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Things to do and see at Montjuïc mountain in Barcelona

18 things to do and see

Montjuïc, Jewish mountain, was farmland and settlements until the Jews were evicted to quarry the mountain and landscape it for the 1889 world Exhibition

Views: 2.6k Updated: Jan 1, 2024 by: Barcelona Travel Hacks

Description of Montjuic Mountain Area

Montjuïc Hill is the small mountain behind the port of Barcelona with a fortress on top. It is a great place for easy city walks in nature whilst enjoying the multiple viewpoints of Barcelona city. Montjuïc has a variety of museums, sports complexes, historic monuments and landscaped Mediterranean gardens.

Montjuïc History

The development and history of Montjuïc has often been triggered by global events that Barcelona has hosted.

Medieval Montjuïc and Fortification

Montjuïc, pronounced "mon-ju-ic (the T is silent,accent the i), is a literal amalgamation of Mont (mountain) and Jueu (jewish). Montjuïc, the Jewish Mountain was, in medieval times, farmland and served as a prominent Jewish cemetery for Barcelona's large Jewish population.

Montjuïc, rising 173m above sea level, is a hill with clear views over the Llobregat delta and Barcelona city as well as the important port of Barcelona. This made Montjuïc an obvious location for fortification. Montjuïc has had a watchtower and signal beacon since at least as far back as 1073. Throughout history, Montjuïc Castle Fortress has grown in size with the current version dating from 1799.

In 1883 the Montjuïc was chosen to Become barcelona's main cemetery due to the Expansion of Barcelona during the industrial revolution. Montjuïc Cemetery is still in use today and houses the Historic Funeral Carriages Museum.

Montjuïc and the 1888 Barcelona Universal Exposition

The 1888 Barcelona Universal Exposition was Spain's first International World Fair and ran from 8 April to 9 December 1888. The main legacy of the 1888 World Fair is Ciutadella Park, with the effect on Montjuïc being the expansion of quarrying to extract the sandstone that most of Barcelona's grand buildings are constructed from. Montjuïc was said to have up to 28 quarries, two of which can be visited today in the form of the Greek Theatre and the Historic Botanical Gardens.

Montjuïc and the 1929 World Exhibition

The second World Fair to be held in Barcelona, the first one being in 1888. It took place from 20 May 1929 to 15 January 1930 and was predominantly held in newly constructed venues around Montjuïc Mountain.

Using Stone quarried from Montjuïc, the Palau Nacional was constructed, This is the prominent building that you can see from the Magic Fountains and today houses the MNAC (Museo Nacional de Art Catalan). The pavilions of Fira 1 that surround the magic fountains are also part of the exhibition spaces constructed for the 1929 world fair.

Above and around the Palau Nacional, ornate Mediterranean Gardens (Jardins de Montjuïc), were built as walking spaces for the visitors. A quarry was repurposed into Montjuïc Greek Theatre and rose garden.

On the lower slopes of Montjuïc, a replica walled village was constructed called Poble Espanyol to illustrate some important Spanish architecture and the different styles used in the different autonomous regions of Spain. It houses craft shops, workshops and many varied restaurants and cafes.

The Montjuïc Funicular was opened in 1928 to provide access to the venues for the 1929 world fair.

The Estadi Lluís Companys was also constructed for the 1929 world fair with the idea of it being repurposed for the 1936 Summer Olympics, the bid actually being granted to Berlin, due to the Spanish civil War.

1992 Barcelona Olympic Games

The Lluís Companys Stadium is rebuilt and enlarged to be the main track and field arena for the Olympics as well as the additional constructions of the Palau Sant Jordi indoor arena for Gymnastics, volleyball, handball, etc. The Picornell Olympic swimming pools and the Torre Telefonica Communications Tower to transmit the Games on television.

Montjuic also gained a diving swimming pool (Piscina de Salto) for the 1992 Olympics, located near to the Montjuïc Funicular.

Getting to Montjuïc Attractions

Montjuïc is linked to Barceloneta from the Mirador de Miramar (sea viewpoint) via the Miramar Mirador red cable car that goes over the port of Barcelona.

Montjuïc is also served by the Montjuïc funicular from metro Parallel on the green (L3) and purple (L2) lines. The Montjuïc funicular upper stations is next to the Olympic diving pools. From here there is the Montjuïc Gondola cable car to Montjuïc castle.

MNAC, Montjuïc Magic fountains, Poble Espanyol, Montjuïc gardens and Caixa Forum are within easy walking distance of metro Plaça España on the red (L1) and green (L3) lines. Plus Plaça España is the terminus for the FGC Anoia-Llobregat lines.

The 150 bus from Plaça España runs a route which passes via most of the attractions in Montjuïc.

Walking in Montjuïc

The most popular excursion to Montjuïc is to take the Funicular then change on to the teleferico gondola cable car to the Fortress.

However, When Visiting Montjuïc, I like to walk a lot and I divide it into three thematic and geographical areas. I would recommend allowing one day for each area. The walking routes can be found in any of the attraction pages by clicking on an image below.

Attractions in Montjuic Mountain Area

Events in Montjuic Mountain Area

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