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The Magic Mountain
The mountain of Tibidabo (512 metres in altitude) is the highest point of the Collserola hills, rising between the passes of Vallvidrera and Serola, and it hosts an amusement park which has recently been recovered by the Barcelona City Council. Everyone in the city remembers its fantastic grottoes, the dizzying experience of the Talaia, the Hall of Mirrors with its grotesque reflections, the excitement of the Aeromàgic, the fascination of the old fair of automatons ... sensations which can now be rediscovered by young and old since 15 April, when the park reopened its gates to the public. Barcelona has recovered its emblematic amusement park, the first in Spain and the second oldest in Europe.
The origins of the amusement park
The origins of the Tibidabo amusement park date back to 1899, when the pharmaceutical pioneer Salvador Andreu founded the Tibidabo Company, one of whose aims was to create a recreational area on the hilltop for the enjoyment of the people of the city.
The Blue Tram, the Funicular and the attractions
The Blue Tram and the Funicular were inaugurated on 29 October 1901, and shortly afterwards the first attractions were installed on Tibidabo. The park still conserves some of the most significant ones that have filled it during its hundred years of existence: for example, the Castle of Terror and the Big Dipper (roller coaster). Or one of its most unusual items: the aeroplane, which dates from 1928 and is a replica of the model that made the first flight between Barcelona and Madrid.
A hundred years after it started and the builders are still working on it!
Even so, it is an amazing site!
It must have come from the mind of a warped genius!
I loved it. Must be one of the top 3 things to see in Barca
Torre de Collserola
Torre de Collserola (or Torre Foster) is a uniquely designed tower located on the Tibidabo hill in Barcelona. It was designed by architect Lord Norman Foster, and built in 1992 for the 1992 Olympic Games. It features a pod for floor space like many towers but uses guide lines for lateral support like a mast. Mainly used as a TV and radio transmitter, this futuristic design provides the highest viewpoint over the city. The top antenna reaches 288.4m (946 ft) and the top of the pod, which has thirteen floors, reaches 152m (499 ft). The tenth floor of the pod is open to the public.
Sacred Heart Basilica - Sagrado Corazón
Barcelona has a second mountain, apart from the Montjuic one. It's called Tibidabo and its first construction was a small hermitage built in 1886 after a visit of St. John Bosco, placed on the highest point (518 metres). Currently this chapel is attached to the big basilica, the Expiatory Temple of Spain, designed by Sagnier in 1911. In fact there are two places of worship, the main church on top and the crypt on botton, just in the street. There are a chapel inside where the Holy Eucharisty is worshiped 24 hours daily. The crypt is very beautiful, with representations of different sanctuaries in Spain, as the Montserrat one. The main gate is presided by the Virgin of "La Merced" and there are sculptures of the patron saints of Spain and Catalonia at its sides. The whole basilica is like a gigantic pedestal to the 7 metres tall Sacred Heart, with His arms opened to the city of Barcelona.
Barcelona tiene una segunda montaña, además de la de Montjuic. Es la de Tibidabo y su primera construcción es una pequeña ermita construida en 1886 tras la visita de San Juan Bosco en el lugar más altom a 518 metros. Actualmente esta capilla está unida a la gran basílica, el Templo Expiatorio de España, diseñado por Sagnier en 1911. En realidad hay dos lugares de oración, la iglesia principal en lo alto y la cripta abajo, justo en la calle. Hay una capilla dentro donde el Santísimo es adorado diariamente las 24 horas del día. La cripta es muy bonta, con representaciones de diferentes santuarios de España, como el de Montserrat. La puerta principal está presidida por la Virgen de la Merced y hay esculturas de los patrones de España y Cataluña a sus lados. Toda la basílica es como un gingantesco pedestal para el Sagrado Corazón de 7 metros, con Sus brazos abiertos a la ciudad de Barcelona.
Mass schedule / Horario de misas
Weekdays / Diario: 8:00, 12:00, 17:00, 19:00
Sundays / Domingos: 8:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 17:00, 19:00
A daytrip to Tibidabo
Tibi Dabo actually means "I will give you", which is a reference to Satan tempting Christ. The park gets its name because of the magnificent view. You can see almost the whole city from La Sagrada Familia to the Cathedral to the ports off the Mediterranean.
Tibidabo is the highest hill in Barcelona. If the air is clear and sunny, it's a great place for views over the city. The locals come up here for some thrills at the amusement park Parc d'Atraccions, which has rides and a house of horrors. As hair-raising as anything at the Parc, however, is the glass lift that goes 115m up to a visitors' observation area at Torre de Collserola telecommunications tower.
Not Worth Your Time or Money!
We spent a half-day at Tibidabo but were extremely disappointed. Getting there is a hassle, as you have to take the Tramvia Blu followed by a funicular, and the lines are excruciating (even in the off-season). At the top there is "Barcelona's Ugliest Church", a boring amusement park and a ridiculously expensive coffee shop/snack bar. Views of the city are good, but not worth the difficulty.
If you do happen to end up at Tibidabo and get hungry, there is a very small, family-owned restaurant about 250 meters below the amusement park that serves decent (not great) food.
- Religious Travel
- Family Travel
- Theme Park Trips
The Blue Tram becomes Red?
What a surpise when I saw the Blue Tram (Tramvia Blau) was in fact Red ;-). Fortunately the other tram is blue. Nevermind the color as I was happy to do this ride avoiding me to walk a steep hill up to Tibidabo.
Operating since 1901, the Tramvia Blau will offer a picturesque way of reaching the Tibidabo. In a residential area, this old fashioned tramway runs through the leafy setting of the mountainside, before ending at the foot of the funicular railway. It covers a route of 1,276m, reaching an altitude of 93m.
Another interesting historical fact: I learn that Gaudi was knocked down by this tram and died three day later in 1926.
Fare (TMB pass no valid on this tram)
Single ticket EUR 2,20
Return ticket EUR 3,30
Ticket is sale on board of the tramway or at the tram stop.
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The Tibidabo funicular railway was inaugurated on 29 October 1901 and became the first funicular railway in Spain.
The funicular operates on a line 1152 metres long with grades of up to 25.7% and a vertical ascent of 278.3 metres. The funicular railway was originally only a single track, with a passing siding halfway up. In 1922, in anticipation of the forthcoming Barcelona Universal Exhibition of 1929, the number of railcars was doubled. The installations were entirely remodelled between 1958 and 1960 to meet the gradual increase in demand. However, service was reduced as from 1995, owing to the financial problems of the owners, PATSA.
Transport by cable car from the stop for the Blue Tram at the pl. Dr Andreu to the . The Tibidabo funicular railway currently covers the route between Plaça del Doctor Andreu (at the end of Avinguda del Tibidabo) and Plaça del Tibidabo (Tibidabo Amusement Park), and links with the Tramvia Blau. The route, which took 9 minutes to cover in 1901, is now covered in 6 minutes.
In January, February, April, October, November and December, the funicular railway will operate only when the amusement park is open. The rest of the year, the funicular railway will operate on specific days, even when the amusement park is closed.
Frequency: Every 30 minutes.
Ticket: one way or return: 2,00 euros / round trip: 3,00 euros
Pensioners: one way or return; 1,50 euros / round trip: 2,00 euros
School groups: one way or return: 1,50 euros / round trip: 2,00 euros
Bicycles can be taken aboard the Tibidabo funicular at any time.
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Sagrat Cor: excellent view point
From the Sagrat Cor (Sacred Heart Church) at Tibidabo you will get a wonderful panorama on Barcelona and its surroundings.
The Tibidabo area situated half up on a mountain in the north part of Barcelona (548 m above sea level), is a popular attraction with an amusement park built in 1899 and several museums.
The church is an enormous temple which can be seen from almost anywhere in Barcelona. Even if it looks like a gothic cathedral it is not. It is only 40 years old. The building was started in 1902 by Enric Sagnier and the work was not finished until 1961. Actually it is two churches one on top of the other.
To go there you have to take the Tibidabo funicular which in it self is a museum being the oldest of its kind in Spain.
- Theme Park Trips
I will give you
Tibidabo gets it name from the bible. When Satan tempted Jesus by showing him all the riches of the world from a mountain top, he said "...haec omnia tibi dabo si cadens adoraveris me" which means "All this I will give you if you fall down and worship me"
The name tibidabo refers to the views and that view is spectacular. The two main attractions at Tibidabo are the church (Sagrat Cor) and the amusement park.
- Theme Park Trips
A Long Hike
Most people who visit Mt Tibidabo probably take the bus, but I actually ended up walking the entire way, I wouldn't suggest doing this, but I was persuaded by some adventure starved friends of mine. So after being chased by a dog(long story) and walking up many hills we arrived at the highest point in Barcelona, at the top there is a great view of the city(although not much better than the one you'll get at Parc Guell) a cathedral and for those with bored kids there's a theme park as well. This is an interesting place but if you don't have too much time it's not an absolute must see.
- Theme Park Trips
A "divine" view
This is one of two mountains overlooking Barcelona. I read that the word "Tibidabo" comes from the Latin "to thee I shall give." James Michener, in his book "Iberia" tells of a proud Catalan man who insisted on taking Michener to this mountain for the spectaclar view of the city and surrounding area. When they reached the top the man explained that this is where the devil brought Jesus to tempt him - this is probably the origin of the name. At any rate, it is a great vantage point for great views. There is also an amusement park as you can see in the photo. We didn't venture into it, but it would be a good place for kids.
On the top of a mountain there is an amusementpark and a church, so we visited the church.......
The church is called Sagrat Cor (Sacred Heart) , a modernist temple of neogothic inspiration Enric Sagnier began building in 1902 and it took 60 years to complete it.
The amusentpark is also worth visiting, but if you only go for the ride up with the Tramvia Blau you will enjoy yourself too !
Tibidabo - A long way up
Tibidabo is a rather curious place. It has a church, and pretty large funfair park, which even contains a place to ice skate. It has a large church dedicated to the sacred heart. It also has some pretty amazing views down to Barcelona, as Tibidabo is high up on a mountain.
I have to admit I found the whole place a little tacky. I love rollercoaster rides, but the funfair looked a bit on the boring side, so I didn't even bother to go in. The whole place seems to be designed to relieve people of money, either by selling them religious knick-knacks or by getting them into overprices and not very special attractions.
If you drive to the peak, there are some great little mountain villages on the way, where you can stop off and get a great meal in the mountain air.
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