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Barcelona’s scenic hilltop locale of Montjuic is an attractive home to castles, museums, magic fountains and Spanish villages at a height of 180 metres above sea level. It overlooks the pristine waters of the Mediterranean Sea. This region is a storehouse of both historical and modern relics and contemporary works with cable cars and trains opening out to beautiful views, making the hill a delight to visit.
The Montjuic Castle is a 17th-century fortress laced with a sinister and dark history which now stands on the hill as a museum. From the Catalan revolt to times of Napoleon to the Spanish Civil War, the Montjuic castle has witnessed it all. It served as a place for executions and imprisonment of the Catalan nationalists in the 1930s, and today it has turned into a beautiful museum with the castle grounds covered in gardens and offering a view of the blue Mediterranean waters.Timings: The castle stays open from 10 AM to 6 PM every day.
The Museu d'Arqueologia de Catalunya displays a massive collection of art pieces from 11th-century medieval art to the modern avant-garde artworks which speak of the past of Catalonia as well as its present. The museum's grand collection resides in the former Palace of Graphic arts while the other collections are spread out across different venues. It houses beautiful and magnificent frescoes of Catalonia and displays the work of celebrated artists like El Greco, Diego Velázquez, Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso.Timings: The museum stays open from 10 AM till 8 PM in the summers and till 6 PM in the winters from Tuesday to Sunday. On Sundays it is open till 3 PM. It remains closed on Mondays.
This ‘Spanish village’ is a charming place in Montjuic which displays the regional architecture styles like Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque, greatly attracting the tourists. With hundreds of buildings, a wine cellar and a monastery, Poble Espanyol was built as an attraction for the International Exposition in Barcelona in 1929. This place is a treat to visit with its pleasant style and lively atmosphere.Timings: Tuesday - Thursday: 9 AM to 12 AM, Friday: 9 AM to 3 AM, Saturday: 9 AM to 4 AM and Monday: 9 AM to 8 PM.
Initially designed for the 1936 Olympics, Barcelona lost to Berlin in the bid to be the hosts for the event that year. Furthermore, the People's Olympiad which was to be held, was later cancelled due to the Spanish Civil War. However, the year 1992 was when Barcelona hosted the Olympics and in doing so, the impressive Anella Olympica (Olympic stadium) along with the Montjuïc Municipal Swimming Pool and Montjuïc Shooting Range, Montjuic became an attraction for the tourists. This stadium opens mainly for events, but the tourists can enjoy the museum and scenic views.
The Magic Fountain is a marvel which was created for the International Exposition of 1929 and is located at the foot of the MNAC. This fountain comes to its glory in the evenings with the sunset when it turns into a spectacular show of colours, light and music. The shows are timed for half an hour and are performed on select days of the week.
The Joan Miro Foundation in Montjuic hosts Catalonian artist Joan Miro’s surreal and abstract works which range from artworks to sculpture for the contemporary art enthusiasts. The modern styled building adds to the grandeur of the place, and the items inside which reach the count of thousand greatly attract the tourists.Timings: The Foundation remains open from 10 AM to 8 PM on Tuesdays to Saturdays. Sunday: 10 AM to 6 PM Monday: 10 AM to 3 PM
CaixaForum Barcelona is another hub in Montjuic for the contemporary art enthusiasts as the exhibits include works of Salvador Dali, Hogarth and Freud. This art gallery was formerly a factory which was turned an exhibition space later and now stands as an example of modern Catalan architecture.Timings: This gallery stays open from 10 AM to 8 PM every day.
The 'Jew's Hill' Montjuic, a name with its root in medieval times, was previously a cemetery for the Jewish community and hence came to be known by this name later. It then also served as the defence centre of Barcelona for centuries, keeping possible invasions at bay and was a host to prestigious world events, like the Olympics in contemporary times.
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