Montjuïc Castle is one of the fortresses that still remains in the city, as we see it nowadays though is the result of many modifications that happened in the XVIII century and those changes were meant to strengthen the defence of the fortress.
The perfect location of the hill with excellent views of the plain Barcelona and the coastal area was the ideal place for Iberians to settle, from the 6th century the hill has been occupied by Iberians and Romans among others. Of course, it was a strategic defense point at any moment in time from the Iberians to nowadays, and it certainly was during the Civil War and during the Franco regime.
The Montjuïc Castle is certainly a live legend of Catalonia's history, possibly the most famous part of it is the recent history when on 1940 the president of Catalonia's government was imprisoned and executed in the castle, Lluís Companys.
Mr Companys went through a fake trial and he was sentenced to death on 14th October 1940 and on the 15th he was executed in Santa Eulàlia's moat in the castle. Lluís Companys death in the castle is a fact that old people remember and not that old as it is part of the recent history of the place and clearly has made a big space in people's collective memory.
The castle had a military use until 1960, after it was partially ceded to Barcelona during Franco's regime. Since this change in the usage, the castle was altered, especially the inner ward, and it started to get the looks that it ha now having a military museum on the inside as well as being a public park.
On 2009 the military museum closed its doors and all the pieces were transferred to other military museums in the area. This was the start of the refurbishment of the rooms and they started to change the spaces of the castle to serve for different purposes.
During the visit you can go through the bridge and the entrance to the inside of the castle, you see the bastions, the terrace and the watchtower, the moat, the hornwork and the ravelin and the seaward and landward lunettes.
Barcelona's 360º overlook from Montjuïc Castle
Montjuïc castle is in a privileged location up on the top of Monjuïc hill, from the parade ground terrace you can enjoy amazing views of Barcelona and the surroundings. What you will be able to see is mainly the harbour, the city bathe by the Mediterranean sea through its coastline and Baix Llobregat -an area next to the city-.
When you enter the castle, on the roof above the entrance is the parade grand and there is a watchtower square. Although it has been completely remodelled, it is still is a testimony of the old beacon or lookout post. It made perfect sense to locate a beacon in Montjuïc Castle due to this exceptional location.
Montjuïc Castle: movies in the park
In Montjuïc Castle on Spring and Summer there are many activities that take place but one of the most famous is "Cinema a la fresca" which means Cinema outdoors and it is just that, you can sit down on the grass and watch the movie of the day paying a little fee. People come there with beverages and even dinner to sit down and enjoy cinema time with the night's summer breeze. You have all the information in Sala Montjuïc, of the dates that the open air film festival takes place and the agenda.
Opening times and admission fees
Montjuïc Castle is open every day of the year except 1 January and 25 December.
The site is open to the public from 10am to 6pm or 8pm depending on the season.
Last tickets sold at 5:30pm or at 7:30pm depending on the opening times of the season.
Standard admission fee: € 5
Getting to Montjuïc Castle
There are different ways to access the castle, it can be reached by foot, by car or by public transport.
Public Transport: Bus: line 150, origin Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina, terminus Montjuïc Castle. Bus 150 goes round Montjuïc Hill before finally reaching the Castle. Another way to reach the castle in public transport is to take the cable car. The cable car service begins in Avinguda Miramar and leaves you right in front of the Castle.
On foot: You can walk up to the Castle from the top of the funicular -which is Paral·lel metro station, lines 2 and 3-. The walk takes between 20 to 25 minutes, note that it is constantly uphill until you reach the top and there are steep slopes on the way. On the way you can stop at two gardens if you plan to go around them are Joan Brossa and Mossén Cinto Verdaguer.
By private transport: If you decide to come with your vehicle, you can use the large public car park near the castle. The entrance of the car park is in Carrer dels Tarongers.