Magic Fountain of Montjuïc

Photo by: Till F. Teenck, CC

The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc is also known as the Font Màgica. This fountain is located in Barcelona, Spain on the Montjuïc hill. The fountain is below the National Palace (Palau Nacional) and close to Plaça d’Espanya. It was built for the International Exposition in 1929, like many other attractions on Montjuïc.

This fountain is the largest ornamental fountain in the city, and today it uses recycled water. It was most likely the first synchronized water, light, and music show ever presented in the world. Nearly, three thousands liters of water per second are pumped through the fountain and then into the three pools that have a high-tech water recirculation system. It still remains as one of city’s most popular tourist attractions. Thousands of people visit it every year.

Architectural Design and Construction

Montjuïc’s Magic Fountain was created by Carles Buigas. This designer built many other illuminated fountains, some in the early 1920’s. The area where it was built had previously been The Four Columns location. These columns were part Catalanism movement and they were destroyed in 1928 by Migel Primo de Rivera, a prime minister. In 2010, they were rebuilt just a couple of meters from their original location.

Buigas presented his design one year prior to the exhibition. Manny said his plan was too ambitious and that there was not enough time to build the fountain. The building project used over three thousand workers. It took nearly one year to build the fountain. One day before the International Exposition started, the first fountain show took place. The fountain show was created to demonstrate to people the achievements of filtered electrical light.


During the Spanish Civil War, the Magic Fountain was heavily damaged and it did not function again until 1955, when Buigas handled the required repairs. Music was added to the fountain’s light show in the 1980’s. Both the fountain and the Museu Nacional were completely restored before the Olympics were held at Montjuïc in 1992. Fountain performances included modern, film, and classical, like the Spanish zarzuela movement, Godfather, Gladiator, and “Barcelona” by Montserrat Caballé and Freddie Mercury.

Cascades and Fountains

The Magic Fountain of Montjuïc has three pools, a number of fountains and cascades that are situated in between the Plaça d’Espanya, Palau Nacional and the Plaça d’Espanya which were also part of the International Exhibit that was held on this hill.

The Magic Fountain’s Light Show

During the summer months on specific evenings, there is a fountain show that attracts a large crowd who gather around to watch the magnificent display of water, light and music. In the summer season the show runs from Thursday to Sunday and during the winter months it runs every Friday and Saturday.

The Palau National is also illuminated at night and it provides a wonderful background for the show. The show usually runs for a half an hour. The start and end times differ depending on the season, and many visitors say that sunset is a great time to see the Magic Fountain. There is no cost to view the show.

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