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This paper is a critical study of the monastery of Montserrat (Barcelona Province, Spain) and its cultural, social and touristic constructions n modern times, which runs parallel to the process of defining the identity of the modern Catalonia.
The old monastery of Montserrat, founded in the 9th century, became a major pilgrimage centre, which was visited by pilgrims and travelers from its beginnings. During the Peninsular War (1808-1814), however, it was completely destroyed by Napoleonic troops. After some unsuccessful attempts to rebuild it during the “Renaixença”, that is to say the Catalan Rebirth, a romantic movement addressed to recovering the national identity of Catalonia in the 19th century, Montserrat became the foremost element of the symbolic universe that was being build because it was capable of generating different readings thus allowing its identification with a broad range of social and generational groups, including those with opposing ideologies. The “Renaxiença” marked the invention, that is to say, the construction of the modern Montserrat in a complex process that comprised a mixture of culture, religion and tourism involving a broad variety of diverse groups. This process highlighted the importanc of generating the new shrine’s reading in order to assure its future success.
CitationGarcia-Fuentes, Josep-Maria. Dissecting Montserrat. On the cultural, religious, touristic and identity-related construction of the modern Montserrat.. A: "Tourism, religion and culture. Regional development through meaningful tourism experiences.". 2009, p. 39-54.
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