Hermitage on Montserrat Trail - PHOTOGRAPHER COMMENT
Panorama taken on a Hermitage Trail at Montserrat. The picture shows one of the remaining hermitages on the mountain overlooking Montserrat Monastery in the distance against the jagged peaks of the mountain.
Hermitage on Montserrat Trail - FURTHER INFORMATION
Hermitage on Montserrat Trail - Montserrat visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'Hermitage on Montserrat Trail' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from Catalonia.
There are 7 hermitage sites on Montserrat, all linked to Montserrat Monastery and the Basilica of Santa Maria de Montserrat, which is one of the most important religious sites in Spain. Montserrat has numerous caves, and hermits were living here from the 9C. The hermits started living at the foot of Montserrat, but soon moved to various scattered caves. These became linked to the abbey, which grew in prominence after a black image of the Virgin Mary was found on the mountain, supposedly by some shepherd children after seeing angelic visions.
The life of the hermits was harsh, involving many hours of prayer, fasting, meditation, self flagellation and manual labour. Eventually the cave dwellings were replaced by chapels, each with its own garden, cistern and orchard. The hermits rarely left their hermitages except in times of illness or for religious duties.
Most of the hermits and monks based here were killed by the French during the Peninsular War between France and Spain at the end of the 18C. Many of the religious buildings and hermitages were also destroyed at that time. Today, all but the hermitages of Santa Creu and Sant Dimas are either in ruins or very dilapidated. Montserrat now has no hermits living on it, but the area is very popular for walking and climbing, and the hermitage shown in this panorama is near to a great viewpoint with a cross looking back at Montserrat abbey.
Montserrat can be visited as a day trip from Barcelona. For those wishing to stay locally, Monistrol and surrounding village have a large number of (cheap) bed and breakfast, hotels, camp grounds and hostels normally used by students and pilgrims.