There is so much to see and do in Montserrat, but with time limitations we had to cherry pick what to see or do. To visit the basilica was choice of activity for the day; there is museum, or you can take the gondola ride even higher for some hiking.
It was difficult to tell there's a church somewhere behind the arches from the square because it was hidden and flanked by two other buildings. The flooring of atrium was striking so it wasn't a surprise when I read somewhere that it was patterned after the one in Vatican City.
There is so many things to occupy the eyes, too many things to gawk at and I was still outside the church in the atrium.
Inside the basilica is what you would expect from a Catholic church in Europe, I suppose. The opulence, the details, the gilding. Here is the site for the Black Madonna pilgrimmage. There was a long line of devotees who want to see the Virgin up close, the line stretching all the way out of the church; I assumed this is a daily thing.
There are six chapels situated along the left side of the church. We entered one and was intent only on praying. It was my father's birthday when we were there and I thought it was very appropriate that I was saying a prayer for his eternal repose in a very religious place. And before we finished our prayer, in came a priest and said the mass - in Catalan language! It was most solemn mass I ever attended. There was only 4 people there excluding the priest. I felt truly blessed for the visit.
If there is one thing that really strike me from all the lovely stuff inside the church it was the gorgeous ornate hanging candles all over the side of the church. I figured there's got to be something about them, because they were all lovely and they were all different. Not two were the same, I believe. So I took photos of them and the hubs asked why I was so preoccupied with them. They just captured my fancy. See here....
Still curious, I went online to see what I can find about them and here's what I found:
Around the edge of the church you will note lots of ornate hanging candles. These are representative of a Catalan style of jewellery-making from after the Spanish Civil War (1811 - 1812). They have all been donated by Catalan towns and associations. Collectively they are there to represent the constant presence of the people of Catalunya at the feet of St. Mary of Montserrat.
OUR WORLD TUESDAY