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In sharp contrast to its often grim history, this mass of military stone is now surrounded by serene gardens. Barcelonans come here for Sunday picnics. The fort last saw action in the Civil War when it kept changing hands and was used by both sides for political and military executions. In 1940, the Franco government prevailed on Germany to hand over the refugee president of Catalunya and summarily executed him here. The fort then served as a prison for political prisoners until Franco’s death. The city assumed control of the property in 2007 and launched a development program to create a memorial to Catalan political martyrs, but the economic crisis halted those plans. Today the fortress is just a place to enjoy the views and the gardens. The best way to get here is on the 8-passenger cable cars of the Telefèric de Montjuïc.