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Curiousities: How Tibidabo got its Name

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I remember by first time in Barcelona, I was staying with a Spanish family in Gràcia. I stepped out onto the terrace where there was a magnificent view of Tibidabo in the distance, as I stood there in admiration of the hustle and bustle of the theme park attractions spinning mid-air beside the apparent calm and serenity of the church, Sagrat Cor. The grandmother of the household approached my side and enthusiastically began to explain something to me in Spanish (I didn’t understand Spanish at the time so I couldn’t tell you the exact words). It was then that my English speaking friend translated to me what she was saying, the tale of Tibidabo… and how it got its name…

Most people are familiar with the bible and the passage where Jesus stands atop a mountain overlooking a wilderness. It is where the devil tries to tempt Jesus onto the path of sin. At first they stood outside the holy city, which did not make an impression on Jesus, and afterwards they moved to a high mountain to show him the kingdoms of the world and glory of them. According to the abuela (grandmother) and many Catalans, this mountain was the very mountain where this would have occurred. So how does the name Tibidabo transpire from this story? First take a look at the view from the mountain, do you think the view is worthy enough to tempt christ?

View from Tibidabo

The term Tibidabo comes from one very specific sentence that satan says to Christ, which is “All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.” In latin, this translates to “Haec omnia tibi dabo, si cadens adoraveris me.” Can you spot where the name comes from now?

It’s highly debatable that this is in fact the location of where this would have occurred, however the biblical verse is where the name comes from and it obviously has to do with the wonderful view that you can have from there. If you ever find yourself in Barcelona, you should most definitely climb up and experience a view fit for Christ. So visit mount “I will give you” today!

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