The Montjuic cemetery (c/ mare de déu del port) is like the Père-Lachaise cemetery of Paris, well you are not going to find the tomb of Jim Morrison or Oscar Wilde but some beautiful crypts and structures which are worth to discover. Moreover, it is located near a viewpoint where you can take great pictures on the harbor and the sea.
The place is also known as Western South cemetery and it was inaugurated in 1883 to accomplish 2 needs that the city faced during this time. The first one was because the Poble Nou cemetery begun to be too small due to the demographic explosion and the second one, the mayor Rius i Taulet planned to construct a new one for Barcelona.
In this period, it was frowned upon by the society to have a cemetery near to the downtown so the solution was the site located on the Montjuic mountain with its 56 hectares totally free and wide space and a great view on the sea but also, far enough from the city, near to Can Tunis area where lived marginalized and poor people.
The architect Leandro Albareda was the one in charge of the project and to build it, he was inspired by some european cemeteries like the Père-Lachaise and designed an organized and harmonious space giving it a horizontal landscape shape. Through the time, other projects have been realized increasing more the place and thus giving the aspect of the actual necropolis of Barcelona.
The idea of the architect was to build a place like a city where anyone can be buried so, during its inauguration, although only half of the project has been finished, majority of the rich families at the end of the 19th century began to construct their latest dwellings. Some famous architects like Lluís Domènech i Muntaner, Josep Puig i Cadafalch, Josep Llimona… have been commissioned to create artistic and beautiful mausoleums. So by visiting it, you will discover from simple and common tombs to very sumptuous vaults.
Like you can guess, nowadays, the Montjuïc cemetery is the biggest one of the city and offers to anyone some services like:
- the cremation center with its crematorium kilns of 600 square meters offers a complete service and the possibility to collect the ashes in 4 hours
- the peace garden (jardí del repòs) is a place to scatter ashes including a free space to deposit ashes called spreading ashes garden (jardí d’esparciment de cendres)
- the fragrance garden (jardí dels aromes) is a place to bury ashes inside a biodegradable urn and where an aromatic mediterranean plant will grow...
Open every day from 8h to 18h, you can go there, from catalunya square, by taking the metro L3 to parallel station, after the bus 21 to mare de déu del port (cementiri can tunis) stop and then, you can either take the cemetery bus 107 or just walk. And you may stumble on some graves like:
- the Joan Miró crypt
- the neo-egypt style of the Batlló pantheon
- the Jacint Verdaguer mausoleum...
One of the most visited areas is the quarry pit (fossar de la pedrera). It was the place where francoists buried more than 4000 republicans and catalans after their execution including the body of Lluís Companys, the president of the Catalan government at this time. Each year on october 15th at this place, the city pays a tribute to Companys and all the victims during the Francisco Franco dictatorship (1936-1975).
If you want, the company “Cementiris de Barcelona” (c/ mare de déu de port 56-58 – phone +34 934841970), which manages the cemetery, organizes guided visit tours:
- the artist cemetery tour discovering 40 sepultures,
- the historic cemetery tour discovering 48 tombs,
- the mixed cemetery tour discovering 37 artist and historic graves
And each 2nd and 4th sunday of the month, they do free guided visit but only in catalan at 11h AM or in spanish at 11h15.
For more information like the price, the time schedule, the reservation… you will have to call a special surcharged number (+34)902079799 and if you are looking for a map in pdf, just click here (english and spanish version). I will also suggest to read Montjuïc mountain and Montjuïc castle if not yet done.