Sunday, July 15, 2007

A trip to Montjuic

Here I am, on our way up to Montjuic, one of the best view points of Barcelona. If you are lazy you can take a funicular from Paral-lel (Line 2 or 3), or a cable car from the harbour. We - however - walked up in the scorching heat.

We took the subway to Espanya and walked through the area built up for the World Exhibition in 1929.

Montjuic either means "Hill of the Jews" in the Catalan language, or is a corruption of "Hill of Jupiter" in Latin. It is a hill by the harbour, and the best view point close to the city.

The start point are Placa Espanya, with the magnificent buildings built t the world trade fair in 1929. The two buildings in the picture remind me of the campanile on Piazza San Marco in Venice and are the gateway to the exhibition halls that are still in use today.

We walked through the gates and into the trade fair area. Then you are clearly impressed by the wonderful Palau Nacional, built in 1929, that house Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya.

This is a magnificent building, visible from much of the city. Situated on the lower part of the
hillside of Montjuic it house an impressive collection of art from Catalan artists, as well as old and contemporary masters.

As you walk up the stairs (or use the escalators), you slowly get an excellent view of this city.

Terje and I had decided to walk up Montjuic, and decided not to visit the museum. But this is clearly something I would like to do the next time I visit the city.

As you get further up you get an extraordinary view at most directions.

You can admire the hills surrounding the city centres, and on clear days, you may be able to see up to Montserrat.

This picture is taken facing north. Here you see most of the Eixample area, and you can see the towers of Sagrada Familia reaching up over all the roofs of the city.

Montjuic is a remarkably green hill, with dense vegetation growing along the hillside. Here you find the Botanical Gardens, a place I also plan to visit when I return.

We were particularly impressed by the Palau Albeniz.

This is a small mansion or villa overlooking the city. It has the most remarkable garden. Neatly planned ornamental flowerbeds, fountains and other water features and a large variety of flowers, shrubs, and trees.

A lovely place to visit during the hot Spanish day, as all the trees provided shade for us.

A great way to get down in the city is to take the funicular back into the city centre. We did, and it was very convenient. And it is a part of the metro, so you can use your regular metro pass.

Montjuic is definitely the place to return to, as it is the home of so many attractions. Both the Palau Nacional and the Botanical Gardens are places to visit in the future.

More sights?

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