monastery of Santa Maria was realized in 1025 AD. In the 16th century, between Gothic and Renaissance, the basilica was built, in which the famous Black Madonna of Montserrat is kept.
Many visitors come just because of this statue, which is also the patron saint of Catalonia. The figure from the 12th century is enthroned above the high altar in the basilica of the monastery and believers reach the statue via two flights of stairs to pray and non-believers to admire the impressive statue.