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Barcelona

This article is about Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain; see also other places called Barcelona
The moon at dawn over Montjuïc and the Edifici de Duanes (Customs building), seen from the Plaça del Portal de la Pau at the foot of La Rambla, near the Port Vell (Old Harbor) of Barcelona
The Plaça de Catalunya at the head of La Rambla, Barcelona
L'Ajuntament (city hall), on the Plaça St. Jaume in the Barri Gòtic, Barcelona
The Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família, in the Eixample, Barcelona

Barcelona is the capital and largest city of Catalonia, in Spain, situated in the Mediterranean coast. It has been the site of the Catalan Parliament since restoration of Generalitat. It is also the capital of the province of Barcelona. The city was the site of the 1992 Summer Olympics. The city has a population of around 1,631,000.

Districts and quarters

History

Legend attributes the Carthaginian foundation of Barcino to Amilcar Barca[?], father of Hannibal. Later on, Romans redrew the town as a castrum[?] (a Roman military camp) centered on the Mons Taber, a little hill nearby the contemporary city hall (Plaįa de Sant Jaume). This planning is still visible today on the map of the historical center and the remaining fragments of the Roman walls. Important Roman remains are exposed under the Plaįa del Rei, entrance by the city museum, Museu d'Histōria de la Ciutat. The city was conquered by the Visigoths in the 5th century, by the Arabs in the 8th century, reconquered in 801 by the Frankish kings, and sacked by Al-Mansur in 985. The city was devastated in the Catalonian Revolt[?] of 1652, and again during the War of the Spanish Succesion[?] in 1714.

In the 20th century during the Spanish Civil War Barcelona was a stronghold of the Anarchist cause, but surrendered to Franco's forces in 1939.

Tourist attractions

Barcelona offers a unique opportunity for the tourist on foot to walk from Roman remains to the medieval city to the modern city with its open thoroughfares with all intersections left wide open by the unique cut-off corners of the buildings.

One notable feature is La Rambla, a pedestrian parkway that runs from the city center to the waterfront, crowded with people, bird sellers, street entertainers, and restaurants, but also of con artists (trileros) and smart pickpockets. La Rambla ends at the waterfront where there is a statue of Christopher Columbus pointing resolutely to the sea, that is, facing to the east to Majorca instead of to the west to the Americas.

The historic city center is reasonably flat, but nowadays the city extends onto the surrounding hills and along the contiguous valleys of Llobregat and Besōs[?] rivers.

Catalan nationalists encouraged printing books in their native language with the side effect that Barcelona is now a European center of printing, particularly fine printing.

The airport to the southwest of the city is named El Prat, after the nearby town El Prat de Llobregat[?].

The architect Antoni Gaudí lived and worked in Barcelona, leaving many famous buildings including the Palau Güell, the Parc Güell, and the immense but still unfinished Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família, that has been under construction since 1882.

Other artistic attractions include the Museu Joan Mirķ and a unique museum featuring only works by Pablo Picasso created while he was living in Spain as a child and young man and as an old man and nothing else.

The Museu Marítim chronicles the history of life on the Mediterranean, including a full-scale model of a galley.

Some other tourist attractions are the Tibidabo hill (with an amusement park at the top), the castle of Montjuīc, the mountain of Montserrat (a Benedictine abbey), the large Aquarium, and a Zoo that prides itself on owning the only albino gorilla in the world.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Barcelona:

External Links



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