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Montjuïc Castle

From defensive fortress to municipal facility

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The summit of Montjuïc Mountain, which is some 173 metres above sea level, is home to a construction called Montjuïc Castle. It is an ideal defensive site as it offers 360º views of the territory. The first fortress was built during the Reapers’ War, in 1640, and has survived to the present day.

Why visit Montjuïc Castle?

In the mid-18th century the military engineer Juan Martín Cermeño was responsible for the remodelling of the enclosure as it had been significantly damaged during the War of the Spanish Succession, which took place from 1701 to 1714. Montjuïc Castle has been used to both defend Barcelona and to bombard it at various times of its history. In the late 19th century the building started to be used as a prison. In 1940 Lluís Companys, the President of the Government of Catalonia, was executed by firing squad there and in 1963 Franco opened a Military Museum within its confines that was not definitively closed until 2009. Now Montjuïc Castle is owned by Barcelona City Council.

A visit to the castle will allow you to discover:

  • The entrance bridge and the facade
  • The bastions
  • The parade ground
  • The terrace and the watchtower
  • The sea-facing wall
  • The moat
  • The hornwork and the ravelin
  • The seaward and landward lunettes
  • The covered way

Moreover, from the terrace of the parade ground you can look out over Barcelona, the port, the coastline, the Mediterranean Sea and the area known as El Baix Llobregat.

 

For the most curious of you

  • Did you know? In the castle’s moat there is a sculpture that pays homage to the metre. This is because in 1792, Montjuïc Castle was where the French geographer and astronomer Pierre-André Méchain defined this new unit of measurement.
  • Local’s tip: Exhibitions, concerts and cinema screenings are held at Montjuïc Castle, especially in summer. You can consult its programme on its website.
  • A must: To learn more about the history of the city. The enclosure is home to the Montjuïc Castle Interpretation Centre, a permanent exhibition that covers the past of this monument in great detail.