The mountain of Montserrat has been of religious significance since pre-Christian times, when the Romans built a temple to honor Venus.
By one account, the image of the Madonna was moved to Montserrat in 718, to avoid the danger posed by invading Saracens.
Legend has it that the Benedictine monks could not move the statue to construct their monastery, choosing to instead build around it. The statue's sanctuary is located at the rear of the chapel, where an altar of gold surrounds the icon, and is now a site of pilgrimage.
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