Porta de Montjuïc
The route begins on the crossroad of Avinguda del Paral·lel, Plaça de les Drassanes and the Royal Shipyard, where you can also find the Maritime Museum. On your left you can see the access to the reef barrier in the harbour, headed by the sculpture Ones ("waves", in its original language), by Andreu Alfaro, a giant tubular sculpture weighting 15 tons, made by seven big steel arcs (the tallest one measures 42 metres) that mimic the form and movements of waves. On the centre of the square there is a sculpture named La Carbonera ("the coal bunker"), by Pedro Barragán, hence the other name of the square, made by a black basalt pile honouring the old coal warehouse used to provide coal to the harbour of the city.
The lawn area at the beginning of the route has several interesting foreign trees, among which stand out two species of the genus Ceiba, the floss silk tree (Ceiba speciosa) and the white floss silk tree (Ceiba insignis) , both from South America and with bottle-shaped trunk. Although their natural habitat are tropical and subtropical rainforests, they can live in Barcelona since they are drought-proof and resilient to moderate cold. Montjuïc is particularly rich in botanical species, both indigenous (parasol pine, carob, evergreen oak, ash tree, oak...) and exotic (blue jacaranda, cactus, palm, Indian fig, maguey...) bringed in in several moments along its history. Exotic species are those that are not indigenous from the area (especially the ones coming from other continents) and that therefore have been bringed in by humankind.
Moving a little forward, you arrive to Walter Benjamin Garden, honouring Walter Benjamin (Berlin, 1892 – Portbou, 1940), a German essayist, book critic and philosopher. The garden is also known as Jardins de la Porta de Montjuïc (Montjuïc Gate Gardens), a name that can still be seen on a stone slab placed at the park entrance.
Walter Benjamin Garden is a small urban shadowy green area. It is formed by three small squares with trees on them. In the central area there is an ornamental fountain with a basin made of stone. This fountain was part of Avinguda Maria Cristina as it was designed by the landscape gardener J.C.N. Forestier; in 1980, it was moved to the present location when the avenue was last. The vegetation and benches surrounding it invite to both take a walk and rest.
Along the path crossing the garden, you can see trees that are common at parks, squares and streets in Barcelona, such as the Mexican palo verde, the Judas tree and the black locust. Since they are deciduous trees, the look and the colouring of the garden is very different throughout the year, depending on the season.
At the garden, there are four small stones.
The route finishes on Carrer Vila i Vilà, in front of Hortes de Sant Bertran, starting point of the next route stretch.
Comfortable clothes and suitable footwear to walk, binoculars and camera.