Sant Llorenç del Munt and L'Obac are two mountain ranges separated by the Les Arenes stream that are joined to the north by the Estenalles mountain.
Sant Llorenç del Munt and L'Obac are two mountain ranges separated by the Les Arenes stream that are joined to the north by the Estenalles mountain. Its highest peaks are La Mola (1,104 metres) and Montcau (1,057 metres). It is a mountainous formation that appears solitary from the plain of the Vallès Occidental and Bages, the two regions that tread on their slopes. It forms part of the Catalan Pre-littoral mountain range system.
The massif's landscape is characterised by the holm oak and Aleppo pine forest (with a smaller presence of oak and hazel nut trees in its shadows) dappled with bare rock. It is a conglomerate type of geological material, caused by the alluvial products that flowed into the sea that covered the Central depression of Catalonia in ancient times. The resulting accumulation of pebbles has formed, after the sea dried up (during the same geological process that created Montserrat), crags, caverns and monoliths. The mountain is riddled with over three hundred caves and chasms.
It is a low Mediterranean mountain landscape, with a significant footprint of human settlement which has occupied it over the centuries. The Sant Llorenç del Munt monastery, built on the summit of La Mola, is the most emblematic monument of the massif. It was founded in 985 and consecrated in 1064. It was one of the most important seats of the Benedictine monks, but after some years of splendour they abandoned it in the 17th century. The Romanesque church and other monastic buildings of the era and those following, remain.
Neolithic and medieval archaeological remains are also in abundance on the massif: mansos (abandonados, dedicados todavía a la actividad agrícola o convertidos en residencias), casas obradas en la roca (como Els Òbits o el monte de la Balma), barracas de viña, pozos de hielo, fuentes (la mayoría secas en verano), etc.
The Royal Road between Barcelona and Manresa, one of the most important routes in the 19th century, on passing through the massif, was an area of great bandoleer activity. Folklore remembers the misdemeanours, real or legendary, of Capablanca.
In 1972 the first protection plan for Sant Llorenç del Munt i l'Obac was approved, and in 1987 it became a nature reserve with a surface area of 2,655 hectares, mainly in the districts of Matadepera and Sant Llorenç Savall (Vallès Occidental) and Mura (Bages). In these towns, in El Pont de Vilomara and in Casanova de l'Obac, and in the park, there are information offices about the massif, but the main one is the Collado de Estenalles Interpretation Centre, which has information panels on geology and fauna, audiovisual materials and a leisure area.
From here there are shorter walks, such as the one that leads to the Simanya cave and to Montcau, or longer ones, such as the one to La Mola following the mountain crest.
From Can Pobla, a modernist country house from the start of the 20th century, located half-way up the mountain and communicated by road, the summit can be reached in just an hour. There, a wide panoramic can be enjoyed, from the Pyrenees to the Garraf mountain range and on exceptionally clear days, even Majorca can be made out. The La Mola monastery is currently home to a restaurant.
The previously mentioned orographical features mean that the park is also visited by climbing and caving enthusiasts.