Close to Montjuïc Castle, these gardens are noted for the exceptional view they offer of Barcelona. They are also noteworthy for the mosaic paving that covers most of the area and for the peaceful, bright and sunny ambience.
The Mirador de l’Alcalde (Mayor’s Viewing Point) is divided into landings that take advantage of the steep slope. The levels are connected by flights of stairs and gently sloping parterres, separated by a paving that is part of Barcelona’s artistic heritage.
An ornamental fountain in a pool at the centre of the park, from where the paths, parterres, plants and resting areas radiate out, pours water onto small platforms that form a cascade which ends up in the lower pool, with an ornamental fountain too
This arrangement is very evident at the Mirador de l’Alcalde. The first-level entrance connects to the large esplanade at the very top of the Joan Brossa Gardens, while the entrance giving direct access to the third level of the Mirador de l’Alcalde is located near one of the stations for the cable-car that goes up to Montjuïc Castle.
General Franco turned Montjuïc Castle over to the city in 1960, on condition that it housed a military museum, among other things. This, aside from adapting the castle for new uses, led to and boosted the development and landscaping of the areas around the monument and the Miramar area in general.
Work began in 1962 and was carried out in several stages up to 1969, the year of the gardens’ official opening, when José María de Porcioles was the city’s mayor. Porcioles commissioned Carles Buïgas, the creator of the Magic Fountain, with designing the fountain at the centre of the park.
Besides the large grass parterres, two other features of the Mirador de l’Alcalde are important: the large pine trees – especially the Aleppo pine
(Pinus halepensis) – on the right of the garden and the palm trees. There are numerous dwarf palms (Chamaerops humilis), some quite large, as well as fan palms (Washingtonia robusta) and Canary Island palms (Phoenix canariensis). The landscaping is also notable for its huge sago palms (Cycas revoluta).
Landscaping and Design
The gardens are structured into levels. The first, on the way up. can be reached from the entrance. From here you can contemplate the city below , with the sea in the background. Continuing upwards, you reach the second level, where there is a pool that collects the water from the cascade falling from the pool on the third level. On the fourth level, at the very top, the Mirador de l’Alcalde ends in a small square.
As the various levels are connected by mainly large flights of stone stairs set in grass parterres, there are some small paths that make the park completely accessible, allowing visitors to go everywhere without having to use any stairs.
Art and Architecture
This is a 420 m2 mosaic designed by Joan Josep Tharrats. It was made out of materials as varied and original as pebbles, paving stones, bricks, tiles laid edgewise, bottle bottoms, pieces of concrete, different pieces of iron (chains, cogs, filaments, screws and bolts, sheet metal from obsolete machines) and fragments of manhole covers from urban subsoil services, among other things.
- Ctra Montjuïc, 41*51