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Key city information

Population: 1.6 mln
Area: 102 km2
Time zone: CET UTC+1
Local date/time:

About

Barcelona tourist attractions:

  • Sagrada Familia (church)
  • La Pedrera (building)
  • La Rambla (street)
  • Parc Guell (park)
  • Placa de Catalunya (square)

BARCELONA AND ITS UNIQUE TOURIST ATTRACTIONS:

Placa d`Espanya- one of Barcelona`s most important squares and once it was a place of public executions. Without any doubts the square is famous for its once bullring, today there is only an oval structure left of it. Not far away from the square, there is widely known Magic Fountain, which is illuminated with five thousand bulbs.

Magic Fountain of Montjuic- was constructed for the 1929 International Exposition and it stands in the point where The Four Columns stood previously. In the 80s` the music was incorporated to the show of lights. The show includes classical music, soundtrack music and modern music such as "The Godfather", "Gladiator", "The Lord of the Rings", etc.

Sagrada Familia-  a Roman Catholic Church which is considered to be the greatest work of Antonio Gaudi. The process of building the church was rather slow as it relied on private donations and it was interrupted by the Spanish Civil War. When Gaudi took over the project of building Sagrada Familia, he transformed it into the combination of Gothic and Art Nouveau style. The construction is still being finished and the anticipated completion dates 2026.

Squares of Old Town- in addition to large squares in Barcelona you can also admire charming little squares situated in the area of Old Town. The area near the Placa Sant Jaume are the remains of the ancient Jewish district. Today, only near the Carrer Marlet you can see partly preserved the Great Synagogue. It is also worth to visit the Shoe Museum which is situated near Placa Felip Neri. On some little squares of the Old Town traders have their stalls, on Placa del Pi you can buy agricultural products, and on Placa Sant Josep Oriol  painters and antique dealers rule.

La Rambla-  the most busy street in Barcelona. This street measures only one kilometer but on this short distance you can do majority of things- you can enjoy all kinds of actors, mimes and dancers. La Rambla promenade leads from Placa de Catalunya to the statue of Columbus in the Barcelona port. La Rambla is full of life 24/7, it is full of all kinds of stalls, street performances, restaurants and cafes.

Placa de Catalunya- it is considered to be the heart of the city, the square measures around 50 000 sqm.  In the times of the Spanish Civil war, this place was the headquarters of socialists. Then the fascist`s meetings took place here, even today when someone wants to manifest something, the place that is chosen is Placa de Catalunya. It is a convenient place from where you can go to the four directions of Barcelona.

Statue of Columbus is situated in the central point in Placa Portal de la Pau next to Port Vell (Old Port). It was built to commemorate the arrival of Columbus from his first voyage to India. In 1493 Columbus was welcomed by royal couple Izabella and Ferdynand. The statue of Columbus is almost 7 meters tall and the finger of the voyager points to the port entrance.

 

First settlers in the area of today's Barcelona date from the middle of the 6th century BC. Archeological remains prove the Roman presence in the city in about 218 BC. By the end of the 1st century BC, the people of Barcelona were living inside a walled enclosure near the Taber moutain, now the cite of the city's historic centre. Between the 4th and 13th century AD, when the Visigoths and Muslims arrived, the town founded by Romans was consolidated and expanded. During the medival period Barcelona was changed by its growing shipping trade. At the end of 13th century, a second wall was built near the sea front and the port. A century later, a third wall was built to protect the new land areas, mostely devoted to architecture. The Gothic Barcelona grew up around the Placa de Sant Jaume. The 18th century which began with military defeat in the War of the Spanish Succession and ended with the war against Napolean, saw Barcelona coming under influence of the Enlightment. Despite the wars it was a prosperous city, benefing from the cotton mills and trade with the American colonies. It transformed itself from the agriculrural city into industrialized one. The political upheavals of the 19th century, from the proclamation of the Constitution of 1812 till the First Republic of 1873, changed the city where the surrounding walls were pulled down and and city expandsed with annexing the neigbouring villages. A cultural Renaissance took place, accompanied by the increased political importance of Catalonia. In the 1930, Barcelona was a city ahead of its time thanks to many moderinsations project. The outbreak of the Civil War and subsequent dictatorship stopped the favourable period of development. During the 1950s, new economic developments brought back the prosperity and the city grew to encompass more than twenty neighbouring towns. The anti-Franco protests and demands for better life grew, and were finally met during the first years of the transition to democracy, after Franco's downfall in 1975. In 1986, it was announced that the 1992 Olympic Games would be held in Barcelona which lead to many changes and improvements in the city.

Catalonian cuisine is one of the most esteemed of all Spanish regional cuisines. The high quality of the ingredients used in Catalonian cooking - all types of vegetables, olive oil, fish and fresh shelfish, meat and the right combination of these ingredients, make a healthy and natural cuisine.

In Catalonia, pa amb tomaquet (bread with tomato) is eaten at any time of the day, especially as aquick supper or a breakfast. Great examples of the cuisine of the region could include fish soup, spinach Catalonian style, escudella i carn d'olla (a stew made of stock, vegatables, pork, veal and chicken), escalivada (roast peppers, onions and aubergines), and the arros negre (black rice).

 

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