This is a very nice and large castle at a high point of the hill. It overlooks a lot of the city and harbor, and has some of the best views. The castle was a defense point from 1640, and a lot of that time was to control the locals from riots. Franco used it as a prison during his era in early 1920's til death in 1970's. Entry is free, and they claim to have a small military museum inside, but none to be found on the day we were there. They did have a temporary exhibit of art works form the Revolution period of Spain.
It is open daily 10-7PM every day
My advice is to not follow my example and walk up Monjuic to get to the castle... it is MUCH further than I thought. My children were practically on their hands and knees by the time we made it up there... as the tour buses 'sailed' past us!
The castle has always been used to watch over the city.
It was also a political prison and apparently killing ground.
Wauh - it is a long way up and some of the drops made my palms sweat!
Lots of canons and old weapons scattered around the seaward walls. Lovely views.
The 18th century castle at the summit of Montjuic may, at frist glance, seem a bit dissapointing but is worth exploring further, if for nothing more than the amazing views over Barcelona. A castle has existed on the site since 1640 but was destroyed by Felipe V in 1705.
The current castle was built for the Bourbon Family and now houses a military and castle museum.
Montjuic is a medeavel catalan word with the meaning of "The hiss of the jews".
The first fortification on Monjuic is dated to 1022 and had a lot of different makeovers until 1751 when Juan Martín Cermeño had the fortress as it is today built. The fortress has been used more against the people of Barcelona during the years than it has protected them and is one of the least popular places in the city from what i represents.
In 1842, for example, the garrison (loyal to the Madrid government) shelled parts of the city following disturbances. It served as a prison, often holding political prisoners, until the time of General Franco. The castle was the site of numerous executions. In 1897 an incident popularly known as Els processos de Montjuïc prompted the execution of anarchist supporters, which in turn lead to a severe repression of the workers' struggle for their rights. On different occasions during the Spanish Civil War, both Nationalists and Republicans were executed there, each at the time when the site was held by their opponents. The Catalan nationalist leader Lluís Companys i Jover was also executed there in 1940, having been extradited to the Franco government by the Nazis.
Today the fortress is a military museum, showing a lot of weapons, uniforms, etc. Even if you don't like things of war, get up there and enjoy the view, which is spectacular!
The strategic location of Montjuic make the mountain a traditional place for fortifications, certainly since medieval times. The current fortress and its moat dates back to the 18th century, and although WWII era artillery can be found in some places, the defensive role of Montjuic has been obsolete since Franco died. Franco used the fortress as a place of interrogation and punishment, and since Barcelona was the last bastion of Republican resistance, the Catalans have mixed feelings about the place. There is a museum of military weapons worth a quick visit though. Mostly, Montjuic provides a great place to jog and find good views of the city and the Mediterranean.
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