Joan Maragall Gardens
Gardens fit for royalty
These are some of the city’s largest and most elegant gardens and they surround the residence of the Spanish royal family when they are in Barcelona, Palauet Albéniz. They are on Montjuïc Mountain and cover a surface area of almost 4 hectares.
Why visit Joan Maragall Gardens?
The origin of these gardens dates back to the 1929 Universal Exposition, which is when Montjuïc Mountain was completely transformed. In fact, Palauet Albéniz was erected within this space to be the home of the royal family during the event.
The Joan Maragall Gardens were designed by the architects and landscapers Nicolau Maria Rubió i Tudurí and Jean-Claude Nicolas Forestier, who was also responsible for María Luisa Park, in Seville, and many of Paris’s parks. The result was a complex that combined the French classicist style with the Mediterranean approach, and included numerous pergolas and terraces. In 1970 the gardens were expanded with abundant decoration, including 32 sculptures.
Currently, the gardens are organised into three areas. The main area, opposite the facade of the palace, with a pond at either end and a central area of flower beds, featuring a small temple with the sculpture "Susanna Bathing", by Théophile-Eugène-Victor Barrau. The second area is the sides of the palace, which correspond to the old gardens from 1929, where there are two fountains with Tritons and a sculpture of a reclining woman by Enric Monjo. And, finally, the north zone, which communicates with the Palau Nacional, which features a courtyard with Ionic columns and the sculpture "Serena", by Pilar Francesch, in addition to the Chapel of Santa Madrona.
For the most curious of you
- Did you know? It was not until 1970 that the gardens were expanded and received their current name in homage to the Catalan poet Joan Maragall, the grandfather of the Mayor of Barcelona during the Olympic Games, Pasqual Maragall.
- Local’s tip: Entrance is free, but consult the timetables of the gardens in advance, because they only open at the weekend.
- A must: To find the Chapel of Santa Madrona, one of only a few in the city of Barcelona.