The castle of Montjuic is a former military fortress dating from 1640 which is located at Montjuïc’s mountain (carretera de montjuïc 66), it is opened from tuesday to sunday between 10h - 20h (free entrance).
It was during the revolt against the king Felipe IV when the first stones have been put to create a fortification with a simple quadrilateral design and in 1694, more works have been done to convert it in a castle.
But before this date and this fortification, there was already a castle built in 1022 called “harbor castle” and owned by the Vizcondada family of Barcelona. Across the time, it has changed 3 times of owner - Berenguer
Bernat (1119), Guillem de Torrelles (1265) and Bernat de Sarrià (1329). Due to negligence, the castle deteriorated during the years near to 1460 to be converted to the Farrell tower which was a watchtower. During the spanish succession war, the lord Peterborough, Charles Mordaunt, conquered it in 1705 and Felipe V has been able to recuperate it on april 25, 1706 to lost it again on may 12, 1706 and in 1714, he took it back.
In 1751, the fortification of 1640 has been destroyed which allowed to create cistern systems like a drinkable water. Between 1779 and 1799, more works have been done like the creation of a kitchen which allowed to feed 3000 people and artillery spaces with a capacity of 120 fire slots. It was in this period that the castle took completely the form that we can see nowadays.
In 1808, it has been conquered by the Napoleon army without fighting since the spanish army received an order from the king to welcome benevolently the french army. Some parts of the castle have been destroyed during the bombing of 1842 to eradicate a revolutionary uprising but the most damages were done in 1843. In this year, the castle has been bombarded during 81 days by a total of 2500 bombs.
From 1890 until 1960, the building has been used as a prison and execution place to lock up not only anarchist workers but also some important people like the president of the Catalan government who was executed by firing squad in 1940.
Years after, the place has been given to the city under the management of the Army who did some works to convert it in a military museum and on june 24, 1963, it was inaugurated by the dictator Francisco Franco.
On april 27, 2007, it has been ceded to the city hall and later, declared as municipal equipment and, finally, property of all citizens of Barcelona. Actually, the castle is in renovation and when it will be finished, it will turn into an opened fortress surrounded with gardens and different thematic spaces like an education, a relation, an entertainment and a culture space divided in 3 important structures:
- the international centre for the peace, it will be a space to experience the peace, the dialog, the education and the investigation in the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts, as well as to foment the peace culture.
- the memory space, it will offer thematic tours to explain the history of the castle using the different rooms of the castle.
- the interpretation centre of the Montjuïc's mountain, it will allow to know very well the mountain by introducing the geological and biological history of the environment and the human activities from the first settlers to the present day.
Except those 3 big structures, there are 2 more things to take in account:
- an information point where visitors will be able to get any information about Montjuïc
- cultural and social activities will be programmed taking in account the the festive calendar of the city and the historical events of the castle.
Actually, there is a permanent exposition called "Barcelona té castell" (Barcelona has a castle) located at the bastion of Santa Amàlia which will explain you the new infrastructure and the past of the castle. It is opened only the saturday from 10h – 14h and 16h – 19h and sunday / holiday from 10h – 15h (free entrance).
One time a year, there is the “mecal air” (montjuïc cinema). It is an activity which lasts the full month of july where anyone can enjoy watching a movie in its original version in outdoor, it takes place at the archery field.
To go there, you can either:
- from catalunya square, take the bus 55 to parc montjuic stop and then the cable railway to castell stop
- from catalunya square, take the metro L3 catalunya to parallel station and after take the funicular, once you arrive at montjuic park station, take the cable railway to castell stop
- from the cable railway at "passeig joan de borbó 88" to last stop, after you can walk or take the bus 193 to avinguda castell stop