Why spend time in Montjuïc cemetery?
Well, it’s quiet (obviously), it’s filled with history, mystery, intrigue and charm, it affords a different perspective on the city, and it’s a good spot for a picnic.
It is a huge, sprawling site, and you’ll need a map. I suggest you download this pdf before you set off.
You’ll encounter memorials to a fascinating mix of illustrious personalities, including composer, Isaac Albéniz, artists Ramon Casas and Joan Miró, anarchist revolutionaries Buenaventura Durruti and Francisco Ascaso, and the priest, poet and exorcist, Jacint Verdaguer.
The most moving, and most restful, area is the wide-open space of El Fossar de Pedrera – a former quarry – now an occasional venue for concerts and memorial ceremonies – where the cadavers of thousands of unidentified victims of Francoist repression were dumped. The site features a memorial to CNT (Anarcho-Syndicalist) activists, Jewish volunteers with the International Brigades, and Luis Companys, the only elected European president to have been executed.
There are three QR-guided tours: Historic, Artistic and Combined, in English, French, Spanish and Catalan.
Though you’re not strictly allowed to take photos without permission, every autumn the cemetery sponsors a photo competition with a € 1000 prize.
The site also houses a museum of funeral carriages – FREE admission, though only open Wednesday to Sunday between 10:00 and 14:00.
A number 21 bus from Paral·lel will drop you at the main entrance, but getting back is a little trickier – you’ll need to go under the motorway bridge, turn RIGHT and walk up the slip road.