Barcelona is a city of Catalonia situated in the province of Barcelona. It is the historic, economic and administrative capital of Catalonia.
The origins of the city are from the Roman times. Nowadays, it is still possible to admire numerous ruins from the Roman colonization. But the city was born in the medieval times and became a city of professionals, marines and traders.
In the 18 century, the city was faced to two conflicts: The Succession War of 1714 and then the war against the Napoleon troops in 1808. After this period of conflicts, Barcelona knew a new economic growth. The city is protected by the military walls where the Ciutadella was being built.
From 1812 to the 1873 Republic, rebellions, strikes, bombings and other confrontations took place. The walls were destroyed and the closed cities connected themselves to Barcelona. In 1888, it welcomed the Universal Exhibition. Since then, Barcelona becomes a modern cultural capital.
At the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1936, Barcelona suffered from discrepancies between ambitions and illusions. After a lot of changes, Barcelona got over and was selected to welcome the Olympic Games of 1992.
The nowadays Barcelona is a new Barcelona, with Mediterranean traditions and wholly opened to the others cultures. It knew how to keep its history while transforming itself. Now, it is a European capital full of energy and progress.
Monuments of Barcelona
Las Ramblas : It is the name of the big avenue from la Plaça de Catalunya to the Christopher Colomb monument. The word Rambla comes from the Arab word Ramla which is the name of a river where the city was built. Bars, shops and restaurants are crowded all the time, above all during the nights and the weekends.
La Sagrada Familia: In 1882, the architect Francesco Villar begins to build a neogothic sanctuary. One year after, Gaudi takes over the project. Since then, the Sagrada Familia becomes its obsession. He will live there during the works for 16 years. He dies in 1926 and his corpse is in the crypt of his masterpiece.
The Cathedral of Barcelona: Its construction begins in 1298. It is dedicated to Eulalia, protectrice of the city. Its architecture is qualified of Gothic even if you can observe some Roman style elements. From outdoors, you will be impressed by the two bell towers and the huge front wall. Inside, 26 chapels border a 26-meter nave. You will discover too the sacristy museum with liturgical objects.
The GuellPark: Park Guell was commissioned by Eusebi Güell who wanted to create a stylish park for Barcelona aristocracy. Guell park contains amazing stone structures, stunning tiling and fascinating buildings. First, you will be faced to a dragon fountain that is at the entrance to Guell park. This dragon is adorned in beautiful colored tiling and there is something rather hypnotic and magical about it. Here you can see a walkway supported by twisting rock pillars that seem to be growing out of the ground like tree trunks. Although these are rather irregular in shape they do feel strangely natural too. Gaudy was strongly influenced by natural shapes and used them in his work. At the top of Guell park is a terraced area where you get a wonderful view of the park and of Barcelona City. Here you will find multi-colored tiled mosaic seats as shown in this picture. The vibrant colors of the tiles are truly breathtaking.
The Casa Milà: better know as La Pedreda, it is a building designed by Gaudy and built between 1905 and 1907. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Casa Batlló: The local name is Casa dels ossos (House of Bones), and indeed it does have a visceral, skeletal organic quality. It was originally designed for a middle-class family and situated in a prosperous district of Barcelona.
The Casa Vicens: It is the first construction of Gaudy. It was built between 1883 and 1888 for a rich family of Barcelona. You can note an Arab influence with the decorated roofs.
CalatravaTower: The communication tower, designed for the telecommunications company Telefonica, is just beyond the large plaza in front of Palau Sant Jordi Sports Stadium. It is 188 meters tall. (See its top in various views of the Sports Stadium.) The area of Montjuïc is also the site for the Olympic Stadium built in 1929, the Fundació Miró, and the reconstructed Barcelona Pavilion by Mies van der Rohe.
Christopher Colomb Monument: It is a 60-meter tower which was built for the Universal Exhibition of 1888 in honour of the famous explorator. At the top of this column, you will have an extraordinary sight.
Palace of Music « Palau de la Musica »: It is one of the most beautiful example of the modernism of the city. It was built by the architect Montaner and it is famous for its front wall full of mosaics.
La Barceloneta ” the small Barcelona”: It is the traditional district of the fishers. It was created in 1753 when the Ribera was destroyed to build the Ciutadella. You will also enjoy the 5 kms of beaches.
Santa Creu Cathedral: It is dedicated to Eulalie. It is a beautoful example of the Catalan Gothic style. In the first chapel, a statute is surrounded by candles, it is the Christ of Lepante, one of the protector of the city. The clauster is awesome too.
Agbar Tower: It is a skyscraper built at the beginning of XXXIth century by Jean Nouvel. It looks like a huge missile. Some can also see a phallic symbol.
The Triumph Arch of Barcelona: It was built to represent the main door of the city during the Universal Exhibition of 1888. It is located besides the Ciutadella Park.