Updated Apr 21 2020
Inaugurated in 1883, the Montjuïc cemetery is named after the hill on which it stands; a beautiful place in Barcelona thanks to its tranquillity and views, it gives a special peaceful feel to the cemetery. The cemetery was constructed in reaction to the urgent need for a large cemetery in the city, due to the huge demographic growth that occurred in the mid-19th century. Leandre Albareda, a renowned architect of his time, was commissioned to design the cemetery, and he studied many European cemeteries in order to carry out the project. It was continuously extended until 1960, by which time it had spread to its maximum limit, which made it impossible to grow any further into the city.
Highlights about the Montjuïc Cemetery
The monumental complex of the Montjuïc cemetery are remarkable; essentially it’s in the Catalan modernist, or Art Nouveau style, although there are certainly influences of realist, neo-gothic and neo-Egyptian styles. The current artistic legacy was made possible in a large part thanks to the economic boom of the Catalan bourgeoisie between the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. People not only wanted to flaunt their social class throughout their lives, but also once they had died, and for this reason they hired the services of great well-known artists of the time, such as Leandre Albareda, Josep Puig i Cadafalch, Lluís Domènich i Montaner, Antoni Rovira and Enric Sagnier.
Two notable examples of members of the catalan bourgeoisie who are buried there are Josep Batlló i Casanovas and Antoni Amatller. Other historical figures that are buried there include Ildefons Cerdà, Fransesc Macià and Joan Miró, amongst many others.
Another point of great historical importance is known as the ‘Fossar de la Pedrera’ – now a memorial, but literally a massed grave in which the bodies of over 4000 victims of reprisals during Franco’s rule are buried. The most notable is Lluís Companys, the former President of Catalunya, who was sentenced to death at Montjuïc Castle in 1940 for ‘military rebellion’, and whose remains were transferred to their current location in 1985.
Visit the Montjuïc cemetery for free
Access to the grounds of Montjuïc’s cemetery is free of charge, so there is nothing stopping you visiting at your leisure. In order to do this it might be wise to pick up a brochure, which you can find at the entrance, as this will point you in the right direction of the most historically and architecturally interesting graves, as well as giving you a brief explanation about them.
Complementing the paper brochure, you’ll also find QR-codes at the main entrance and at the most important sites, giving you much more information about each one of them. Available in Spanish, Catalan, English and French, to gain access to the QR-codes you will need a smartphone, and to have installed an application that allows you to scan these codes.
Guided cultural tours
Despite the huge benefit of the QR codes, and the flexibility to visit the cemetery for free at your leisure, we also recommend that wherever possible you attend one of the three free guided tours (Guided visits, only in Catalan and Spanish) mentioned below, that are organised every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month. It’s not necessary to make a reservation in advance, unless you’re part of a group of 10 or more people.
What the visit includes: this guided tour encompasses the era from 1888 to 1936, and you will visit sculptures and tombs designed by well-known artists, who were commissioned by important personalities of the day.
Duration: 3 hours.
What the visit includes: During the course of this tour you will visit a total of 48 graves of many illustrious figures of late-19th century and early-20th century Barcelona.
Duration: 3 hours.
What the visit includes: as its name suggests, this route is a combination of the historical and artistic routes. It’s a shorter tour that encompasses several of the tombs from both tours.
Duration: 2 hours.
For more information or to reserve a guided tour for groups in English or other languages, you will need to contact the Cementiris de Barcelona organisation in advance.
Phone: (0034) 934 841 999
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Map and how to get to the Montjuïc Cemetery
As it’s a little bit further out of the city centre, it’s most convenient to arrive by car, especially as parking isn’t a problem at the Cementerio de Montjuïc. However, there’s also a regular bus service if you’d rather take the bus, and of course taxis will be able to drop you at the entrance.
c/ (street) Mare de Déu de Port, 56-58 Barcelona.
From Monday to Sunday: from 08:00 to 18:00.
2nd and 4th Sunday of the month: guided visits at 11:00 in Catalan and at 11:15 in Spanish.
Entry is free of charge: even for the organised guided visits.
How to get there?
Buses: Lines 21, 23, 37, 107 (this actually goes into the cemetery, but only operates at weekends), 109 and 193.