A visit to Montjuïc Gardens
Montjuïc literally means “Jewish Mountain” in Catalan –the Spanish language used in Barcelona-due to the presence of a medieval Jewish cemetery. Nowadays, thanks to some urban interventions, it is possible to walk up to the mountain and appreciate its panoramas. Every garden on the hill has some peculiarities, but I will talk about those I think the most interesting.
Jardins di Mossèn Costa i Llobera
World known thanks to an article published on the New York Times –the author defined them some of the best gardens in the world!-they will make you feel like you were touring in the desert. De facto, the gardens host more than 700 species of cacti and succulents from every desert and tropical area in the world. You will be totally surprised to see the contrast between that tropical vegetation and the Mediterranean environment!
Jardins di Mossèn Cinto Verdaguer
The best moment to visit these gardens is during the blooming and the tree blossoming, that is to say between March and April or from the end of July until first days of September. It is precisely on these days that the vitality and the variety of flowers will take your breath away : iris, tulips, hyacinths and magnolia, water lilies in the pond and trees, like the eucalyptus. During dog days you will totally appreciate these trees, especially when you want to relax or to have a picnic in the shade.
A cascade supplies water to every water-based area in the park.
Jardins Joan Brossa
These gardens are among the newest gardens on Montjuïc Hill. Opened in 2003, in the area where the Montjuïc Theme Park was located, they are probably less fascinating and spectacular than other gardens on the same hill. They are arranged for the inhabitants to have fun : there are sandboxes, music paths for children and picnic areas equipped with tables and chairs. Nowadays , of all the attractions within the former theme park, you can still see two buildings only used for some events.
The landscape is characterized by conifers : cedar trees, pine trees and cypresses.
Jardins Joan Margall
Some of the most beautiful but unknown gardens. Located right in the middle of the hill, they surround the neoclassical “Albèniz Palace”, the official residence in Barcelona of the Spanish Royal Family.
Exactly for this reason, like in every royal palace, you can admire big paths, beautiful fountains, ornamental sculptures and lush lawns. All around the park you can find benches where to sit and relax and shaded areas in which take shelter during the hottest part of summer days. Unfortunately these gardens open just on Saturdays and Sundays! The royal palace, built in 1929, it is now used just for official receptions and functions and can be visited on certain occasions only.
Extended on an area almost 14hectares in size, it hosts different plants from every country in the world, divided into different geographic area and sharing the same Mediterranean Barcelonan climate : there you will have the chance to have a stroll between the world vegetation. You can follow an itinerary or you can just go into the paths and carefully admire the peculiarity every plant has developed to adapt to the arid weather, typical of Barcelonan summertime.
You should visit it in the springtime, when almost every plant is blooming!
On the other side of Montjuïc Hill, you can visit the “Jardí Botànic Històric”, that is to say an old garden, dating back to 1930, where you can find the biggesttrees in the city –this side of the hill is characterized by a continental climate, cold and less enlightened-.
The first four Gardens take their name from famous Catalan poets, while the fifth name means literally “botanic garden”.
I know the highlights of the city will keep all of you busy! But if you just want to escape the crowded city and enjoy some relax on the hill, take my advice as a starting point for your restful day trip!