Catalonia: Barcelona – Castillo Montjuic
A dozen times in Barcelona and I never made it to the top of Mount Montjuic and the spectacular fortress with panoramic views of the entire city below, the ocean, and the port. The fort was built in 1640 and just a year later the Principality of Catalonia declared independence from Spain in the Catalan revolt. The Spanish king sent an army to crush the revolt and the most fierce battle happened right here at the Castillo Montjuic where the Spanish were defeated (just temporarily as the Catalan independence was subsequently squashed). Today, the Catalan flag proudly flies above the fortress, but the true independence is still a dream. The fort is a massive square structure with thick walls, moat, defensive towers and guns pointing in all directions. Inside, it’s a military museum. And one surprise – a large tree inside the fortress was full of green parrots, nearly 50 of them.