The Via crucis and the Holy Cave
The Way of the Cross is an act of devotion consisting of following, praying and mediating at 14
crosses or stations on what Jesus did carrying the cross from the house of Pilate to Calvary, concluding
with the crucifixion and the burial of Jesus.
For Catholics, following the Stations of the Cross is a manifestation of their will to identify themselves
with him for the resurrection promised by God the Father for all those who believe in his Son.
The Via Crucis
The Way of the Cross begins a little beyond the Plaça Abat Oliba behind the Font
del Portal (The Fountain of the Portal) and continues on to the Chapel of Our
Lady of Sorrows, close to the Sant Miquel path. The route is gentle and
beautifully shaded and is one of the prettiest places in the area, offering a
pleasant panorama of the Shrine.
Fourteen monuments corresponding to the Stations
of the Cross were erected between 1904 and 1919 but were completely destroyed in
the 1936 war. Some new Stations have been set up using sculptures by Margarida
Sans Jordi and Francesc Juventeny; the remaining Stations will be by Domènec
Fita using a particulary stylised design.
The Holy Cave
The path which leads to the Santa Cova (Holy Cave) starts near the cable car and
continues for about one and a half kilometres along a route established in the
seventeenth century. Financial support from the faithful contributed to the
fifteen sculptural groups corresponding to the fifteen Mysteries of the Rosary
set up along the route. Gaudí, Puig i Cadafalch, Josep LLimona, the Vallmitjana
brothers and others all worked on these pieces of sculpture.
Almost hanging from the rock at the end of the route is the Chapel where
legend has it that the Image of Our Lady of Montserrat was found. The current
building is by and large the same as the seventeenth century building which was
rebuilt twice, firstly because of the damage suffered in the Napoleonic Wars in
1811 and later after damage caused by the fire in 1994 and the collapse of the
dome in September 1995. There are some outbuildings used as a dwelling by the
monk who welcomes pilgrims there and a charming small cloister. The simple small
chapel, built to the design of a Greek cross and dome, backs onto a grotto in
the mountain, where there is a stylised reproduction of the authentic Image in
the Basilica. The entire place is peaceful and solitary.
"Els Degotalls" Path
This 45-minute walk begins on the Monistrol road, passing by the self-service
café. Before taking the path, a pause on the terraces of the self-service café
or restaurant allows us to admire a magnificent panoramic view over the
Llobregat Valley. On a clear day, we can also make out Mount Tibidabo and the
sea to the east and the Pyrenees to the north. The beginning of the path is
marked by a monument to Jacint Verdaguer, erected in 1931. The route, adorned by
other monuments and wall tiles evoking different Marian advocations, ends at
"Els Degotalls", a rock formation from which water once used to spring.