Montjuïc Castle is a must-do activity for visitors to Barcelona. The impressive structure that towers over the city has a significant role in the history of Barcelona as well as Catalonia. Constructed at the top of Montjuïc Hill, the site now belongs to the City of Barcelona and is open to the general public for visits. With its origins as a military fortress and its past uses as a prison and military museum, Montjuïc Castle has a fascinating history in addition to spectacular 360º panoramic views of Barcelona. Be sure to add this incredible historical monument to your list of sightseeing musts during your stay in Barcelona.
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Montjuïc Castle has it origins dating back to the 1600s, with its construction purposed for a military fortress for the city. Over the past 350 years, it has held a significant role in the history of Barcelona particularly around the Catalan defeat to Spain in the early 1700s. In the 20th century, Montjuïc Castle held a role in the civil war with its walls used to incarcerate political prisoners. It was then converted into a military museum, with it inaugurated for this purpose by Franco in 1963. Finally, in 2007, the castle was placed in the hands of the Barcelona City Council who turned it into a municipal property for the people of the city.
A great way to delve deeper into the history of Montjuïc Castle is through its guided tour that runs for around an hour and a half. Not only will you take in the historical significance of the castle’s construction but you’ll also learn about its architecture plus discover places that aren’t easily accessible by the general public, such as the watchtower and the cistern. You can also enjoy incredible views of Barcelona as well as explore the site’s natural beauty through its gardens.
Events and exhibitions
Montjuïc Castle hosts many temporary exhibitions throughout the year as well as those that are permanent, including installations on the development of the castle and the story of Montjuïc Hill at the Montjuïc Interpretation Centre. The castle is also the venue for the highly popular Sala Montjuïc with its open-air film festival during summer. The festival screens popular movies as well as the classics and makes for a wonderful summer night under the open sky.
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How to get there
Montjuïc Castle is open every day of the year except the 1st of January and the 25th of December. Opening times are from 10 am to 6 pm or 8 pm depending on the season, so check the website to plan your visit.
The general admission is €5 with reduced admission of €3 for seniors and children. There’s also free admission on Sundays after 3pm.
You can access the castle by public transport using bus line 150 or by taking the cable car from Avinguda Miramar. It’s also a pleasant walk (a little steep) in the cooler months as you’ll cross through some beautiful gardens, including the Joan Brossa and Mossén Cinto Verdaguer.
There’s also a large public car park near the castle’s entrance that you can access through Carrer dels Tarongers.