Jessi Turnure

Multimedia Journalist

Europe’s Hidden Secrets: The Spain Edition

This week’s secret: Montserrat.

Montserrat literally means “jagged mountain” in Catalon, one of Barcelona, Spain’s official languages. It’s most famous for its monastery, where monks still live and work. Some people also believe this site is the location of the Holy Grail in Arthurian legend.

Here’s five reasons to put Montserrat on your vacation wishlist:

1. The transportation. 

Our ascent

One of the best things about Montserrat was the trip to the top of the mountain…in a cable car. It reminded me of the first and only time I’ve been skiing. I was terrified every time the ski lifts would slowly begin our ascent up the mountain. Multiply this by ten and this was how nervous I was to get to the top of Montserrat (even though it was enclosed). However, halfway up, the view was so amazing it was easy to forget my fear.

2. The close proximity 

Barcelona, Spain

Montserrat is only an hour train ride from the heart of Barcelona, Spain. The trip is also cheap. The only thing you have to pay for is transportation. You can get a joint ticket for a train and cable car for 18 euros (about $23).

3. The rich religion 

Since Montserrat is most famous for its monastery, visitors can see and feel its deep, religious roots everywhere. This cross is just one of many examples. Throughout the site, other crosses and statues of saints appear around every corner. A large, beautiful church sits in the center of square. On hikes around the mountain, we also found three versions of the 15 Stations of the Cross. As a Catholic myself, seeing these images in such an awesome place increased my experience.

4. The sculptures and architecture

“Stairway to Heaven”

Throughout the site, awesome architectural pieces kept popping up, unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. I love my picture of the “Stairway to Heaven” and even though a sign said “Do Not Climb,” my friends and I still regret not climbing to the top of the sculpture I’m standing next to.

5. The view…need I say more?

This was an experience I’ll never forget and I hope to go back!

Check back next week for my secret on a city in France!


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