Montjuïc Castle: A Historical Timeline

Montjuïc Castle is an old military fortress that resides on the famous hill of the same name, standing at a vantage point of 173 meters above sea level. To prep you for your journey to the top, we’ve constructed a handy timeline to help illustrate the castle’s rich history, which dates back over 300 years.

1640: The preliminary foundation stone was laid out for the fortification.

1641: The fort’s first battle occurred during the Catalan Revolt when the Principality of Catalonia challenged Spain’s authority. The King of Spain ordered Pedro Fajardo and an army of 26,000 men to lead the revolt. Although the Spanish were able to recapture several cities, they were defeated at the Battle of Montjuïc by the Catalan rebels.

1694: Following the installation of new bastions and battlements, the fortress became a castle.

1705: The British 6th Regiment of Foot led by Lieutenant Southwell captured the castle, leading to the siege of Barcelona and Southwell being made the castle’s governor.

1714: The castle became a symbol of submission after the Catalan defeat to Spain. Montjuïc begins holding prisoners for the next three centuries.

1751: The old fort was demolished by Spanish engineer and architect Juan Martin Cermeño. A new structure was then created, which still stands today.

1779–1799: Additional construction took place in order to improve the castle, which installed 120 cannons.

1803–1815: As the Napoleonic Wars unfolded, the French Army entered Barcelona and captured the castle without firing a shot. Troops guarding the castle were ordered not to fight the French.

1936–1939: The Spanish Civil War triggered both sides of the conflict to be imprisoned at the castle, including Lluís Companys, former president of the Generalitat of Catalonia.

1963: Francisco Franco inaugurated the Military Armor Museum within the castle.

2007: The government handed over the castle to the Barcelona City Council to become a municipal facility.

2010: The museum closed and the city council began a restoration process to waterproof the roof and watchtower.

Today: The castle is now open to the public for five euros, and free after 3 pm on Sundays. A memorial, museum, and other cultural activities are currently in the works.

For ticket prices and hours, visit their website here.

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