Castell de Montjuic
The Castle of Montjuic is a military fortress located on the top of the mountain of Montjuic, at the southwest of Barcelona, which has actively participated in the military history of Barcelona.
The origins of the castle date back to the "Catalan Revolt" in 1640 when Catalonia became a republic. The Spanish king, Philip IV when attacking, made Barcelona build a fort around the watchtower that was at the top of the mountain and was built to spot approaching ships to Barcelona on the Mediterranean Sea.
Throughout its history, the castle has changed sides, which both has defended the city, as has been bombarding it on several occasions.
From 1893, the Castle of Montjuic passes to acquire military prison functions, coming to hold more than 1495 prisoners in 1938. The castle remained a military prison until 1960 in which it was partially transferred to the City of Barcelona, and held a military museum since 2007 when the castle was fully transferred to the city and the museum was moved to Figueres.
A great fortress in Montjuic
If you visit the Castle of Montjuic you will see at first hand the huge moats and stunning walls that protected the fortress or preventing its prisoners from escaping.
The visit to the castle is certainly a worth option that will take you all the morning or an entire afternoon. The City Council has outsourced the management of the fortress and since March 2014 it is necessary to pay a small entrance fee to visit it.
In addition to the historical and tourist attraction, it is a very nice place to walk around and has stunning views of both the city of Barcelona, and its maritime and industrial port.
The Santa Eulalia Moat in the Castle of Montjuic
The moat of Santa Eulalia is on the north side of the castle, which overlooks the city of Barcelona. This huge moat is used by archery practitioners from the Club Arc Montjuic, that offers courses of all skill levels.
An historical fact is that in this moat was shot the president of the Generalitat de Catalunya Lluís Companys on 15 October 1940. Currently you can see a little monument and a commemorative plaque in the moat of Santa Eulalia in the place where he was executed. if there are archery shooters, the monument is on the wall that is behind of them.
The Parade Ground
The central part of the Castle of Montjuic is a huge courtyard with bombproof covers around it, which were the dependencies of the fortress. The rooms, in addition to housing the soldiers and their families, were also destined to be the dependencies for prisoners, the canteen or the chaplain chamber.
Room 1, which is currently the office of the castle, was the cell of the president of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Lluís Companys.
The views from the Castle of Montjuic
The location of the castle on the highest point of the mountain of Montjuic, lets have superb views of the city of Barcelona. From the upper terrace, you can see the Agbar Tower, if you are visiting the castle late in the afternoon or in the evening, you will see it illuminated.
If you stand on the sea side of the castle,you'll have a view of the port of Barcelona that is really impressive. Besides the commercial port, if the vegetation is not preventing you, you will see the Moll de la Fusta, the marina port of Barcelona, Las Golondrinas or the Columbus Monument.
From the upper terrace, which you can go up from the stairs that arise from one side of the Parade Ground, you will have the best views of the city that you can have from the castle.
If you hire a guided tour of the Montjuic Castle, you will be able to go up to the Watchtower, which is the highest point of the castle and has a huge ship mast that hoisted flags that were used to code messages informing the entry and departure of boats. Messages from the castle tower were transmitted to the Ciudadela, which was a military fortress, already destroyed, located in what nowadays is the Ciutadella Park.
Visiting the Castle of Montjuic with children
It is unquestionable that many children may like to visit the castle. It isn’t a princess castle but it is a military one, and it is a monumental fortress that will awake their most adventurous fantasies.
Children will be able to play and run and climb the huge cannons that were used both to defend and to bomb the city of Barcelona.
If you visit the castle with small children, you must be careful as there are places with risk of falls. We recommend you to read the article in HappyBarcelona about visiting the Castle of Montjuic with children.
Photoshpere of the Montjuic Castle
How to get to the Castle of Montjuic
You have various options to get to Montjuic Castle. There is a large free parking where you can park your car. From Spain Square (Plaça d’Espanya), there is a bus (line 150) that goes up the mountain of Montjuic and leads to the castle, which also passes through the Olympic Park of Montjuic which is a place that you should also visit.
There are other ways as the Funicular of Montjuic of the cable car that also takes you to the castle.
We recommend you the reading of the Article in HappyBarcelona.eu about how to get to Montjuic Castle where all the different methods that you have to get to the fortress at the top of the mountain of Montjuic in Barcelona will be explained.
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