The Tarantulas plain is the starting point for enjoying the natural and eremitical heritage of Montserrat through trails that will guide you around this important but still largely unknown mountain heritage.
You can choose between short trails that are easily accessible for everyone and slightly more complicated routes that will require more time and calm to enjoy the mountain.
The eremitical complex of Montserrat was made up of 13 hermitages scattered around the high part of the mountain in two large areas: Thebes (the starting point) and Thebaid (the area above the monastery). These names refer to the Egyptian desert where the Fathers of monasticism began the Christian eremitical tradition. Initially they were situated in areas close to the monastery but over time they occupied more distant and inaccessible areas in order to ensure the solitude of the hermits.
In organisational terms, the hermitages were dependent on the monastery, although each had his own prayer and dwelling spaces, as well as vegetable plots for food. Re-cords are preserved of some 300 hermits and anchorites who lived in the hermitages of Montserrat until the 19th century.
Between 1811 and 1812, during the Peninsular War, this eremitical complex was razed to the ground. A part of the complex has now been restored and can be visited.
Montserrat Mountain is a rock formation created 50 million years ago by rising material accumulated by the Catalan Great Central Depression and its erosion over thousands of years. Wind, rain and freezing temperatures continued to shape it, eventually produ-cing the form that we see today.
Furthermore, the mountain is a Natural Park with outstanding flora and fauna that varies according to altitude and aspect. In keeping with the Mediterranean climate, the mountain’s flora prominently features holm oaks, rosemary, thyme, laurestine and holly, while fauna species include various birds, wild boars, squirrels, goats, geckos, lizards, parsley frogs and salamanders.
Montserrat is constantly changing. The weathering process is permanent and trans-forms the mountain continuously. The landscape of Montserrat is the result of the action of natural agents and we must contribute to protecting it.