Originally settled by Iberian Celts thousands of years ago, Montjuic (the name believed to have derived from Latin meaning "hill of Jove" - god of the sky and thunder) has housed a lghthouse/watchtower for centuries. This was designed to signal the city of arriving sailing ships, with flags during the day and fire at night.The first fort was built around the watchtower in 1640, during the Catalan Revolt against Spanish authority. In 1751, the Bourbon monarchs demolished the original fort and had the current one constructed on the remains.. After having made our own trek up the hill (by foot and then by cable car), we could only guess at the problems encountered by the builders bringing up construction materials and canons centuries ago. The fortress has seen a lot of service in several battles ( between the Catalans and Spain, as well as between Spain and France), and also as a prison. We have said many times that we love history. Visiting this centuries old fortification was a huge plus for us! Not to mention the spectacular views of Barcelona from the top!
The drawbridge entrance to the fortress. The flower gardens below the bridge were once a moat.
These beautifully designed gardens certainly add a lot of splendor to the Castle.
While the canons were designed to defend the city, on various occasions (e.g. When the French seized the fort) they were used to bombard Barcelona.
The well drew water from a cistern that had collected rainwater from the sloping roof of the fortress.
Two intrepid warriors ready to defend the castle from all enemies.
When Montjuic Castle served as a prison, executions took place on this section of the Santa Eulalia moat. The most notable, was the execution by firing squad of Lluis Companys, President of the Catalan Government, following the Spanish Civil War.
View of the commercial harbor of Barcelona. When we first arrived, little did we realize how close to the water our apartment was.
Access to the Castle on the top of Montjuic is easily gained by funicular. That is just a portion of Barcelona in the background. It is hard to believe that, at one time, this was just open fields.
Carl and Lorraine Aveni are two retirees planning on traveling through Europe for at least one year.