I am feeling a little lazy so I’m lumping all of these photos into one post. The following are some of the buildings and monuments we saw as we snaked our way up to the top of the Hill, starting from the National Palace up to Castell Montjuic.
Palau Nacional. The National Palace is practically the first building you see walking up the avenue from Plaza Espanya. This imposing neo-baroque structure was the flagship of the 1929 Exhibition, and presently houses the National Art Museum of Catalonia. Note all the stairs you have to take to get to it. There were escalators alongside of each staircase, but we opted for the stairs anyway! It’s not a workout unless you feel the burn…
See those two brown towers in the distance flanking the avenue? Yep. That's where we started!
A view of the city from one of the terraces with Sagrada Familia in the distance
Torre Calatrava. The communications tower designed by Santiago Calatrava was one of the landmarks of Barcelona in 1992. It was designed for the telecommunications company Telefonica, and sits just beyond the large plaza in front of the Palau Sant Jordi Stadium.
the plaza in front of the Sant Jordi Stadium
Jardin Botanic. The Botanical Garden of Barcelona is a municipal institution that showcases Mediterranean plant collections from around the world. It covers a surface area of about 35 acres, containing about 1,500 species, making it one of the city’s largest green spaces. Plants from Australia, Chile, California, South Africa and the Mediterranean Basin can be found here, grouped according to their geographic origin. We went through every section, not bothering to remember every genus or every scientific name, but to just take in all the pretty colors in the garden and the magnificent panoramic views of the city below. More importantly, this place allowed us an opportunity to explore the macro settings of our little point-and-shoot camera. Ah, someday I will have a fancy SLR too!
My favorite shade tree (and my favorite subject taking a break from the sun!)
Cantilever chairs. Those Spaniards are hip!
My favorite shade tree in the distance.
Torre Calatrava in the distance
This was by far the hardest photo to take. Bees are quick!
Castell Montjuic. Montjuic castle sits on top of a cliff, at a height of more than 170 meters (558 feet) above sea level, and is by far the best spot for sweeping views of the harbour and metropolitan Barcelona. It was an old military fortress with a long history closely linked to the city. The castle became a military prison in the 1890s, and was turned into a military museum sometime in the 1960s. In 2007, a motion was made to transfer the castle to the City Council and to be officially recognized as property of the people of Barcelona.
Taking the gondola lift back down the mountain.