Montserrat, (meaning 'jagged mountain' in Catalan), is a mountain near Barcelona that can be seen from miles around. The unusual rock formation of the mountain makes Montserrat a spectacular and easily recognisable sight. The Caribbean island of Monserrat was named after the mountain. The rock formations at Montserrat rise to a height of 4,000 feet (1,224 meters). At the summit are a beautiful nature reserve and monastery, which contains a statue of the virgin of Montserrat "la Moreneta" (Black Madonna), the patron saint of Catalonia.
It is said that an image of the Virgin of Montserrat appeared in a cave in the mountain. The monastery was founded by Abbott Oliba in 1025, although there is evidence that there was a chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary on this site in the year 888. The Romanesque church was built in the 12th century. The Virgin of Montserrat was declared the patron saint of Catalonia by Pope Leon XIII. In the year 1500, Saint Ignatius of Loyola travelled here on a pilgrimage.