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Sant Miquel del Fai

The medieval abbey of Sant Miquel del Fai, 50 km from Barcelona, contains the only romanesque chapel in Catalonia to have been built inside a grotto. The gravity-defying ensemble, which nestles among the rocks, is situated in the Tenes Valley, among rocks and waterfalls with a drop of more than 100 metres.

Highlights include the unique Plaça de l'Abadia, nestling into the mountainside which boast views of the small lakes formed by rainwater and melting ice. Opposite the square stands the prior's house, a 15th-century Gothic building.

The stone passageway, that was once part of the cloisters, leads to the 10th-century Romanesque chapel dedicated to Saint Michael the Archangel. The site was once used for pagan worship. Stalactites and stalagmites have formed in the limestone rocks. 800 metres before the chapel we find another from the same period and in the same style dedicated to Saint Martin.

The landmark was placed on the list of Cultural Assets of National Interest (BCIN) by the Catalan government in 1949.

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