Barcelona – Castell de Montjuic

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When we first arrived in Barcelona our taxi from the airport took us along the coast and beneath this hill, with it’s surmounting fort. Later we had good views of it again, when we boarded the Norwegian Epic for our cruise.

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Obviously, we had to visit when we returned to Barcelona.

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It’s quite a modern fortification, compared to most we see in Britain. It was completed in 1799, although there has been a fort here since 1640. It’s had quite a chequered past, having be captured by the British in 1705 and by the French during the Napoleonic wars.

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Situated as it is, overlooking both the city and the port, it would seem to be ideally sited to defend Barcelona, but it seems that more often than not its guns have been used to bombard the city itself to suppress unrest in the region.

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During the civil war both sides imprisoned and tortured captives here. Most infamously, Lluis Companys, President of Catalonia, was executed here in 1940 on the orders of Franco.

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Not a happy story then.

But the views are magnificent, both near and far…

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We’d been concerned about just how hot it would be in Barcelona in the middle of the summer. In fact, aside from on the Metro, where it could be rather sweaty, it was mostly very pleasant. There generally seemed to be a cooling sea breeze and in the Gothic Quarter at least, the high buildings and narrow streets combined to make a deep, cool shade. On Montjuic hill however, it was very hot.

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So much so that many people were tempted to paddle in the pool above the mirador (waterfall).

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We were wandering down the hill…

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…through pleasant parks…

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…and a sculpture garden…

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…to our next destination…

More to follow!

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Barcelona – Castell de Montjuic

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