Montserrat (Catalan pronunciation: [munsəˈrat]) is a multi-peaked mountain range near Barcelona, in Catalonia, Spain. It is part of the Catalan Pre-Coastal Range. The main peaks are Sant Jeroni (1,236 m), Montgrós (1,120 m) and Les Agulles (903 m).[1]

Montserrat seen from Manresa
Highest point
Elevation1,236 m (4,055 ft)
Coordinates41°35′30″N 1°50′16″E / 41.59167°N 1.83778°E / 41.59167; 1.83778
Montserrat is located in Catalonia
Bages, Anoia, Baix Llobregat, Catalonia, Spain
Parent rangeCatalan Pre-Coastal Range
Mountain typeConglomerate
Easiest routeVia road BP-1121 from Monistrol de Montserrat

It is well known as the site of the Benedictine abbey, Santa Maria de Montserrat, which hosts the Virgin of Montserrat sanctuary. The stone from the mountain is also used for the construction of Sagrada Familia, though recently, the stone began to become more fragile the deeper they quarried, so an alternative source had to be found to complete the construction. In 2018, the stone type needed for the construction was found in a quarry in Brinscall, near Chorley, England.

"Montserrat" literally means "serrated (like the common handsaw) mountain" in Catalan. It describes its peculiar aspect with a multitude of rock formations that are visible from a great distance. The mountain is composed of strikingly pink conglomerate, a form of sedimentary rock. Montserrat was designated as a National Park in 1987. The Monastery of Montserrat which houses the virgin that gives its name to the monastery is also on the mountain, although it is also known as La Moreneta ("the little tan/dark one" in Catalan).[2]

Access Edit

The Benedictine Abbey can be reached by road, by the Aeri de Montserrat cable car, or by the Montserrat Rack Railway. The lower stations of both the rack railway and the cable car can be reached by Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya train from Barcelona's Plaça d'Espanya station. From the abbey, the Funicular de Sant Joan funicular railway goes up to the top of the mountain, where there are various abandoned hovels in the cliff faces that were previously the abodes of reclusive monks, while the Funicular de la Santa Cova descends to a shrine.

Hiking and climbing Edit

  • The highest summit of Montserrat is called Sant Jeroni (Saint Jerome) and stands at 1,236 meters (4,055 feet) above sea-level. It is accessible by hiking trails which connect from the top entrance to the Sant Joan funicular, the monastery, or the base of the mountain. Montserrat is part of the GR footpath 172. The Cavall Bernat 1,111 meters (3,645 feet) is an important rock feature popular with climbers.
  • The well-known via ferrata Canal de las Damas (difficulty level D) leads from Collbató through a canal.[3]
Panorama of the view from the Sant Jeroni summit of Montserrat
Mountain seen from Puig Lluent with a sea of clouds.

Geology Edit

Large-scale layering in the conglomerate sequence
Conglomerate with a rare sandstone layer on the path to Sant Jeroni on the flank of La Gorra Frigia. The conglomerate is polymict, clast-supported and poorly sorted with clasts ranging from pebble to boulder size

Montserrat is formed of conglomerate that was originally deposited in a fan delta at the margin of the Ebro Basin, part of the foreland basin to the Pyrenees, during the middle Eocene. The conglomerate was derived from the uplifting Catalan Coastal Ranges to the southeast of the basin and the clast type is dominated by Triassic sedimentary rocks. The fan had an original size of between 100 and 150 square kilometres.[4] The resistance of the Montserrat conglomerate to erosion compared to the rest of the fill of the Ebro Basin explains its current mountainous nature.[5]

The dominant clast lithology in the conglomerate is limestone and the sequence is cemented by calcite. The presence of so much carbonate in the rock has led to the formation of typical karst landforms, such as cave systems and karst towers.[5]

Namesakes Edit

In 1493, Christopher Columbus named the Caribbean island of Montserrat Santa Maria de Montserrate, after the Virgin of Montserrat.[6] Again, in 1606, the Spanish expedition of Luis Vaéz de Torres charted Mount Ernest island in the Torres Strait as Santa Maria de Montserrate, due to its relatively high peak.[7]: 83  Also Monserrate is a 3,152 m high mountain that dominates Bogotá's downtown which has a church built in 1650 over the ancient Muisca sacred mountain and that includes a funicular and an aerial lift similar to the ones at Montserrat.

References Edit

  1. ^ Mapa Topogràfic de Catalunya - Institut Cartogràfic de Catalunya
  2. ^ "Las mejores rutas del norte español: Asturias y Cataluña". Vipealo. 15 December 2020. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  3. ^ Vehslage, Dany; Vehslage, Thorsten (2022). 25 Klettersteige in Europa mit besonderem Charakter (in German) (3rd ed.). pp. 106–109. ISBN 978-3-7562-0415-1.
  4. ^ López-Blanco M.; Marzo M.; Burbank D.W.; Vergés J.; Roca E.; Anadón P.; Piña J. (2000). "Tectonic and climatic controls on the development of foreland fan deltas: Montserrat and Sant Llorenç del Munt systems (Middle Eocene, Ebro Basin, NE Spain)" (PDF). Sedimentary Geology. 138 (1–4): 17–39. Bibcode:2000SedG..138...17L. doi:10.1016/S0037-0738(00)00142-1.
  5. ^ a b Guerrero J.; Gutiérrez F.; Gutiérrez M. (2014). Gutiérrez F.; Gutiérrez M. (eds.). Conglomerate Monoliths and Karst in the Ebro Cenozoic Basin, NE Spain. ISBN 978-94-017-8627-0. {{cite book}}: |work= ignored (help)
  6. ^ The Complete Guide to National Symbols and Emblems: Volume 2, page 724
  7. ^ Hilder, Brett (1980). The voyage of Torres : the discovery of the southern coastline of New Guinea and Torres Strait by Captain Luis Baéz de Torres in 1606. Hong Kong: University of Queensland Press.

External links Edit