Wednesday, 29 October 2014

I have been to … Castell de Montjuic, Barcelona, Spain

My wife and I have visited Castell de Montjuic (Montjuic Castle) several times, and during our most recent cruise we decided to pay it another visit.

Castell de Montjuic is situated on top of Montjuic, overlooking the city and port of Barcelona


Its main function was to protect the city from attack from the sea and to be a base for the Spanish Army in the heart of Catalonia. Until relatively recently it was a military museum, but some years ago is contents were removed and it reopened as a cultural centre.

Our taxi deposited us near to the main entrance to the fortress.


We walked across the bridge into the main part of the fortress …


… and in doing so passed over the dry moat the surrounds it. This has now been turned into a formal garden.


The tunnel-like entrance ...


... took us into the centre of the fortress, which is an open square surrounded by a covered walkway.


Above the entrance is a large tower, which is surmounted by a signal mast.


We walked around the cloister-like covered walkway ...


... and stopped for some refreshments in a café that is situated within one of the old casemates.

Once we had finished our drink, we continued our walk until we reached the side of the covered walkway opposite the main entrance ...


... which is where the stairs up to the parapet are located. We walked around the wide parapet ...



... from where we could see some the fortress's outer defences.




By then we were both feeling rather hot, and decided to go down into the gardens that surround the fortress. These contain a number of interesting items, including a statue of the Timbaler del Bruc Drummer, symbol of Catalonia. (This statue commemorates the Catalan partisans of El Bruc who fought against Napoleon's troops in June 1808 and forced them to withdraw. According to the legend, the sound of the drum was strengthened by the echo from the nearby mountains and helped to scare the invaders into running away.)




When the Castell de Montjuic became a cultural centre, not all of the military relics were removed. Several of the coastal defence guns that formed the main armament of the fortress still remain in place, including several Obús de hierro sunchado de 30.5cm Ordóñez Md. 1892 ...




... and British-designed 5.5-inch QF guns.





6 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. Kev,

    I am please that you enjoyed reading this blog entry.

    I certainly remember Greg McCauley! We both attended the conference that Paddy Griffith organised at Moor Park in 1980 ... and I remember taking part in his Vietnam wargame.

    Please pass on my regards to Greg. I assume that he is either retired or close to becoming retired.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  4. Kev,

    It's great to hear that Greg is still wargaming. I remember that his Vietnam rules were very good, and writing wargame rules is excellent training for being a lawyer. Please give him my regards.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  6. Kev,

    It is great to hear that Greg has stuck with his interest in Vietnam, and that he has branched out into other historical periods as well.

    The UK lost a great wargamer when Greg emigrated to Australia, but it sounds as if his army career prospered as a result of the move. Good for him!

    All the best,

    Bob

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