Montjuic mountain holds Olympic history

May 6, 2013

Screen Shot 2013-05-24 at 1.55.06 PMAntonio Rebollo, a Spanish Paralympic archer, stood in the spotlight of the 1992 Olympic opening ceremonies, feeling calm. Rebollo released the arrow, engulfing the torch.

“My feelings were taken from the people who described to me how they saw it,” he said in an interview with NBC. “What they felt, their emotions, their cries. This is what made me realize what the moment actually meant.”

Montjuïc Mountain towers above Barcelona and served as the site for the 1992 Summer Olympics. Visiting via metro is the simplest way to access the funicular, a trolley taking guests up the mountain. Millions of tourists annually come to visit the sights of Montjuïc.

“When you become an Olympic city, you create a landmark for years to come,” said Andy Billings, an Olympics researcher and University of Alabama reagan chair and professor in the Department of Telecommunications & Film.

He said the Olympics continue to resonate because of competitiveness and national pride.

The Olympic Stadium, which hosted the opening and closing ceremonies as well as the track and field competitions, is free to visitors and open everyday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Its history is seen on the entryway bricks that boast Olympians’ names such as Charles Barkley and Summer Sanders.

On the other side of the stadium lies the Olympic plaza and Telefrica, a white sculpture resembling a knot.

The Olympic Gallery houses the games’ archives. Visits cost 10 euro, and the Gallery is open from Tuesday to Sunday. Cobi, the Catalan sheep dog who was created to be the Olympic mascot, appears throughout the gallery.

“It was a gift to design a character that will be short-lived but will reach every corner of the world,” said designer Javier Mariscal through a translator.

After visiting the mountain’s sites, guests can rest on see-through sky buckets, which take visitors to the top of the mountain. Costing $9, riders are able to look out over Montjuïc and the Barcelona cityscape below.

Montjuïc holds more history than just the Olympics. Castell de Montjuic lies at the peak. Beginning as a mud and stone fortification in 1640 during the revolt against Felipe IV, the structure became a castle in 1694. Guests can visit the courtyard and adjoining rooms and entrance to the castle is free.