The Montjuïc Cemetery is a unique place, to be sure, with unusual and modernist graves.
Opened in March of 1883, Montjuïc is the biggest cemetery in Barcelona. It’s placed on the top of Montjuïc, which itself is a nice little mountain beneath the Mediterranean sea. You can find there famous graves in the cemetery, like those of Catalan leader Lluis Companys (1882-1940), Spanish anarchist militant Buenaventura Durruti (1896-1936), artist Joan Miró (1893-1983), and many more. If you walk to the top you can see a crematorium from Roman times. The journey to the crematorium is a very long walk. It takes more than 3 hours to tour the entire cemetery.
In a silent western wing of the cemetery is el Fossar de la Pedrera (the Grave of the Quarry). An estimated 4,000 people were buried there after their execution by the Franco regime following the fall of Barcelona to fascist forces during the Spanish Civil War. The quarry contains memorials to the victims of fascism and the holocaust, Lluis Companys (the last president of Catalunya before the civil war) and, recently, a monument commemorating the aspirations of the social revolution of 1936. El Fossar de la Pedrera is a moving and melancholy place.
Walking through beautiful modernist graves, surrounded by pines and watching the sea. Experiencing this cemetery is widely considered to be one of the most enjoyable experiences in Barcelona.
Know Before You Go
The Cementiri de Montjuïc is a little difficult to reach. The easiest way to get there is to take the 21 bus from the Jardins de Walter Benjamin at the Place de les Drassanes, near (but not at) the southern end of Las Ramblas. But bus will stop at the bottom of the cemetery, after which the 107 bus can take you to the top--this is advantageous as the cemetery is nearly vertical! The more adventurous approach would be to walk about Montjuic until coming across the cemetery from the top. If you do that, do not assume you can walk back toward Las Ramblas/along the sea front. It's all closed off for the Port Authority and there are no safe footpaths along or near the highway after the bus stop.