Barcelona, Spain

Castell de Montjuïc, Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona's Castle stands at the summit of Montjuïc (Mount of Jews) between the old town of Barcelona and the commercial port. It is the highest point in the City. In the summer months the Castle can be reached by cable car, but in the winter a walk up the hill is the only way to get there (unless you have a car, of course).

The first Castle built here was around 1640 but this was destroyed by Felipe V in 1705. The current star-shaped fortress built very much in the Venetian style was built partially on the remains of the original Castle.

The Castle which we see today was built for the Bourbon Kings in the late 18th Century and as such is considered to be a symbol of oppression by the Catalans who were heavily crushed by the Bourbons.  Indeed, the Castle's role as place of oppression continued into the 20th Century as it was the scene of the torture and execution of the leaders of the La Setmana Tràgica (Tragic Week) in 1909. This was a protest against the Moroccan war in which Spain was involved at the time, 116 people died during the protest and up to 300 were injured.

Again during the Spanish Civil War the Castell became the site of bloodshed when Catalan Generalitat leader Lluís Companys was executed in the Castle by Franco's men.

Today the Castle houses the slightly more sedate Museu Militar, the usual collection of militaria but with some interesting models of Catalan Castles and access to the central bastion of the Castle with it's commanding views over Barcelona far below.

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