Today my husband and I climbed up the 213 meter hill of Montjuïc to an 18th century fortress, Castell de Montjuïc. There is an option to take a cable car to the top however you will miss out on the great scenic stops along the way so if you are fit, or want to be, take the trails. As a bonus, on the way down there is a slide to take as an alternative route to one of the large set of stairs. The fortress was originally built for the defense of Barcelona.
On the north side of the hill, in 1929 the Palau Nacional (National Palace) was built for the International Exhibition. After visiting this building, it is unbelievable to imagine that it was intended to be demolished soon after the exhibition! Fortunately it was preserved and today is home to the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya. Looking down from the Palau Nacional is Placa d’Espanya, where two 47 meter brick venetian towers mark the entry for the exhibition. The fountain in the middle of what is now a round about was once the site of the public gallows until they were moved in 1715.
The third must see area on Montjuïc Hill is the Anella Olímpica (Olympic Ring), where the 1992 Olympics took place. Estadi Lluis Company’s building, where the opening and closing ceremonies were held, was originally built for the 1929 exhibition, over 60 years before the Olympics. Of course the interior of the stadium was completely rebuilt and expanded, and now contains 65,000 seats.