|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
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.
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.
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 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.
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: