THE CHAPELS OF THE MONTSANT
Ermita de la Mare de Déu de Montsant (chapel of Our Lady of Montsant)
The chapel stands 1027 metres up, below the Roca Corbatera, making it the highest chapel on the Montsant massif. Its origins lie with hermit monks of the 12th century, and it is also known historically as Santa Maria de Montsant. It is known that processions were held there at different times of year in the past, nearly always to ask for rain for the crops. Traditionally there have always been two festivities at the chapel, one on St. George's Day and the other on 17th August, an Aplec (gathering) in honour of Our Lady. It can be reached by following Nature Park Route 11.
Ermita de Sant Joan del Codolar
Village: Cornudella de Montsant
This chapel lies about 3 kilometres from the village, at the foot of the cliffs of Sant Joan at the edge of the Montsant massif. The name Codolar comes from the large, rounded stones or “còdols” that surround it. The chapel was built by the Carthusian monks of Scala Dei in the late 15th century, and several hermits have lived there. In fact, one still lives there today. She takes care of the buildings, which means that it is the only chapel in the area that can usually be visited. Three festivities are held there: for Saint John, for the beheading of St. John (29th August) and for Saint Anthony.
Ermita de Sant Bartomeu (chapel of St. Bartholomew)
Romanesque-style chapel dating from the 13th century, located in the spectacular gorge of Fraguerau, cut by the river Montsant between the Llena and Montsant massifs. It has its origins in the cave of the hermit Fra Guerau, who built a small chapel dedicated to Saint Bartholomew. The building that can be seen today, standing opposite the overhang, consists of a single nave with a round apse, with a slightly pointed stone barrel vault and a bell gable. It can be reached on foot from the chapel of Sant Antoni near Ulldemolins, along the GR 65-5 and by following Nature Park route 2. This is one of the most charming walks in the Nature Park because of the stunning scenery of the gorge formed by the river Montsant between the rocks in their rounded shapes. It crosses the river over a small hanging bridge.
Ermita de Sant Antoni i Santa Bàrbara
Chapel located at the foot of the Montsant, on the shady side of the mountain, 3 km from the village of Ulldemolins. It can be reached on foot and also by car as the track is asphalted. The building, simple in form, rests on pointed arches, with a front atrium, a bell gable and an arched doorway. A curious feature is the bell, made from an old bomb. Beside it there is a recreation area with barbecues and an area used for camping.
Ermita de Santa Magdalena (chapel of St. Mary Magdalene)
Chapel located on the shady side of the Montsant massif, very close to Sant Antoni i Santa Bàrbara. It can be reached on foot or by car along a 3-kilometre metalled road from the village. It is also known as the “Cathedral of Montsant” because it is so much bigger than most of the other chapels there. It has 6 chapels, a choir, galleries and a crypt, and is the work of father Jaume Amigó, who also designed the village church. Just above Santa Magdalena there is a spring that provides water for the chapel and, together with others in the area, for the village of Ulldemolins. Beside it there is also a recreation area with barbecues and also municipal bunkhouse accommodation. The festivity of St. Mary Magdalene takes place on 22nd July.
Ermita de Sant Salvador
Village: Margalef de Montsant
The chapel of Sant Salvador is 3.5 km from the village and can be reached on foot and also by car. The building shelters beneath an enormous rock. It is a small, modest construction. A curious feature, similar to other Montsant chapels, is that the bell is made from an old bomb. The original was built in the 16th century but it was burnt down in 1936 and had to be rebuilt. Right next to the chapel, beneath the same rock, the old hermit's dwelling can also be seen. There is a recreation area with barbecues and also a water tap. The main festivities held there are in honour of Saint Salvador on 6th August and Saint Mark on 25th April. It is a starting point for walks over the top of Montsant. The old path to the chapel has recently been cleared and marked; it runs through a striking landscape of curious rock formations.
Ermita de Sant Roc
A small chapel located 1.5 km from the village. It can be reached on foot on Nature Park route 4, and also by car along a track. The building dates from the 16th century and is of simple construction, using the rock itself as walls. It has a single nave and two small side chapels. Just beside the chapel is a cave that is used both for camping and to celebrate the Eucharist on days when many people gather at the chapel. The main festivity is held there on 16th August, Saint Roch's day.
Ermita de la Mare de Déu de la Foia (chapel of Our Lady of La Foia)
The chapel of La Foia is located 3 km from the village and can be reached by car along a track or else by following Nature Park route 4. Its name comes from its location in a valley where there is plenty of water; it also supplies the village. It is dedicated to Our Lady of the Snows, Saint Mark and Saint Barbera. It can be reached on foot and also by car. It has a recreation area with barbecues, toilets and stone tables made from old millstones from the local cooperative. The main festivities held there are on 5th August, Our Lady of the Snows, and 25th April, Saint Mark.
Ermita de Sant Pau
Village: La Figuera
The chapel of Sant Pau is perched on top of a hill very close to the village of La Figuera. Its high altitude, around 700 metres up, means it has impressive views, and on clear days it is said one can even see the Pyrenees. Saint Paul and Our Lady of La Mola are venerated there. The chapel is in a renaissance style on a rectangular floor plan, with no apse and semicircular arches. It has a single nave and a barrel-vaulted roof. The aplec (gathering) of Sant Pau is the biggest event held there, on the second Sunday in August, dedicated to Our Lady of La Mola. It also sees the celebration of Saint Paul the Hermit on 15th January. Very close to the chapel is the old military observation post used by the Republican army during the battle of the Ebro, as much of the course of the river is clearly visible from here.