One day in Montjuïc – Barcelona Travel Guide

One day in Montjuïc is time well spent if you have a few days to visit Barcelona.  There are many attractions on this historic site, including its castle sitting just over 180m above the city.
The castle served as the main protection for the old city harbour since circa 1640.  Apart from the castle, most of the other attractions in this area were created for Barcelona’s International Exposition in 1929 with more buildings added for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, including the main stadium.  2017 marks the 25th anniversary of the Barcelona Games.

Joan Miró Foundation (Museu Miró) – One day in Montjuïc

This space was completed in 1975 and was commissioned by Joan Miró i Ferrà, a Surrealist painter, sculptor and ceramicist from Barcelona who won international acclaim for his works.  He was originally a student of business, but after a nervous breakdown, he turned to being an artist and was one of the leaders of the Catalan Fauvist Period.  He wanted to create a space to encourage younger artists to create modern art – Espai 13.  A good way to get to the Miró is by using the Montjuïc Funicular Railway, which leaves from Paral.lel Metro station.

Poble Espanyol – One day in Montjuïc 

The complex is an array of 117 buildings themed on the “Spanish Town” and the whole area is classed as a museum that pays homage to the whole country’s architecture. It was due to be demolished after the great 1929 exposition, but after its success, the city decided to preserve it.  Poble Espanyol is a magical area of Montjuïc, where you can switch between the different styles of Spain’s rich heritage of construction design.  There are also exhibitions of craft, contemporary art and shops with gourmet products, concert venues, theatres and activities for children.  It is a maze of small streets and squares, with the grand entrance Porta d’Àvila, located just a short walk above the Montjuïc Fountains

Palau Sant Jordi – One day in Montjuïc

Completed in 1990, this was the indoor arena for Barcelona’s Olympic Games.  It is still used today for sports events and concerts, such as basketball, indoor tennis, swimming and indoor athletics.  It can comfortably fit 18,000 spectators for most events depending on use of the giant floor space.

Open air Greek Amphitheatre (Teatre Grec) – One day in Montjuïc 

This is a stunning recreation of a traditional Greek-style theatre, nestled in the woods on Montjuïc. It opened for performances during the 1929 exposition and hosts performances and shows during the summer months.  It is a major component of the city’s annual Greek Festival, but you may visit it outside of these months.

National Art Museum of Catalunya (MNAC) – One day in Montjuïc 

This is located in the National Palace, just above the fountains and Plaça Espanya, which was built for the 1929 exposition.  It is an Italian-styled design and has some the finest displays of Romanesque and Gothic art collections in the world.  Everybody can experience their favorite art here, as the museum exhibits historic pieces of Catalan sculpture, portraits, mural paintings, carvings and metalworks. There is also a modern art collection and a photography display.

Montjuïc really has a lot going on with a wonderful mix of must-see attractions both old and new.  To really enjoy your stay more in Barcelona why not rent an apartment?  We have an excellent choice of apartments all over the city to suit your needs.

La Mercè 2017, the main event on Barcelona’s festival agenda

La Mercè 2017 is the main event on Barcelona’s festival agenda, uniting all of its neighbourhoods and serving as the city’s Festa Major.  This year it aims to extend further throughout the city by adding even more new venues and activities.

Every year, Barcelona invites a city from around the world to jointly celebrate the festival.  This year Icelandic capital Reykjavik has been invited to be this year’s special guest city and will be honoured throughout La Mercè.

Overall, it is a religious festival that has been celebrated since the Middle Ages and observes the holy feast day of Our Lady of Mercy.  It is the biggest weeklong festival in the city and an age-old tradition, but there are very up-to-date activity items as well, such as specialty markets, art displays and musical performances for example.

Gegants & Capgrossos – La Mercè 2017 

Catalunya has a great tradition for processions of giants or bigheads, which are tall, hollow structures with very large papier-mâché heads, each with a unique identity and character.  They are carried on top of people’s shoulders in a parade as they dance and run at the crowds.  Also, there are the Bestiari – which are figures of medieval, folkloric creatures.  This parade happens on the first day of the La Mercé celebrations.

Gegants Procession, September 22, Palau de la Virreina on La Rambla, 99, at 19:00h

The Correfoc – La Mercè 2017 
The famous fire run is always on September 24 – the actual saint’s day for La Mercé.  Performers dressed as devils and fiery dragons dance in a long procession through the city.  Hordes of “diables” hoist pitchforks, or forquilles, above their heads, with spinning fireworks attached that spray in all directions.  If you’re going to get a close-up photograph, then protective clothing is advised.  There is also an early fire run for children.

Correfoc (Adults), September 23, Via Laietana at 20:15h
Correfoc (Children) September 23, Via Laietana at 18:30h

Castellers – La Mercè 2017 

The Catalans are very good at building human structures. In fact he last few world records – 10 persons high – have been have been set in the region.  Participants, or Catsellers, climb on top of each other, interlocked into a delicate balancing act to get people to reach into the sky as far as possible.  The human tower is supported by a large number of people at the bottom, and then it’s a race to reach the highest point in strict formation before the structure breaks.

Human Towers, September 23, Plaça de Sant Jaume at 11:30h
Human Towers, September 23, Plaça de Sant Jaume at 12:30h

 

BAM
Barcelona Acció Musical has been running for over 20 years and hosts more contemporary rock and pop music concerts.  It runs in parallel to the main festival, and as Reykjavik is the partner city for this year’s La Mercé, then a contingent of its artists will perform, as well as national and internal artists.  Concerts usually take place at Plaza Real, Plaza Catalunya and at the MACBA, among many other intimate places and open-air venues around the city.

BAM, September 22-25, various venues
http://lameva.barcelona.cat/bam/en

AMICS DE LES ARTS CANET ROCK. FOTO: DAVID BORRAT. 04-07-15. CANET DE MAR. DIARI ARA

Piromusical – La Mercè 2017 
This is a critically acclaimed, professional fireworks display that takes place on the last night of La Mercè 2017 on Avinguda reina Maria Cristina.  You need to arrive early for the big finale, as thousands of people gather to watch this spectacular show.

Check the official agenda for more firework displays and digital light mapping events throughout the festival, at http://lameva.barcelona.cat/merce/en.

Piromusical, September 25, Avinguda de Reina Maria Cristina (Plaça Espanya) at 22:00h

The La Mercè Festival is a great way to see Barcelona at its best.  Your stay could be much more convenient with your own apartment.  Check our website for an excellent selection of short-term holiday rentals so that your stay in the city is as comfortable as possible.

Check the official agenda for more firework displays and digital light mapping events throughout the festival, at http://lameva.barcelona.cat/merce/en.