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Montjuïc, alternatively spelled Montjuic or Montjuich) is a hill located in Barcelona, Spain.
Montjuïc is translated as 'Hill of the Jews' in medieval Catalan, or is perhaps related to the Latin phrase Mons Jovicus ('hill of Jupiter'). The name is found in several locations in the Catalan Countries: the Catalan cities of Gerona and Barcelona both have a Montjuïc, as does the island of Minorca. When written in a Spanish rather than Catalan context it is generally spelled Montjuich (this is old Catalan spelling before the orthographic reforms of Pompeu Fabra).
Barcelona's Montjuïc is a broad shallow hill with a relatively flat top overlooking the harbour, to the southeast of the city centre. The eastern side of the hill is almost a sheer cliff, giving it a commanding view over the city's harbour immediately below. The top of the hill (a height of 173 metres) was the site of several fortifications, the latest of which (the Castell de Montjuïc) remains today. The fortress largely dates from the 17th century, with 18th century additions. In 1842, the garrison (loyal to the Madrid government) shelled parts of the city. It served as a prison, often holding political prisoners, until the time of General Franco. The castle was also the site of numerous executions. In 1897, an incident popularly known as Els processos de Montjuïc prompted the execution of anarchist supporters, which then lead to a severe repression of the workers' struggle for their rights. On different occasions during the Spanish Civil War, both Nationalists and Republicans were executed there, each at the time when the site was held by their opponents. The Catalan nationalist leader Lluís Companys i Jover was also executed there in 1940, having been extradited to the Franco government by the Nazis.
Naturally wooded, the slopes of the Montjuïc were traditionally used to grow food and graze animals by the people of the neighbouring Ciutat Vella. In the 1890s, the forests were partially cleared, opening space for parklands. The site was selected to host the 1929 International Exposition (a World's Fair), for which the first large-scale construction on the hill began. The surviving buildings from this effort include the grand Palau Nacional, the Estadi Olímpic (the Olympic stadium), the ornate Font Màgica fountains, and a grand staircase leading up from the foot of Montjuïc at the south end of the Avenida de la Reina Maria Cristina, past the Font Màgica and through the Plaça del Marquès de Foronda and the Plaça de les Cascades to the Palau Nacional. The Poble Espanyol, a "Spanish village" of different buildings built in different styles of Spanish architecture, also survives, located on the western side of the hill. Mies van der Rohe's German national pavilion was constructed at the foot of the hill, near the Plaça del Marquès de Foronda. It was demolished in 1930 but was rebuilt in 1988.
Also by Pilar Coll i Gatells
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