Barcelona’s castle has played a large role in the city’s history. Constructed in the 1600s as a fort, the castle was enlarged at the end of the same century. During the War of Independence in the early 1800s, the French captured the castle and converted it into a prison until the Spanish took it back in 1814. Two decades later, the castle was used to imprisoned nationalists during the Spanish Civil War, until the nationalists captured the castle and turned the tables in 1939. Now the castle is a home for astronomic observations, temporary exhibits, concerts and self-guided and guided tours. Two cafes offer a place to refuel, including one outdoor location with views over Barcelona. The best way to reach the castle is to ride up Montjuic’s tram, Teleferic de Montjuic, with it’s glass encasing providing riders spectacular panoramic views of the city as it climbs it way up to the castle, dropping passengers off right at its entrance.