08 Jun How to see the Moreneta without leaving Barcelona
The mountain of Montserrat, 60km from Barcelona, is one of the most typical and popular places in Catalonia. A visit offers endless possibilities such as admiring the monastery, enjoying the spectacular views, riding the funicular railway or hiking in an incomparable setting… One of the most famous attractions of this place is La Moreneta, patron saint of Catalonia. It is a 95 cm high Romanesque carving made of poplar and beech wood, which represents the Virgin of Montserrat and whose skin has darkened due to the ageing of the varnish that protects it.
If during your stay you do not have enough time to visit this famous madonna, we have the solution: we tell you some locations where to see reproductions of La Moreneta without having to leave Barcelona.
Where to see La Moreneta without leaving Barcelona
Basilica of Saints Justo and Pastor
This church, hidden in Barcelona’s Gothic quarter, in the Plaça de Sant Just, has a reproduction of the Moreneta on its main altar.
This church goes unnoticed by many visitors, but there are records that place it as the oldest church in the city. In addition, this little jewel hides numerous curiosities that will delight travellers. For example:
- This is the church where Antoni Gaudí, a devotee of La Moreneta, used to go to pray.
- At its entrance you can find Visigothic capitals of Byzantine style, used as baptismal fonts.
- You will find on its façade, still in operation, the city’s first domestic water fountain.
- Its tower, with 160 steps. For two euros you can enjoy spectacular views of our city.
A Moreneta hidden in plain sight.
In the middle of Plaça Catalunya you can find a group of sculptures made by the artist Eusebi Arnau for the International Exhibition of 1929.
One of these sculptures represents the anchorite Joan Garí, who, according to legend, was tempted by the devil in the 9th century while living in a cave in Montserrat and managed to redeem himself thanks to the Virgin’s help. In this representation, Joan Garí holds a reproduction of the Moreneta in his hands.
This statue, which initially went unnoticed, became especially important during the Second Spanish Republic. During this period, Catholic worship was repressed and so the faithful used to go to Plaça Catalunya to pray to the Virgin in disguise.
Do you still want to see more representations of this emblematic virgin?
If you want to see more representations of La Moreneta, you can find another one in the military chapel in Ciutadella Park, or visit the one in the chapel on the main floor of Barcelona City Hall.
And best of all, they are all within a 10 minute walk from our hotel!