Saturday, April 26, 2014

Monserrat, A Monastery on a Mountain

The Monday after Easter is it's own holiday in Europe.  I had done some research and found out that pretty much everything was closed that day, except the monastery at Monserrat.  The weather forecast called for rain so that took all parks and outside adventures out of the running.  The monastery was about an hour's drive from our house so we loaded up the car.
There are two parking options, you can park at the bottom of the hill and take the train up or you can park at the top of the hill.  You still have some walking to do once you park, but really not bad at all.

This was the view of the cathedral that met us when we first got there.

We read this little poem to the kids before we went in.  It is always a challenge to take rowdy boys into these very peaceful churches, but we keep trying.
"Welcome to Montserrat
you who have come
to visit Saint Mary in Her
mountain Sanctuary

She offers you
Her Son, Jesus,
as a light and guide
in your life

We hope that this house
that welcomes you
will be a home to everyone.
Help to make this so by your
Peace be with you

Inside the courtyard this was the view.  Through these main doors you can enter into the main sanctuary.  The door to the right is how you can go to visit the statue of Saint Mary.

This beautiful painting was inside the sanctuary.

This statue was made in the 12th century.  

This is the view the statue has of the main sanctuary.

Back outside it was still pretty foggy.

You could see the clouds lifting as we stood out there.

Addie was having so much fun.

The view from the other side of the church.

We ate a yummy lunch in the Cafeteria, it was a little pricey, but the food was good.  The gift shops had quite a collection of souvenirs.  I asked one of the ladies working there about items that were made it Spain and there was a small selection of things not imported from China.
There was also a small market outside with people selling local honey, cheese and other treats.  
The kids were entertained with this new game with Daddy while I did my shopping.

We got a small glimpse of the valley below when the fog started to clear.  

It is amazing to think that this monastery has been here since 1025.  People have been making pilgrimages here since then.  We saw one man on the road walking up the road. 
Another great experience during a great trip.

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