From Igualada to Montserrat

The route from the centre of Igualada to the monastery of Montserrat is nearly 27 km long and runs through impressive scenery and charming villages. This is the same land that offered Ignatius of Loyola shelter and friendship, and today it offers pilgrims the chance to rediscover their inner selves and to connect with the world around them.

The starting point is the Basílica de Santa María, in the centre of Igualada, a Gothic and Renaissance church with a single nave and twelve side chapels, one of which is  dedicated to Saint Ignatius. From here the route passes along the streets of Igualada towards the Romanesque chapel of Sant Jaume Sesoliveres, a reminder of the times when pilgrims passed through the county of l’Anoia.

This stage runs parallel to the old N-II road as far as Castellolí where there is a pilgrim hostel and where the old church is open to visitors. The route runs from here to Sant Pau de la Guàrdia, where it starts the ascent towards the mountain pass of Can Maçana. Once we enter the Nature Reserve of the Mountain of Montserrat, the route rises to the top of the ridge, from where we overlook the city of Igualada. From here we need only take a few more steps to reveal one of the magnificent views on this stage: a panorama of Montserrat.

This is an ideal spot on the route to make a stop: Can Maçana. It is a strategic point, with an information centre from where we can access the paths and peaks in this part of the mountain of Montserrat. 

The climb to the monastery

The outline of the legendary mountain against the sky will guide the traveller to the monastery. The experience of arriving on foot by the road that rises to the chapel of Santa Cecília is not easily forgotten. This 10th century church has been converted by Sean Scully into a space for contemporary art. The Irish artist has carefully created a place where religious tradition and avant-garde art come together.

The route continues after this visit until it joins the start of the Camí dels Degotalls, a tree-lined footpath that is 1.5 km long and adorned with monuments to artists and majolica that expresses Marian devotion. The stage finally ends at the monastery of Montserrat, a place to seek the calm that is missing from our daily lives, but also to visit one of the finest art collections in Catalonia at the Museum of Montserrat, or enjoy the countryside by exploring the paths that lead around the mountain. 

Did you know?

Montserrat marked an important point in the life of Ignatius, because it was here that the saint manifested his conversion, changing his garments, making a confession and leaving his sword behind. These were external signs of the new life that he was embarking on. Following his footsteps, it is a pleasure to walk in the basilica, visit the Virgin of Montserrat and stand next to the portal of the ancient 12th century church, where there is a statue of Saint Ignatius as a reminder of the vigil that the saint kept in this temple between the 24th and 25th of March 1522. 


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