Located above the Ronda de Dalt, the Montbau neighbourhood lies between Sant Genís dels Agudells and Horta on the slopes of the Collserola massif and in fact most of the neighbourhood is within the limits of the Collserola Natural Park.
The name may possibly derive from the Torre de Gombau, which is mentioned in the records of Horta in medieval times, when this part of Collserola and all the Tres Turons neighbourhoods were dependent on the Monastery of Sant Jeroni de la Vall d'Hebron.
The built up part of Montbau, which only occupies around 30% of the neighbourhood and hugs the Ronda de Dalt B20 motorway, dates back to the mid-1950s and just like the rest of Horta-Guinardó and Nou Barris was a response to the mass immigration from the rest of Spain that hit post-war Barcelona.
However, unlike the rest of this part Collserola it appears that the urbanisation here was initially planned.
In 1956, El Patronato Municipal de la Vivienda commissioned 1,300
dwellings and the project was overseen by the municipal architects of
However, after 1961, the urbanisation plan was modified doubling the density of the buildings and consequently the neighbourhood still suffers in the same way as nearby El Carmel, La Teixonera or Sant Genís.
On the eastern limits of Montbau, we find the old Llars Mundet, once a charitable institution and now home to the Psychology and Pedagogy Faculties of the Universitat de Barcelona.
Within the campus, there is also the Palau de les Heures, an 1895 palace reminiscent of a French chateau, which is set in particularly lovely gardens on the Collserola slopes.
At the western edge, you'll find the Ciutat Sanitaria de
Seguritat Social, which includes the Hospital de la Vall d'Hebron, which is not only Barcelona's main hospital but alsoone of the best equipped medical complexes
in Catalonia or Spain.