|MNAC at Montjuïc|
Montjuïc, which means Jewish Mountain, is a useful point of reference when, like me you haven't got the best sense of direction. It lies opposite Tibidabo and has become a tourist attraction in itself. The castle (castell) on the top offers fantastic views over the city and now also holds the military museum.
Montjuïc was very much affected by two large events that occurred in Barcelona. The first being the 1929 World Fair and the second the 1992 Olympic Games. The 1929 World Fair brought about the building of the Barcelona Pavilion by German architect Mies Van de Rohe, towering over that, the spectacular Palau Nacional.
The stunning Palau Nacional makes a beautiful backdrop to Plaça Espanya and is also known as MNAC, a museum which has the largest collection of Catalan art in the world. The museum is well worth the visit, and not to worry there are escalators the whole way up if you can't manage the many stairs.
Just round the corner from the Palau Nacional is another popular tourist attraction and remnant from the World Fair: Poble Espanyol. Poble Espanyol was created to illustrate some important Spanish architecture and the different styles used in the different autonomies of Spain. It houses craft shops, work shops such as glass-blowing that you can watch, and many varied restaurants and cafes. At night there are also 2 clubs which open up which makes for quite a bizarre experience.
In front of the Palau Nacional I can also not fail to mention the Magic Fountain which is always popular with all the family and consists of the beautiful fountain lighting up in different colours to a background of classic music. It's free and well worth the trip.
|Magnificient View of Barcelona from Montjuïc|
Now to the Olympics and what they produced in the area. One of the best things to do in the summer months is go and make use of the Olympic swimming pools which are up on the side of Montjuïc and are open to the public. During the summer they also have an event where they project movies onto the wall so you can swim and watch! Also in the same area is the overwhelmingly large Olympic stadium and Palau Sant Jordi.
There are also some lovely picnic spots and an outdoor bar up on Montjuïc near the mirador which is where you can see out onto the sea.
Transport to Montjuïc is varied. There is a metro stop at Plaça Espanya which is perfect for visiting the Palau Nacional and the surrounds. There is also the Funicular de Montjuïc which takes you from Parallel metro stop to near the Castle. Or there is also the cable car that also leaves and arrives from near the castle and mirador and travels all the way to Barceloneta.
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Castle + mirador
Palau National (MNAC)
Mies Van de Rohe Pavilion
Olympic Stadium / Pools