Photographer's Note

Please have a look my other Montserrat shots here.

6.6.2006 - changed contrast & saturation, used sharpen & border & added notes

Montserrat, only 40 kilometres (30 miles) inland from Barcelona, is a very powerful symbol for the Catalan people, and you would be hard pressed to find a Catalan who hadnt, at some point in time, visited Montserrat. The mountain of Montserrat, which means "sawed mountain", is a unique geological formation of such unique beauty that it has long captured the imagination of both local and foreign artists. Richard Wagner stayed there for some time and his opera Parsifal uses Montserrat as its backdrop. The cult of the Virgin of Montserrat, popularly known as "La Moreneta" because of the dark material of which she is sculpted, is the most popular cult in Catalonia. The "moreneta", whose full title is "Mare de Deu de Montserrat", is housed in the Benedictine abbey that has become world famous because of its boys choir and school of music. This monastery was also notorious during the Franco regime for being a stronghold of Catalan culture and language. In direct defiance of Francos anti-Catalan laws, the monks of Montserrat continued celebrating marriages and baptisms in Catalan after the Civil War. The monastery became a refuge for the many Catalan nationalists that remained underground until Francos death in 1975.

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Additional Photos by Alex Shainshein (s_a_s_h_a) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 89 W: 25 N: 148] (607)
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