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Sanctuary of the Mare de Deu del Mont

Today we invite you on a virtual tour of the Mare de Déu del Mont sanctuary, located on a mountaintop near the medieval town of Besalu. From here, from a height of 1.100 meters, open a stunning panoramic views of almost the entire province of Girona, the Pyrenees and even (in good clear weather) the sea!
The church owes its origin to the nearby monastery of Sant Llorenç de Sous, which first appeared in local chronicles in 871. The very same church Mare de Déu del Mont was built in 1311 and recently celebrated its 700th anniversary. Climbing to the top of the rock, one could at least a little, but approach heaven in prayer, which is why pilgrims flocked here from all over the Christian world. In 1539, Pope Clement VII granted 100 days of forgiveness to all pilgrims who would visit the Mare de Déu del Mont at Christmas, the Annunciation, Ascension, Easter and Saint John’s Day.


In 1884, the outstanding Catalan poet Jacint Verdaguer (1845-1902) spent several months here, working on the poem Canigó dedicated to the Spanish Reconquista.
Today, in addition to the church, the sanctuary also includes a small hotel with 6 rooms and a restaurant with an outdoor terrace. The views from there are certainly breathtaking!

From words to deeds, let’s look at the pictures!

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The restored chapel of the monastery of Sant Llorenç de Sous. From here it is about 2.5 kilometers to the Mare de Déu del Mont church.
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The road runs along steep mountain slopes.
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The last turn before the sanctuary.
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Святилище Santuari de la Mare de Déu del MontCyclopean telecommunications towers are installed in the car park next to the sanctuary. Their appearance, of course, creates an absolute dissonance with the atmosphere of the Middle Ages, but adds bright colors.
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On the circular map you can find the names of all the surrounding mountains. By the way, from here you can see two of the three most iconic mountain peaks of Catalonia – Pedraforca and Canigó. The third one – Montserrat, is not visible from here.

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Святилище Santuari de la Mare de Déu del MontMonument to Jacinth Verdaguer, erected in 2008.
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And here are the very views that both Jacinth Verdaguer and hundreds, thousands of pilgrims admired. Countries and governments are changing, and only the harsh mountains are indifferently and silently watching how tiny little people are fussily scurrying around somewhere below…
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Святилище Santuari de la Mare de Déu del Mont***

Святилище Santuari de la Mare de Déu del MontChurch bell tower. The bell weighing 200 kilograms was cast in 2020. After impact, it resonates for a full minute.
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Святилище Santuari de la Mare de Déu del MontPreviously, there was a house for pilgrims, it was destroyed during a fire in 1921. Only three stone arches remain.
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Святилище Santuari de la Mare de Déu del MontNowadays, here you can sit on a bench and admire the surrounding landscapes.

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The atmosphere is truly relaxing!
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The sea is behind the clouds on the horizon on the left side of the picture.
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Approximately in the center should be the city of Besalu.
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The sun is going down. Breathing in the freshest mountain air, we set off on our way back.
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And finally, a short drone video. This is how the sanctuary of Mare de Déu del Mont is seen by the eagles, of which there are a huge number.

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A more detailed story with tips for planning a route can be read follwoing the link in our blog.

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