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Montserrat
May 5, 2008
Pete's Pics > Montserrat
 
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Coming steadily closer, the angular skyline of Montserrat seemed increasingly bizarre


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Up close, the formations are no less dramatic


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Once parked, it was a short walk to this viewpoint and its unique sculpture. About one third in from the right, notice a small orange roofed structure...


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The red building is Santa Cova, where legend has it that La Moreneta, the Black Madonna was found


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From the overlook there is a good view of the road rail and river systems in the valley to the east of Montserrat


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Along the cliff below Santa Cova, there is a footpath which hardier souls use to walk up to and back from the Monastery. The village in the valley is Monistrol de Montserrat. In the lower center of the picture is one of the cable car pylons


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Punctuating the tedium of the grueling walk are the fourteen stations of the cross


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A cable car on its way back to the village below


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Looking west from the same point, the main restaurant complex can be seen with the monastery tower below the mountain peaks


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The "railhead" of the main funicular track


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Approaching the monastery area, the apse of the basilica can be seen


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Just outside the monastery is where the cable car and the main funicular take on and let off passengers. In the background can be seen a second funicular railroad that continues up the canyon to the very top of the mountain. We did not go up there


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Service buildings supporting the enterprise infrastructure


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These guys were unlabeled and seem to be the monastery equivalent of garden gnomes


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More seriously, in the monastery courtyard is this sculpture of St.George, by Josep M Subirachs


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View of the monastery facade and tower. The tower was built around 1940 after the Spanish Civil War


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The courtyard of the monastery. Currently, about 80 Benedictine monks serve here


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Accessed through the monastery is the spectacular basilica courtyard in front of the basilica facade


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Detail of the basilica facade, Christ and the twelve apostles


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Interior of the basilica which contains the shrine to La Moreneta, the Black Madonna. The black color, incidentally, is probably not intentional but rather is the result of poor quality varnish that has discolored over the years


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The decorative detail is very colorful


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Back outside, a work crew were busy installing this improbable statue in the latest extension to the theme park


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Marian empathized greatly with this little chap since she too, was having a bad hair day
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