Santa Maria de Montserrat is a Benedictine abbey located on the mountain of Montserrat, in Monistrol de Montserrat, in Catalonia, Spain. It is notable for enshrining the image of the Virgin of Montserrat. The monastery was founded in the 10th century and still functions to this day, with over 70 monks. The monastery has its historical origins in the hermitage of Santa Maria, which Count Guifré el Pelós gave to the Monastery of Ripoll in the year 888. There have always been roughly 80 monks in residence.
The monastery is 48 kilometres west of Barcelona, and can be reached by road, train or cable car. The abbey's train station, operated by FGC, is the terminus of a rack railway connecting with Monistrol, and two funicular railways, one connecting with Santa Cova and the other connecting with the upper slopes of the mountain. At 1,236 metres above the valley floor, Montserrat is the highest point of the Catalan lowlands, and stands central to the most populated part of Catalonia. Montserrat's highest point, Sant Jeroni, can be reached by a footpath from the top station of the Funicular de Sant Joan. From Sant Jeroni, almost all of Catalonia can be seen, and on a clear day the island of Mallorca is visible.
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