Barcelona’s great defensive fortress
The summit of Montjuïc Mountain, an ideal defensive position, has been home to Montjuïc Castle since 1640. The first fortification on Montjuïc was built at a height of 173 metres on the site of a watchtower during the Reapers’ War and has endured to this day as a symbol of the city’s history.
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What to visit at Montjuïc Castle?
The castle you can visit is the result of the renovation by the military engineer Juan Martín Cermeño in the mid-18th century, and an expansion undertaken at the end of the same century. The castle has been used to both defend Barcelona and attack it at various times of its history, mainly in the 19th century, at the end of which it 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. Montjuïc Castle is now owned by Barcelona City Council and plays host to numerous cultural activities.
A visit to the castle, which was declared a Cultural Asset of National Interest in 1988, shows you:
- 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
The location of the castle also offers 360° views of Barcelona and its surrounding area. From the parade ground terrace you can see Barcelona, the port, the coastline of Barcelona, the Mediterranean Sea and the area of El Baix Llobregat.
How do you get to Montjuïc Castle?
The most comfortable way to reach the castle is by taking the Montjuïc Cable Car at the Telefèric de Montjuïc stop on the Red Route of Barcelona Bus Turístic.
For the most curious of you
- Did you know? In 1792, Montjuïc Castle was where the French astronomer Pierre Méchain defined a new measuring unit: the metre. This is why there is a sculpture in homage to the metre in the castle’s moat and a commemorative plaque on the tower.
- Local’s tip: The castle provides a privileged setting for exhibitions, concerts and cinema screenings. They are mainly held in the summer months and you can consult the programme on its website.
- A must: To learn more about the history of the city.
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