Montjuïc Castle, 370 years overlooking Barcelona

Posted on 24 June 2009 in Barcelona, always!

Montjuïc castle entrance

Montjuïc castle entrance

Montjuïc Castle is located on a rocky terrace more than 170 metres above sea level, on top of Barcelona’s Montjuïc Mountain. An old military fortress with a long history closely linked to the city, which now embarks on a new stage. Other interesting spots to visit in Montjuïc are the Olympic Stadium, Palau Sant Jordi, the MNAC (Catalan National Art Museum), the Magical Fountains or the Mies van der Rohe Pavillion.

The first fortification on Montjuïc hill was built in 1640, during the revolt against Spanish King Felipe IV. During this conflict (1641 – 1643) Barcelona was under the protection of Louis XIII King of France.

In 1694 the fort became a castle and the grounds took up most of the summit, with three bastions looking inland and a line of saw-tooth ramparts looking over the sea.

The castle was one of the resistance points against Felipe de Borbón (later to be Felipe V King of Spain) during the Spanish War. Barcelona was, together with England, on the cause of Archduke Charles of Austria on the dispute for the throne. In 1714, the city and the castle surrended after the English had signed the peace with Felipe de Borbón, and the Spanish war was over.

Espartero bombing Barcelona using Montjuïc artillery

Espartero bombing Barcelona using Montjuïc artillery

Montjuïc Castle was since then a sign of opression during many years, and people from Barcelona has not forgotten how General Espartero bombed the city during 81 days using the castle artillery, or the time when it was used as a prison and more than 175 people were executed, including anarchist Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia and Catalan President Lluís Companys i Jové.

Late on the 1960’s, the castle was refurbished to host the Military Museum, with collections of armors, medieval and modern weapons and miniature models and figures of Spanish armies througout the history.

In 2007, the Castle was transferred to Barcelona, and the City Hall immediately started a project to turn this complex into an open fortress surrounded by gardens, a space for learning, relating to others, leisure, and contain three major facilities, one devoted to the World Peace, a second one to the Memory of the conflicts that the castle has seen and a last one for Geological and Biological knowledge of the hill. It will be addressed to the citizens of Barcelona, visitors and tourists, and also have a specialised audience, such as geographers, naturalists, landscapists, sociologists, urban planners and other scholars.

Also, the castle will host cultural activities that follow the city’s calendar of festivities city and historic events in the castle. It will have its own programme and any proposals that brought up out of the enthusiasm of entities, associations and collectives will be seriously considered.

More inf@:   Montjuïc Castle website

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