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.
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.
I was there in the night and the view of Monthuic was wonderful. Lights and projectors were everywhere and they gave fantastic effect.
From around 20 EUR you can visit all museums, swim in the Olympic pool, use bikes, cable cars and the tourist train.
Montjuic is a hill overlooking the Barcelona from the South-West. It has various museums, parks and the Olympic stadium. The palace on top of the hill is the Palau Nacional that was constructed for 1929 World Exhibiton. It has been converted into the national museum of Catalunya. It houses some nice art collections. This palace is also important as it hosted some important events during the 1992 Summer Olympics. Its a great idea to spend one evening on the stairs of the Palace looking at the beautiful colourful fountains: a show that starts at 6/7 pm everyday and continues till 9.30 pm. This is the time that the palace has the maximum crowd. look at the picture for an idea.
If you're like me, one of your favorite things to do in any big city is spend some quality time in its city parks. I just can't get enough of these places, and from the looks of it neither can the locals. There's something wonderful about finding a tranquil respite just steps away from all the hustle and bustle.
And when it comes to cities, Barcelona's got plenty of that maddening rush to get away from on occasion. It's also got some of the finest city parks in Europe in my opinion. Ciutadella, Parc Guell, and best of all Montjuic are a few of the biggies. It's an expansive park, and I haven't really explored it thoroughly myself. But on each of my two visits, including on this last trip in Jan '04, I was able to spend a couple of hours there and highly recommend it to any visitor.
As the name implies, Montjuic park sits atop a small mountain on the edge of the city. Barcelona is rimmed by mountains, some rather distant, but this one rises up just along the edge of the old part of town and the waterfront. This unique positioning provides views of the city that are unparralled. Want a memorable photograph or two? It's the place to go.
My tip on getting there: take the metro. While there are bus routes as well, they require transfers and are far from the quickest option. When you look up at the promontory from the city below, you might think "no way you can get there by metro", but you can indeed. The train (in this case called a 'funicular') goes right to the top, tunnelling through the hillside quite impressively. I believe the stop you pick it up at is Avenida Paral-lel. Walking out of the station at the top puts you squarely in place for jaw-dropping views. To make it even better, due to its geographical position, the sun sets on the other side of the mountain and bathes Barcelona in golden backlight, only adding to the visual bliss.
There are gardens, a historic castle, the 1992 Olympic grounds and much more. Consult the maps at the top for a complete list of all the things to do and see in the park.
The Palau Nacional 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.
You can watch my 4 min 17 sec Video Barcelona Around Montjuik by bus out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.
You can watch my photo of Barcelona on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 41° 22' 14.25" N 2° 9' 7.16" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Montjuik hill.
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).
Montjuic is the hill overlooking the city centre from the South-West and means Jewish mountain. On the mountain are various museums, a castle, some parks and the Olympic stadium. Due to lack of time we only went on the cable car ride up to the mountain and then walked around the castle area, admiring the views. This in itself is worth it.
There are several ways to approach Montjuic. One, as already mentioned, is to catch the furnicular railway up from Para.lel metro station to Estacio Parc Monjuic, then to catch the cable car. You can also walk from Placa Espanya. If you go this way, you pass the Palau Nacional de Montjuic, which houses the National art museum of Catalunya. You also pass by Montjuic’s fountains.
The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc is a fountain located at the head of Avenida Maria Cristina in the Montjuïc.
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.
The light and music performances from October to April take place on Fridays and Saturdays every half-hour between 7:00 and 8:30pm, and from May to September Thursday through Sunday every half-hour between 9:00 and 11:00pm.
You can watch my
5 min 40 sec Video Barcelona Magic Fountains Montjuik part 1 out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.
2 min 33 sec Video Barcelona Montjuik Magic Fountains part 2 out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.
As you enter Montjuïc from Plaça d'Espanya, you will walk through 2 very impressive towers. These twin Venetian-style towers formed the main entrance to the Universal Exposition of 1929. Unforutantely you can't go up and see the view from within. You can however take in there simplistic, yet elegant design as you walk towards the Palau Nacional.