The convent and sanctuary de la Serra

It is the Sanctuary where the patron of the town is venerated

22/02/2017

Construction:
It is from the 13th century with alterations in the 14th century and later on.

Characteristics:
It consists in the monastery, the sanctuary the priest’s former house and the keeper house as well as a big kitchen garden. The church has only one nave, with five diaphragm arches and five lateral chapels. The presbytery, the Renaissance chapel of the Saint Sepulchre, the choir and the small room for the image are from later on. In the interior we point out the big  Italian Gothic image made of alabaster of the Virgin ‘Mare de Déu de la Serra’, the Green Cross and the six medieval sepulchres. In the presbytery we can see a wall painting which is a work of the local painter ‘Ismael Balanyà’.

History:
According to tradition, the Greek princess ‘Irene de Làscaris’ was carrying an image of the Virgin from ‘Salou’ to ‘Saragossa’. In Montblanc the oxen that were pulling the carriage stopped and did not want to follow their way. This made them think that the Virgin wanted to stay in that place. The princess asked the king Jaume II for permission to build a convent in that hill. The construction began in 1296.  It became the second most visited convent in Catalonia and had great privileges from the popes and kings. It has suffered the effects of wars and lootings, but the monastic activity has been preserved until nowadays. On September the 9th  1906 the image was canonically crowned and every 25 years there are extraordinary festivities to celebrate it.

Visit:
The church can be visited from 9:00 a.m. to 13:00 p.m. and from 16:00 p.m. to 19:00 p.m.

Mass Times: link

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