Botanical routes around Montjuïc

The green spaces of Barcelona provide a deeper insight into the city's history, developing a distinctive aesthetic judgement, learning technical and scientific skills, establishing more positive and civic relationships with people and their environment...

The routes are based on five fundamental cornerstones: discovery, education, conservation, research, information and interaction.

The aim is explore city's green spaces (location, main species and natural, cultural and landscape functions); to highlight their natural and social values, the threats they face and the importance of conserving them; to introduce visitors to the world of plants; to raise public awareness as to the importance of the city's gardens in preserving biodiversity; to encourage critical and active attitudes to protect the environment and encourage communication and exchange among visitors to the gardens.


Botanic route around the gardens of Montjuïc

Montjuïc, Barcelona's mountain

Montjuïc is much more than the rocky outcrop rising above the sea and giving the city of Barcelona its distinctive profile. It is a place full of meaning for the local population, the mute witness to the city's history, and a reflection of its commitment to nature, history, culture and sport. Montjuïc is the symbol of the ability of the population to survive and face up to challenges and difficulties. Over recent decades it has evolved from being seen as an accursed mountain, from which popular movements in the city were observed and repressed, to being the pride of Barcelona, home to one of the most notable collections of the city's heritage, and the result of its ability to imagine and realise new worlds. One of the events placing the mountain most clearly in the spotlight was the staging of the Olympic Games in 1992.

The names given to Montjuïc - building plot, essence, green crown... of the city - reflect the central role it plays in Barcelona's collective self-image.

Montjuïc, the building plot of Barcelona
The sinking of the coastal zone in the early Miocene, millions of years ago, caused the sea to flood the lower parts of the shoreline. Subsequently, a tectonic movement pushed the mountain of Montjuïc upwards, and at the end of the Tertiary period the sea turned it into an islet. The Quaternary sedimentary material caused by the erosion carried by gullies and rivers was gradually deposited on the seabed, having been carried by a marine current. The profile of the coastline was progressively modified as the land increasingly made inroads into the sea. And so the plain of Barcelona was formed.

Given its position, the mountain of Montjuïc helped to contain the sediment, while establishing the huge "building plot" on which Barcelona was to be constructed. Montjuïc also became the site of a hugely important collection of gardens, museums and sporting and cultural facilities.

Montjuïc, the essence of Barcelona
Given its geographical richness, the mountain was used for a great many quarrying operations from the era of the Ancient Iberians and Romans up until 1957, when stone extraction came to an end. Montjuïc and its quarries are linked to the history of the city that was born and has grown at its feet: they supplied Barcelona until the 1950s, and many of the buildings in the Old Town and Eixample districts were built with stone from the mountain.

Montjuïc, the green crown of Barcelona
Montjuïc is today the site of more than twenty parks and gardens, illustrating through their diversity a part of the urban and garden history of Barcelona. The position, the contours and the geological structure of the mountain, along with the various ways in which over the years it has been modified, have given rise to a wide variety of habitats now home a great diversity of flora and fauna. There are many different types of plants, both native and those from other bio-geographical regions of the planet, comprising green spaces with different degrees of human intervention, from meadows and glades to truly remarkable gardens. The outstanding array of spaces to be discovered on the mountain comprise, along with the Collserola uplands, one of the city's great green lungs.


The Botanic Route around Montjuïc Mountain

Discover Montjuïc
The Botanic Route around Montjuïc Mountain offers a tour of its main gardens. It employs the existing green corridors to reveal to visitors the mountain's ecological, landscape, geological, archaeological, historical and cultural values.
The aim is to reveal Montjuïc as a part of the city's living heritage, through an experiential and fun approach.