Part 2 of our journey and on alighting from the Gondola, was a short walk to Montjuïc Castle. This Castle is located high above Barcelona and has wonderful views of the Harbour, Barcelona and surrounding area. It is easy to see why this site was chosen for the Castle.
THE CASTLE HAS QUITE A HISTORY.........................
It was built in 1640, but between the years 1705 and 1714 it was a key site in the War of the Spanish Succession. It was from this castle, that Barcelona was bombarded with mortar bombs, and then later it was bombed again. People were tortured, shot and murdered here.
In latter years, it was used as a military prison until 1960. There is more info on the web-page.
Inside the Castle I was able to make my way up to the top level for some more excellent views. For me, this seemed to be the main reason for coming here, plus it was kept very nice with lawns and flowers in the moat.
Worth coming to, and remember .....IT IS FREE!
From 1 October to 31 March............ Monday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
From 1 April to 30 September...........Monday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m
Mont juïc is a hill located in Barcelona, Spain.The hill is relatively flat top overlooking the harbour, to the southeast of the city centre. The eastern side of the hill is almost a sheer cliff, giving it a commanding view over the city's harbour immediately below.
The Montjuïc was selected as the site for several of the venues of the 1992 Summer Olympics, centred around the Olympic stadium. Extensively refurbished and renamed the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys, the 65,000-seat stadium saw the opening and closing ceremonies and hosted many events. Around it was build the Anella Olímpica (the "Olympic Ring") of sporting venues, including the Institut Nacional d'Educació Física de Catalunya, a centre of sports science; the Piscines Bernat Picornell, the venue for swimming and diving events; and the striking telecommunications tower, designed by the architect Santiago Calatrava
The first two days in Barcelona I was watching the castle of Montjuic from the center so the third day we decided to visit it. We enjoyed the short ride up to the top of the hill (height is about 170metres) with the teleferic and then we walked into the Castle (free entrance).
We took several pictures of the city and the port from many view points around. The castle was build in 1640 and I’ve read that it’s the only place where you can see Franco’s statue! L.Companys, the president of the Generalitat de Catalunya was executed here in 1940. The castle is open Tuesday-Sunday 09.30-19.00
The castle also houses the Military Museum (only 3 euros entrance) that has a collection of guns (dating from the 15th century), cannons and costumes and war uniforms. The miniatures/castle models part was interesting too. It is open 9.30-17.30 (march-october till 20.00)
There is a small café in the open courtyard of the castle but if you go up the top terrace you will have some more great views of Barcelona.
The fountain show that starts every evening at the foot of the Montjuic hill is fabulous. When I decided to witness the show, I had no idea of how lovely it was going to be. Its a show that beautifully combines light, music, colours and water and the sound of falling water. the best place to witness the show is from the stairs of the Palau nacionale.
I really loved Montjuic and all the parks and gardens on the mountain! I actually walked up to the top a few times just for fun, and because it was so quiet! Once, I took the garden paths up and didn't see anyone else the entire time!
I would recommend walking up Montjuic (or taking the funicular and then cable car). Look around the castle from the outside but don't bother going into the boring military museum. Then walk around the parks for a bit, grab something to drink and finally take the cable car down to the port.
The Montjuic offers the nicest views of Barcelona and what was built for the Olympics is worth a visit as well. The best is to climb the hill from behind the Drassanes, enjoy the panorama of port and city and to stroll via the Olympic buildings to the Palau Nacional and down to the Placa Espanya.
The funicular from Montjuic over the port is a rip-off.
The majestic palace towers at the hill of Montjuik From the square of Spain. Firstly it is perceived as something historically valuable. However it is a rather new building. It has been constructed in 1929 and became the central construction of the World's Exibition. It has a name of the National Palace (Palau Nacional). A palace have been transferred to a national museum of Catalonia. Now it is possible to see there three big collections - Romance art, a gothic style and the fine arts including of some pictures of Goya.
Montjuic, the hill overlooking the city centre from the southwest, is home to some fine art galleries, leisure attractions, soothing parks and the main group of 1992 Olympic sites. Approach the area from Plaça d'Espanya and on the north side you'll see Plaça de Braus Les Arenes, a former bullring where the Beatles played in 1966. Behind it lies Parc Joan Miró, where stands Miro's highly phallic sculpture Dona i Ocell (Woman and Bird). Nearby, the Palau Nacional houses the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, which has an impressive collection of Romanesque art. Stretching up a series of terraces below the Palau Nacional are fountains, including the biggest, La Font Màgica, which comes alive with a free lights and music show on summer evenings. In the northwest of Montjuic is the 'Spanish Village', Poble Espanyol. At first glance it's a tacky tourist trap, but it also proves to be an intriguing scrapbook of Spanish architecture, with very convincing copies of buildings from all of Spain's regions. The Anella Olímpica (Olympic Ring) is the group of sports installations where the main events of the 1992 games were held. Down the hill, visit masterpieces of another kind in the Fundacio Joan Miro, Barcelona's gallery for the greatest Catalan artist of the 20th century. This is the largest single collection of the his work.
The cascade of terraces and fountains goes down from Palau Nacional to Plaza d'Espania. They are a smart gate of Montjuik hill. In the evening it is possible to observe here a fine show - musical show with the illuminated fountains.
If your time in Barcelona is not terribly rushed, I think it is very worthwhile to go to this park area overlooking the city; either by walking up, which we did (although it is not that easy) or taking the Monorail, or via bus fromthe city. Places to sit and walk around under huge shady trees, overlooking both the city and harbor. There is a cafe' and then you can walk or take the shuttle up the road to various museums, such as the Joan MIRO (see other tip).
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