Wednesday was a beauitful sunny day so after FINALLY going to the gym (an attempt to get back into my running and also to my pre french feasting shape!) i decided to make the most of it and headed to Montjuic! Montjuïc is translated as ‘Hill of the Jews’ in medieval Catalan. From various points of the city, and particularly from its tallest buildings, you can see the mountain of Montjuïc, situated between the city and the sea. At its summit is a castle, and at the foot of the abrupt precipice of its southern, seaward face lies the Cemetery. The northern slope, which descends gently towards the city, is covered with gardens. In addition to the exotic gardens are some of the city’s museums, various sculptures representative of traditional arts, historical figures and others dedicated to popular characters, writers and poets.
The Palau Nacional was my entry point after walking from the Plaça d’Espanya which is a square located at the foot of the Montjuïc. (initially used for public hangings).
Across from the square is the Arenas de Barcelona – a bullring – but bullfights have never really caught on in Catalonia and the arena is now being turned into a shopping center.
A wide avenue, the Avinguda de la Reina María Christina leading to the Magic fountain and the Palau National, is flanked by two towers (modeled on the Bell Tower at the St. Mark’s Square in Venice)
The ornate Palau Nacional
houses the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, an extensive showcase of Catalan painting and sculpture that unfortunately due to the public holiday was closed. I was able to listen to some great classical, spanish guitar however whilst looking towards the city
There is also the striking telecommunications tower that i initially had NO idea what it was
After wandering past the olympic stadium i soon got lost
a cemetery containing many of Barcelona’s rich and celebrated, including Lluís Companys and his predecessor as President of Catalonia Francesc Macià, as well as artist Joan Miró, dancer Carmen Amaya and poet/priest Jacint Verdaguer. Numerous unmarked graves hold those executed in the Castle fortress. I was amazined by their layout – stacked on one another
Another long walk along the top of the mountain through a forrest of pines
led me to the Castle Fort
The castle which crowns the hill of Montjuïc is an old watchtower. After 1940, and as a result of long negotiations, the state returned the castle to the city, and it now houses the Military Museum. I took in the views with a refreshing zumo naranja, marvelling at the metropolis that is Barcelona
Besides being a well known get-away for locals, the mountain attracts a large number of visitors (not suprisingly considering the sheer number of tourist attractions) and in my meanderings i came across Russians, Croatians, Indians, Americans, Brits and some French – many of whom helped with photos and also at times, directions!
After 4 hours of non stop walking i was quite buggered and as the sun began to fall so did the temperature- quite drastically! So i journeyed home to rest up and prepare for another days work! Check the photographs page soon as theres a few im quite keen to put up there from my recent adventures! Also for those who missed out – pretty please do my poll 🙂 Please click on the link below for a 2 second poll that will greatly help this blog!
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