Font Màgica de Montjuïc (The Magic Fountain) is Barcelona’s biggest ornamental fountain, integrated as the main feature in a complex of fountains, cascades, and pools on Avinguda de la Reina Maria Cristina. The fountain is best known for its impressive production of seven-billion light-and-water shows, propelled by modern hydraulics. This internationally recognized emblem of Barcelona boasts two-and-a-half million visitors every year.
The fountain was designed by Carles Buïgas and constructed on the previous location of Josep Puig i Cadafalch’s four ionic fountains, which were demolished in 1928 under the orders of Prime Minister Miguel Primo de Rivera. (It was later re-erected in 2010 a few meters away.) Buïgas submitted his design a year before the exhibition, and was criticized by many as “too ambitious.” Utilizing over 3000 workers, the first show debuted on May 19, 1929, the day before the start of the Exposition. Unfortunately, the fountain was badly damaged in the Spanish Civil War, holding off its full operation until 1955 after a series of repairs.
The fountain was restored prior to the 1992 Summer Olympics, which was held at Montjuïc. Light-and-water shows coordinated with songs from hit movies including The Godfather, The Lord of the Rings, and Gladiator, along with “Barcelona” by Freddie Mercury and other modern pop songs.
Each year, the fountain hosts the closing event for the Mercè Piromusical—Barcelona’s largest street party held at the end of September. A crowd favorite, spectators fill the entire length of the Maria Cristina Avenue just to get a glimpse.
The choreography of each music-and-light-coordinated show at the fountain varies, but some of our favorites include features that dance along to hits from the 1980s, soundtracks to cartoons and film, and classical Spanish compositions. Performances take place at half-hour intervals every weekend, with extended hours during the summer season. Click here to view the showtime schedule.
To preserve electricity and use of natural resources, the fountain’s traditional lighting has been replaced with progressive LED technology, which also amplifies the light’s vibrant hues. Groundwater has also been used in the fountain’s hydraulics since 2010.
For more information on Màgica de Montjuïc, you can visit their website here.