The Cave an artistic heritage
It is the place where, according to tradition, Ignatius wrote his Spiritual Exercises. The Cave is a natural grotto facing Montserrat and over which the Church, the Jesuit Residence and the Retreat House are built.
In the Cave the alabaster altarpiece (second half of XVII century) the work of Joan and Francesc Grau -both artists native of Manresa-, can be seen. It represents Saint Ignatius as penitent, with a pen in his hands and his look towards Montserrat. On the right there are several alabaster pictures in relief by Josep Sunyer (XVIII century) and over one of them there are three crosses carved on the very rock where Ignatius prayed. The medallion of the El Tort Cross is also there.
Before entering the Cave one has to walk along a spacious aisle designed by Marti Coronas, a Jesuit Brother, at the beginning of XX century. Four stained-glass windows in a Venetian mosaic style represent parchments with thoughts of the Saint. The bronze relief works were made by Flotats and over them we can see mosaics representing historical celebrities.
The ceiling reminds you of the Catalan Renaissance style. Artist Llimona, with two bronze Angels, symbolized Saint Ignatius’ prayer and penance. On the floor one can see the Loyola house coat of arms, a cannon in remembrance of the Saint’s wound and a big sunflower a symbol of Ignatius’ heart open to Jesus.
The baroque Church was built next to the Cave in 1759. It is an example of Jesuit architecture. In the interior decoration (1864) the altar with the Blessed Trinity deserves special mention together with the curiosity that the Holy Spirit is represented in the shape of a black dove over the terrestrial globe. Below that there is the statue of the Immaculate Virgin, and on both sides there are the statues of Saint Ignatius and Saint Francis Xavier.
On the side columns there are statues of Saints of the Society by sculptor Flotats. The choir and the galleries are baroque with gilded mouldings. On the main façade outside there is the Spanish coat of arms on the cross of Santiago, and the statue of Saint Ignatius as a pilgrim. The side façade is decorated with 26 angels and 24 important historical persons.
The Marbles of the Cave
You can visit here the leaflet of the Geology Museum Valentí Masachs of Manresa, "Urban Stones", with all the information about the Marbles of the Cave of Manresa.