The Magic Fountain of Montjuic

An unforgettable sight

Discover the magic fountain of Montjuic, Barcelona!

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One of the mandatory visits of Barcelona is the complex of Montjuic, a mountain located next to the port, at the southern side of the city. There are many ways to arrive there, but the first sight of it almost all tourists get is from Plaça Espanya, behind the two Venetian towers. There, you will see the Palace of Montjuic, and right in front of it, the Magic Fountain of Montjuic. At first, you may not see the magic in it ?that is reserved for the evening, for the first dark hours of the day.

But what is the Magic Fountain of Montjuic, exactly? During the day, it's just a big fountain, but during the night, it offers a wonderful spectacle of lights, water and music. The music starts playing, and the fountain is illuminated in different colours and colour combinations, while the water starts dancing. Cascades, streams and jets of water change, dance and move at the rhythm of the music while a crowd watches, enjoying the show.

The history of the Magic Fountain of Montjuic... And the four columns.

The Magic Fountain of Montjuic was designed by engineer Carles Buïgas i Sans to occupy the space that was left after the Four Columns were demolished, in 1928. If you've already visited Barcelona, you may be confused now ? as the Four Columns are still there!

Yes, they are, but they're a replica of the original ones that was built very recently, in year 2010. The original four columns were demolished when Spain was under a dictatorship that repressed the regionalist political movement. Franco's dictatorship also violently enforced the unity of Spain over the regional movements and identities, but Primo de Rivera did so before, from 1923 to 1930. The Four Columns where designed by Catalan Modernist architect Puig i Cadafalch, and they symbolised the four bars of the Catalan flag, the senyera. And thus they were demolished.

However, a very important international event was to be celebrated in Barcelona only a year after that: the Expo of 1929. The hole left by the Four Columns needed to be filled, and thus Buïgas presented an ambitious project for the Magic Fountains, that many judged absolutely insane. It was approved, though, and more than 3 thousand workers brought it to life in only one year. In fact, all the construction works for the Expo had already begun when the Magic Fountain was designed, but the general impression was that there was something "missing". And that was how one of the most famous symbols of Barcelona was born. Buïgas found new inspiration in light; he discovered it as an element that was beautiful by itself, and that had that aesthetic purpose besides that of illuminating the shadows. He created a whole new engineering of lights, discovering that lengthening the lights would darken the others, and designing a big, independent light that would include the rest without making them disappear. Buïgas had designed several different games of light and water, but only the four big cascades and the central fountain remained.

The Magic Fountain of Montjuic would be remodelled several times, including, of course, one for the Olympic Games of 1992, when the four original cascades were repaired. However, the fountain was in a deplorable state by then, and it had to be closed after the games, to be reopened in 1994. You will have noticed that there has been no mention of the music up until this point. This is because it wasn't part of the original project. Music was added only in the 80s.

Since its inauguration, the Magic Fountain of Montjuic became a symbol of Barcelona, that would illuminate the city with its lights and dancing water at all the important events that were celebrated there. It did so during the Olympics, of course, but it does it also during the celebrations of La Mercè, the patron of Barcelona, and during Christmas. And, of course, also during the high-season months, since tourism is nowadays the most constant, important event that the city of Barcelona celebrates.

  • 1,5 hours
  • 2.500.000