MontjuichPark, located in the Spanish city of Barcelona, was one of the finest and fastest city circuits that ever existed. This circuit had a brilliant varied lay-out through a city park scenery along historic buildings and several gardens.
Already in 1908 races where held in the Spanish region of Catalonia for the first time, at the Baix Penedes circuit.
In the early twenties the first permanent motor racing venue in Spain was built in Sitges Terramar near Barcelona. It hosted the 1923 Grand Prix of Spain, but unfortunately it closed already in 1936 when the Spanish Civil War broke out.
On Christmas 1932 a motorcycle race was held for the first time in the streets of Monjuich Park in Barcelona. In 1933 the first car-races have been held there.
The track was 3,791 km (2,35 Mile) long and was driven anti-clockwise. Montjuich was one of the most beautiful and challenging, but also one of the most dangerous street circuits in the world.
During the years 1969 to 1975, the Spanish Grand Prix was alternated between Montjuich and Jarama. The Grand Prix from 1975 was overshadowed by drama, which means the end of Formula 1 racing at Monjuich!
The Start Finish site of the Formula One races.
It started during the practice when drivers expressed their doubts about the safety of the track and a drivers strike was in the air! The organizers threatened to impound the cars to compensate the financial losses. So the team bosses told their drivers not to strike!
Emmerson Fittipaldi was driven his obliged three laps during qualifying and was leaving the circuit. He would not start on Sunday.
After the race was started a few small incidents happen. On lap 26 the rear wing of the leading car from the German Rolf Stommelen broke, the car crashed and flew over the safety barrier. Three marshals and a reporter died.
Three laps later the race was stopped and Jochen Mass was declared as the winner, but only half points where given. That was the last Formula One Grand Prix at Monjuich!
This was the Start Finish site of the 24 Hours motorcycle races.
Until 1986 24 hour races for motorcycles have been held. But after 1986 Monjuich Park definitely closed for racing. In 2007 a revival was held at the old race track.
Near Barcelona, at Montmeló, is now a modern permanent circuit where the Spanish Grand Prix is held since 1991. Today the old street circuit at Montjuich looks almost the same. Only a roundabout has been added.
© Text & photos: Herman Liesemeijer