Magic Fountain’s History | Barcelona
The Magic Fountain was built by Carles Buigas for the International Expo in 1929, on the site where Josep Puig i Cadafalch’s Four Columns had stood before being demolished in 1928. They were later rebuilt in 2010, only a few metres from their original location.
When work on the 1929 International Expo was already well under way, the organisers decided it needed “something special” to set it apart. That was when Carles Buigas presented his plans for a “colossal, daring and costly plan”, which would later become Montjuïc’s Magic Fountain.
In under a year, over 3,000 workers made Buigas’ dream come true, bringing light, water and colour to the broad avenue that was to be the Expo’s main thoroughfare.
- 1929: Creation of the Magic Fountain.
- 1954-55: Buïgas undertook the first restoration work on the fountain, in order to rebuild features that had been damaged or lost during the Spanish Civil War and the post-war period. The hydraulic valve mechanism was also replaced by an electro-pneumatic one.
- The 1960s: the renovation of some control mechanisms, replacement of part of the lighting with electronic regulators and of the remote-control system with a new electronic automatic analogue control system using a magnetic tape, and the incorporation of sound.
- In 1972 and 1975, fountains 4 and 3, respectively, stop working.
- Barcelona ’92 Olympic Games: The complete renovation of the four fountains and the provisional renovation of the Magic Fountain, for its use during the Olympic period.
- 1993: The Magic Fountain project was halted and replaced by a laser-beam show projected onto the Palau Nacional and a water screen.
- 1994: A project for the general repair of the fountain was presented.
- 1996-1998: The repair work was carried out in two phases. The first phase between October 1996 and June 1997, and the second phase between October 1997 and June 1998.
- 23 June 1998: The renovated Magic Fountain is officially opened.
- 2010: The Magic Fountain starts using groundwater, as part of Barcelona’s commitment to sustainability. This commitment has resulted in a number of measures aimed at reducing water consumption, something that has been especially significant in municipal facilities and services, including the use of groundwater in ornamental fountains.
- September 2011: The Magic Fountain uses a 3D choreography generator, editor and simulator for the first time, allowing the creation of new light, water and music shows in just three minutes. It also means that the shows can be previewed without starting the fountain up, which means big financial and energy savings.
- 2014: The lighting system is replaced with RGB LED technology, allowing independent control of each LED spotlight and row of lights, providing a greater range and depth of colours. New equipment for controlling consumption was also introduced, allowing the Magic Fountain to be operated more sustainably, with considerable energy savings.
- In 2014, 2015 and 2016, fountains 4, 2 and 1, were returned to working order, respectively.
Visit the Magic Fountains of Montjuic, Barcelona
Barcelona is a city that holds more than a few surprises up its artistically surreal sleeves. And one of the loveliest surprises of all to discover is its magic dancing water fountain!
When you plan your visit to Barcelona, a trip to the magic fountain of Montjuïc is a must. Not only will you be looking at a piece of Catalan history, the fountain was built for the 1929 Barcelona World Fair, but you’ll also be beguiled by the dancing water formations set to music and light choreography.
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The History of Montjuïc Fountain
In 1928, a well-known landmark, called the Four Columns Monument, was destroyed in Barcelona on the orders of Dictator Miguel Primo de Rivera. This caused great anger among the Catalan community.
Carles Buigas, an architect from the Catalan region, envisioned and suggested the Fuente Mágica de Montjuic (Magic Fountain of Montjuïc) to replace the earlier monument. The timing of the 1929’s World’s Fair, and Barcelona’s role in it, added another requirement for a landmark to be built.
With only a year between the fountain’s plans being approved and the fair, many of Barcelona’s citizens felt that the Barcelona water fountain was too ambitious a project. But the fountain was completed in time, thanks to the hard work and commitment of 3,000 workers, and today is a real drawcard of, and for, the city.
Avenue of the Americas, Barcelona World Fair 1929
Facts and Figures of the Barcelona Water Fountain
The dancing fountains of Barcelona opened on May 29th, 1929. Closed due to severe damage during the Spanish Civil War in the late 1930s, the fountains reopened, after considerable investment in 1955. Buigas, the original architect of the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc, oversaw the repairs.
While always impressive, it wasn’t until the 1980s that light and music choreography was added to the dancing water formations. The soundtrack to the dancing fountains includes everything from Spanish classical music to pop hits and swing music.
In total, 3,620 water jets circulate 2,600 liters of water per second in the fountain’s pool, which holds 3.1 million liters of water. The highest water spout is 52 meters in the air and 4,760 lights make up the majestic fountain’s spellbinding effect.
Currently, 2.5 million visitors go to the choreographed 20-minute Magic Fountain of Montjuïc shows every year, which remain free to all.
When and Where to See the Magic Fountain of Montjuïc
The Barcelona fountains, which use recycled water to preserve the city’s drinking water, are to be found in Plaza Carles Buigas at the end of Avinguda Reina Maria Cristina. This area is located beneath the Palau Nacional (National Palace), where the National Art Museum of Catalonia is housed.
The views in this part of the city are spectacular, and you’ll be able to see from the Plaça Espanya to the slopes of Tibidabo Mountain.
You can reach the magic fountains by hopping on either the metro red line L1 or green line L3. These lines take you to metro station Espanya, which is right by Plaça Espanya; the fountains are just behind the Palace’s two Venetian towers.
Buses that will get you to the most enchanting fountains in the world include the number 13, 23, 37, 150, h22 and h26. The Bus Turistic, which stops at Plaça Espanya, MNAC and CaixaForum, is also a transport option.
The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc’s show times are 20 minutes long every Thursday to Saturday. There are 30-minute intervals between the shows which begin at 20:00. Shows run from 20:00 to 22:00 during the Summer months and from 20:00 to 21:00 during the rest of the year, but it’s always worthwhile to double check whether the fountains are closed for maintenance when you want to go. The official website for the Barcelona water fountain can be found here.
If you want to splash out on some more of Barcelona’s fascinating culture after the Magic Fountains, check out our Barcelona Tours.
Magic Fountain of Montjuic – Barcelona City Guide ТМ
The singing magic fountain of Montjuic in Barcelona is one of the most enchanting sights of the city. It is built at the base of Montjuic in front of the Museum of National Art of Catalonia.
How and by whom the fountain was created
The idea of erecting a unique singing magic fountain of Montjuic in Barcelona, which could change its shape through lighting effects, shades and musical accompaniment, was born more than 8 decades ago.
Its author is an outstanding engineer named Carlos Buigas. He thought through all the details of his project extremely carefully, even:
- the size of the pool;
- number of pumps;
- water volume;
- color effects.
It is also very significant that the engineer made a calculation of the circulating water supply system so that it would be possible to save water. The idea came true in 1929. The singing fountain in Barcelona opened on the opening date of the World’s Fair. The masterpiece of Carlos Buigas was named accordingly: “Magic Fountain”.
The Magical Singing Fountain of Montjuïc in Barcelona changed a lot for the 1992 Summer Olympics, when musical accompaniment was added to it. At the beginning, the fountain had manual control. The shape of the Montjuïc Magic Fountain, the lighting and the musical accompaniment for the show were controlled by the staff who supervised the operation of the fountain. Now the control system is completely automated.
About the Singing Fountain Show in Barcelona
The Magical Singing Fountain Montjuic Show in Barcelona gives rise to a lot of positive emotions and an unforgettable experience.
Water jets come alive to classical music, showing an enchanting dance, subtly feeling the change or increase in the melody. The Magic Fountain in Barcelona is made up of one hundred small and medium-sized fountains, forming an integral picture. In addition to the outstanding works of world classics by Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Bach, the magical fountain of Montjuic also performs dances to modern fashion tracks from all over the globe.
When evening falls, the Montjuic area becomes a real Eden for guests, where the soaring streams of water are highlighted in all iridescent colors and shades, forming a magical picture. Both travelers and locals go to admire the singing fountains of Barcelona. With pleasure, it is possible to watch the dance of the singing magic fountain of Montjuic in Barcelona both from local restaurants and bars, and from the observation decks on the sides of the fountain.
Year after year, on the days of the end of the Catalan festival “La Merce”, a wonderful musical pyrotechnic show is held here with an impressive number of fireworks, lasers and various music.
Montjuic Fountain Address
Barcelona, Pl. Carles Buïgas (Carlos Buïgas Square)
How to get to the Singing Fountains
By metro : get off at the España station of the green line L3 and red line L1
By bus : 165, 157, 109, 55, 56, 57, 37, 27, 13
You have the opportunity to admire the magical spectacle of the magical fountain of Montjuic absolutely free of charge.
Would you like to use the Montjuic cable car? Follow the link to book your tickets online.
When the Magic Fountain of Montjuic in Barcelona is open
- October – May; Friday, Saturday: 19.00 – 21.00
The summer season starts in May and ends in October. Fountain in operation:
- Thursday – Sunday: 21.00 – 00.00.
The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc show runs for half an hour and can be any 30 minutes of the marked time.
Location of Montjuic Fountain
- How to avoid queues at Barcelona attractions. Tickets for the Sagrada Familia and Park Güell skip the line.
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Magic Fountain of Montjuic (Font màgica)
The first performance of the magical fountain of Montjuic (Font màgica de Montjuïc in Catalan) was given on 19May 1929 during the “Great World’s Fair”.