A weekend walk in Barcelona13
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Barcelona's Montjuïc is a broad shallow hill with a relatively flat top overlooking the harbour, to the southwest 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 184,8 m) was the site of several fortifications, the latest of which (the Castle of Montjuïc remains today.
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 Avinguda 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.
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