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Photo credit Leslie Joseph and Jordi Moncasi

Explore Montjuic, the crown of Barcelona

When exploring Barcelona, many people visit the beaches, La Sagrada Familia, and Las Ramblas. Barcelona is a unique city in Spain with its own culture in the region of Catalonia. When visiting this city, there are a lot of things to see that are unique to Spain itself. From its football clubs and the vital part of history they have played to its beaches, Barcelona is a must-see city.

One area that is worth exploring is the Montjuic area, which overlooks the city. Montjuic is translated ‘Hill of the Jews’ in Catalan. While the castle on Montjuic is one of the more popular tourist attractions, there is more to this area than just a site for a fortress, prison, and executions.

One of the great museums of Spain is the National Art Museum of Catalonia (MNAC – abbreviation for its Catalan name). This art museum displays works from this region through various periods and includes Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and Modern art sections as well as drawings, photography, and other collections.

If this museum doesn’t interest you, the fountains in front of the museum (Font Magica) feature a great fountain and light show set to classical music which runs every night throughout the summer. For both young and old, it’s a great time to enjoy music, water, and lights in a relaxed, fun atmosphere.

For those who want Barcelona museums with a different flavor, other Montjuic attractions include the Fundation Joan Miro which features the modern art of the Catalan artist. As a painter, sculptor, and ceramist, Miro expressed himself through Surrealism and Expressionism and had his own unique style.

For the sports fans, there is a museum dedicated to one of the best known events in the Montjuic area – the 1992 Summer Olympics. For fans of the Olympics, you can spend hours in this museum reading about the history of the Olympics, seeing the medals from the ’92 games, and checking out memorabilia from athletes like Michael Jordan, Lance Amstrong, and many others. You can also check out videos from those Olympic events and see trophies from some of Spain’s best sports teams.

If the museum peaks your interest in the Olympics, check out the Estadi Olimpic, the site of the opening and closing ceremonies in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Walk around the stadium and see the various arenas that served as sights for volleyball, basketball, swimming, diving, and baseball. See the telecommunications tower and the site of the Olympic flame. With the facilities and improvements made in the Montjuic area, the 1992 Barcelona Olympics was a great success due to the efforts of the late Juan Antonio Samaranch.

For a final look at Montjuic, take the Montjuic funicular and gondola ride to the top of the hill to get an aerial view of the city. Walk through the park and gardens that surround the area and enjoy a more peaceful side of Barcelona.

Since the funicular is part of the Metro, you can catch a ride down to Barceloneta once your visit to Montjuic is complete. Then enjoy the great beaches, warm sunshine, beautiful water, and the many other sites that Barcelona has to offer.


Picture of Europe a la Carte

Posted by Europe a la Carte
on 3rd June 2010 and
updated on 11th March 2021

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