Montjuïc, as a whole, is Barcelona's big urban park. Hosting the International Exposition in 1929 helped the city rediscover, plan and organise it. Today it should be seen as a park of parks.
Montjuïc, where nature ranging from woodland to theme gardens sits cheek by jowl with leisure, sports, cultural and service areas, concentrates a wide variety of activities. Yet, despite the enormous pressure it bears, the mountain acts as a gigantic urban park which, viewed as a green space and as a whole, rather than its separate parts, can be described as a garden of gardens.
Together with Collserola it is one of the city’s great urban lungs, which is why it is in the middle of a process to regulate it and maintain the necessary balance between protecting its wealth and biodiversity and all these public uses.
Jean-Claude Nicolas Forestier was commissioned with designing the landscaping for the exposition venues and he worked under the guidance of Nicolau Maria Rubió i Tudurí. This team left the city with a number of exceptional green spaces that represent a particular concept and a model known as the “Jardí Meridional” (Southern Garden), which finds its highest expression in some of them. It is a type of landscaping that is derived from the Catalan tradition that blends with Arab landscaping, combined with notable influences from other types including French and Italian. Seen as a whole, the gardens closest to the urban area are the ones with a more complex layout, while the higher up you go, this complexity gives way to more naturalised spaces and woody areas.
There are some large, woody areas on the highest part of Montjuïc, while lower down there is a whole system of landscaped areas that includes a plant nursery and urban allotments.
The cliff area is particularly important as a space for thicket associated with arid soils, a dry thicket with considerable ecological value as a refuge for colonies of common kestrels (Falco tinnunculus), peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus), birds of prey and other species of bird such as blue rock thrushes
This is a unique space, concentrating an extremely rich habitat for growing among rocks. Its grasslands provide shelter for as many as sixty species, including rabbits, shrews, bats, mice, tawny owls, little owls, barn owls, seagulls, tits, starlings, green Perez’s frogs, tree frogs, common midwife toads and reptiles such as Mediterranean house geckos, large psammodromuses, and ladder and Montpellier snakes.
Landscaping and Design
While the arrangement of landscaped spaces for the International Exposition of 1929 led to a “rediscovery” of the mountain, the focus in the 21st century is no longer on the uniqueness of its parts but rather on Montjuïc as a whole.
It consists of four, large, clearly differentiated planes. The south-western slope is the steepest, with a large cliff that offers a panoramic view of the port and the sea. The western slope descends until it joins the Llobregat delta, the eastern slope looks out over Ciutat Vella and the sea, while the northern slope merges with the urban area.
- Pg Migdia, 147
- El Poble-sec
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- Pg Migdia, 147