In light of the current situation that the world finds itself, there is a need for sensibility and responsibility. As the COVID-19 virus has halted travel plans for the foreseeable future. The most important thing for everyone now is to respect the measures in place and prioritize health and well-being.
That is not to say that we should not have anything to look forward to for when normality resumes in the future. Therefore, we would like to give you the chance to learn about the Montjuic Castle, so that you have some information on it before your next visit. In the meantime, we wish you all good health and hope this blog can take your mind off things.
If you have had the chance to explore the wonderful area of Montjuic in Barcelona, you will have seen first hand just how much there is to do here. From the Magic Fountains and the MNAC, to the Olympic Stadium, this part of our city never ceases to amaze those that visit. However, this article will focus more on one of its memorable and historic monuments, the Montjuic Castle of Barcelona. Learn about the rich history of this very important place, somewhere that has seen war, imprisonment and the changing of the territory around it; The Montjuic Castle.
History of the Montjuic Castle
The first stone of this castle was laid in 1640, a year before it would taste its first battle. In 1941, Barcelona would be the centre of the Catalan revolt against Spain. Despite the King of Spain, Pedro Fajardo, and his men taking back most Catalan cities, the Montjuic Castle would remain uncaptured. The defence of Montjuic from 1641 onwards was successfully led by Francesc de Tamarit. At this moment in history, the settlement was more of a fortress, becoming a castle when it added essential defenses and battlements, in 1694.
This change came only a few years before it would face its next battle, this time stuck in the middle of the Spanish succession crisis, between the Habsburgs and the Bourbons. This war attracted attention from all over Europe, who were in support of the Habsburg claim to the Spanish throne, Emperor Leopold. Against the majority of Spain, who wanted a return of the Bourbons, through Louis XIV of France. The Montjuic Castle would be caught up in this war of succession by being the main point of the 1705 siege of Barcelona, which would see the castle fall to the British army, making their leader, William Southwell, the first and only British governor of the Montjuic Castle!
Some years later, between 1779 and 1799, Montjuic Castle would lose its old fort and redesign the layout, with 120 cannons being added. This was the most recent refurbishment that the castle underwent, meaning that the building that stands today is what was designed over 200 years ago. It was also the spot where Napoleon would famously capture the castle without facing any resistance from the defending Spanish troops, during the Napoleonic wars of the early 19th century.
In more recent history, the Montjuic Castle was infamously used during the Spanish Civil War, as a place that saw the imprisonment and execution of political prisoners, including the former President of the Generalitat Catalonia, Lluís Companys, who was killed in 1940. He would, after some years, be honoured by having the Montjuic Olympic Stadium renamed to the Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys.
What to expect now and how to get to The Montjuic Castle
Nowadays, the Montjuic Castle is run by the Barcelona city government and they give you plenty of reasons to visit. From temporary exhibitions to informative tours, this is the ideal place to visit if you are a fan of history. If that doesn’t apply to you, there are, of course, the beautiful gardens and the panoramic views that the castle has on offer for you to wander around and get lost in. It is the ideal place to visit and should be high on the list in time for your next visit.
As for getting to the Montjuic Castle, that is easy enough! We recommend catching the funicular that you can get to enjoy the views from Port Vell, all the way to the mountain of Montjuic, accessible from the Avinguda Miramar or Plaça de la Sardana, before reaching the castle. This unique transport gives the best views! Other than this, you can get your exercise in by braving the uphill walk, which passes by other amazing gardens. Also, you can travel by the 150 bus line from Plaça d’Espanya. If you have decided to rent a car in Barcelona then there is parking for you to use at the castle!