the park on the hill
the story of the hill
the park’s origins
The origins of the name Montjuic are not exactly clear. Most agree the name comes from the words ‘mountain’ and ‘jewish’. However, it could be a reference to the Roman god Jupiter.
From Roman times the hill provided an area for the locals to gather wood, raise animals and grow food. As the city grew, so did its use, but no real construction took place.
Records show there was a lookout tower on Montjuic since the 11th Century. At the start of the Catalan Revolt in 1640, actual walls appeared on the summit. Now there was a proper fort. By all accounts it did the job and Philip IV’s forces were defeated on the 26th January 1641 in the ‘Battle of Montjuic‘.
For the next 300 years Montjuic Castle grew in size. It was used as a fortress, a prison and during the Spanish Civil War, an internment camp. It became the place for executions, most famously that of Catalan President Lluis Companys on October 15 1940.
Montjuic was free of any other major development until it was chosen as the site for the 1929 International Exposition. Linking to the city at Placa Espanya, some of the area’s most emblematic buildings, Poble Espanyol, the Magic Fountain and the National Palace were errected.
The most recent change came when the whole area was chosen as the site for the 1992 Olympic Games. The original Olympic stadium was re-built, new sports venues created and the Palau de Sant Jordi and striking ‘Torre Calatrava’, were added to the landscape.