Montjuic is not only a mountain but also a district and when you come from the airport to go to the city, inevitably you should have to pass near it by taking any kind of transports.
It is not clear the origin of its name but there are 2 theories. It can be the translation of its spanish name “Monte de los judíos” (Jewish Mountain) or its latin name “Mons Iovis” (Jupiter Mountain). The documents, which were found, talk only about the Jewish Mountain, moreover there is a jewish medieval cemetery so every facts point to this direction.
Located in a small field at the north side of the mountain where, in the past, it was the jewish quarter known as
“call” and where people could see the whole medieval city of Barcelona, the first documents which talked about its existence dates from 1091 but during the excavation starting in 1898, archaeologists found out that this field was only a part of a necropolis.
Between 1945 and 2001, more than 700 tombs have been discovered and with the found objects, they have been able to determine its existence between the 9th and 14th centuries. The site represents the biggest and the most significant jewish culture and community during the medieval period in Catalonia.
The funniest part is that, because of the bombing of 1842, an old settlement has been also discovered which dates of the 2nd and 3rd centuries BC. In fact, the mountain is a good strategic place to defend the city and since old time, there was always a fortress on its top.
Actually, the remains of the castle, you can visit, has been built in 1751 by the architect Juan Martín Cermeño and the bombing has destroyed its 460 buildings. It was also used during the Franco dictacture like a prison and a place to execute people by firing squad as Lluís Companys, president of the Catalonia government in 1940 and after, corpses are buried in a cemetery located at the south west side.
Due to the International Exhibition of 1929, some areas of the mountain have been urbanized like the alley which takes us from plaza espanya to the national art museum where you can enjoy a great view. In 2007, the catalan government declared Montjuïc as cultural good of national interest because of the jewish medieval cemetery.
The mountain has welcomed a lot of activities like the Formula 1 (1969, 1971, 1973, 975) and the Olympic game (1992) and nowadays, you can pass easily all the day visiting the different museums or just walking in its different gardens. Some museums:
- foundation Olympic museum (avinguda estadi 60)
- Joan Miro museum (avinguda miramar 1)
- national art of Catalonia museum (mirador palau nacional 6-10)
- CaixaForum museum (avinguda marquès de comillas 6-8)
- ethnology museum (passeig santa madrona 16-22)
- botanic garden of Barcelona (c/ doctor font i quer 2)
- botanic institute and Salvador museum (passeig migdia, 187)
- Joan Maragall garden (passeig de santa madrona 1)
- Laribal garden (passeig de santa madrona 2)
- Mossèn Cinto Verdaguer garden (avinguda miramar 30)
And some other places:
- musical theatre (c/ guàrdia urbana 7)
- estudi theatre (plaza margarida xirgu 1)
- greek theatre (passeig santa madrona 36)
- magic fountain show (plaza de carles buïgas, you can watch my video just below)
- Sant Jordi palace (passeig olímpic 5-7)
- Montjuïc castle (avinguda del castell)
- telecommunication tower (near the olympic game stadium)
You can also visit the “poble espanyol” area where it gathers streets, squares and typical places of Spain like Avila towers or the andalusia courtyard with its restaurants, bars, and entertainment sites. During the year, there are a lot of exhibition organized for different national and international events like the international trade fair, automobile exhibition...
To go to Montjuïc, you can walk if you feel athletic because it's not very close from catalunya square, if not take the public transport:
- the metro L1 (red line) or L3 (green line), get off at espanya station and walk up on foot
- the metro L3 or L2 (purple line), get off at parallel station and take the funicular, once you arrive at montjuic park station, you can walk or take the cable railway to go to the different areas
- the bus 55 to parc montjuic stop
You can also access to the mountain from the harbour of Barcelona by taking the shuttle located at passeig de joan de borbo 22. I will also suggest to read Montjuïc castle and Montjuïc cemetery if not done yet.