Castell Montjuïc

Castell Montjuïc (88)

The characteristic profile of this mountain and its fortified castle can be seen in most of the old paintings and prints of Barcelona. 

Montjuïc, whose name is derived from “Mons Judaicos”, was already built on in 1022 when the Castle of the Port  was erected there. Later on it was used as a watchtower called the Torre del Farrel, for the purpose of keeping guard and maritime orientation. 

In 1640, following the War of the Reapers against Felip IV, Barcelona build a military fort on its peak – the Castle. When the city surrendered to the Bourbonic troops of Felip V at the end of the War of Succession, the castle became a military prison. 

The castle of Montjuïc has great symbolic value in Catalan politics as it was both a prison and an execution site during the Civil War. 

The characteristic profile of this mountain and its fortified castle can be found in most paintings and antique prints of Barcelona. 

 Montjuïc, the name of which comes from the Catalan for "Jewish Mountain", was already home to constructions in the year 1022, when the Castell de Port was erected. At a later date it served as a medieval watchtower, Farrel Tower, which was used for both surveillance and maritime orientation.

 In 1640, following the Reapers War against Philip IV, the authorities constructed a military fortress at the summit of the mountain, Montjuïc Castle. When the city surrendered to the Bourbon troops of Philip V at the end of the War of Succession, the castle became a military prison.

Montjuic Castle has a deep symbolic value in Catalan politics, having been a prison and place of execution by firing squad in the aftermath of the Civil War.  

The neighbouring quarry, El Fossar de la Pedrera, which has provided Barcelona with virtually all of its building material throughout its history, was the place of execution of Lluís Companys, the president of the Generalitat Republicana who was captured by Hitler in France and extradited to Spain. Executed by firing squad on the 15th of October, 1940 by the Franco regime, he refused to be blindfolded and died screaming "you are killing an honest man". For Catalonia!"

After 1940, and as a result of lengthy negotiations, the state agreed to return the castle to the city.

Its current star-shaped structure protected by a series of moats, walls and bunkers was designed in 1751 by a military engineer named Juan Martín Cermeño.

The military appearance of the place is already noticeable at the entrance, where heavily protected gates give access, via two steep ramps, to the central courtyard, which features a series of massive cannons used to defend the fortress against attacks from the sea.

From here you can visit the interior of this impressive fortification, which still bears great significance for the majority of Catalans. And if you don't fancy paying the entry fee, you can always can take a stroll in the castle surroundings and enjoy unique views over the port and the southern coast of Barcelona. Rest assured, these views more than justify the climb. 

Montjuïc Castle is a place of history, tranquillity and culture. In addition, the castle can be accessed by one of Barcelona's unique transport systems, the cable car, which sets out from La Barceloneta. One of the best ways to get a bird's eye view of the city.

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