Barcelona City Overview
A little popular travel destination in northern Spain just a few decades ago, Barcelona has completely reinvented itself from an industrial center in need of renovation since the 1992 Olympic Games as a popular holiday destination.
Each district of Barcelona has its own attractions, whether cultural or recreational. The city has one of the most popular cruise ports in Europe, where the leisure complex Maremagnum with its shops, bars, restaurants, the Imax cinema and the aquarium is located.
Barceloneta has the atmosphere of a fishing village. On the market there are tons of fresh fish on the stands, a stroll through the narrow streets smells of sea air and in the restaurants culinary delights await connoisseurs. A few kilometers away is the Olympic Marina with its casinos, bars, tapas restaurants, discotheques and offices that bring life to the skyscrapers. Behind it is the Olympic Village and next to it the new cosmopolitan residential area of Diagonal Mar, which showcases the city’s new tall and unusual-looking buildings. The beaches of the city and the region are easily accessible by public transport, but also by car or bicycle.
Barcelona has long been a mecca for the world’s top architects who came here to realize all kinds of modern structures and avant-garde designs. Many were inspired by the productive work of one of Barcelona’s most famous sons, the modernist architect Antoni Gaudí, whose unique style can be admired throughout the city in the form of a number of important buildings. His unfinished Sagrada Familia cathedral, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2005, is his masterpiece. The lamps and fountains of the Plaça Reial are also examples of his work.
Fortunately, the building boom did not completely put the older buildings on the sidelines, as great value was placed on the harmonious interplay of old and new architectural styles. Barcelona is a fine example of how an avant-garde glass and steel structure can harmonize with a Gothic cathedral in the immediate vicinity. The old port was also restored without losing any of its charm.
The colorful and unique boulevard La Rambla leads from Plaça de Catalunya to the port. On the boulevard you will pass the traditional La Boqueria market, but also the Opera and the Gran Teatre del Liceu. The side street Portaferrissais a shopping paradise. Gaudi’s magnificent Palau Güell Palace is located on Carrer Nou de la Rambla.
As the capital of Catalonia, the city maintains its position as a major economic power, benefiting from its strategic location not far from the French border and on the long Mediterranean coast. The most important economic sectors include automotive engineering, chemistry, textiles, electronics, viticulture and tourism. Barcelona has the largest port on the Mediterranean. Barcelona’s economy has been developing steadily over the past ten years, and although only 4% of the Spanish population live here, Barcelona contributes 14% to the country’s gross domestic product. Around 15 million tourists came to Catalonia in 2005, almost a quarter of the almost 55.5 million travelers to Spain.
The locals are aware of the potential that lies in their city and consequently strive for a sovereign Catalan state, with Barcelona as the capital. In the meantime, they have come quite close to this goal. On August 9, 2006, the new Statute of Autonomy for Catalonia entered into force, which entitles the Catalans to call themselves a nation. Almost 74% of voters voted for it, albeit with a low turnout. Since then, the region has largely governed itself. Nowhere is this proud striving for more self-determination to be seen more clearly than at Camp Nou stadium, home to FC Barcelona, one of the largest football teams in Europe, when 120,000 spectators defeat archrival Real Madrid got into the house.
Area code: 93
Weather in Barcelona
Barcelona is a city with a pleasant climate all year round – not too hot and humid in summer and with only a few really cold days in winter. With its beaches and numerous museums, the city has something to offer in any weather. It is therefore not surprising that Barcelona attracts more and more visitors.
City History of Barcelona
The city of Barcelona, which was once founded by the Romans, has seen numerous sieges in its history before it developed into an independent community. After the merger with the Kingdom of Aragon in 1469, Barcelona became one of the most important cities in the country. Barcelona has always been the center of Catalan separatism and the center of the Catalan revolution that took place between 1640 and 1652.
Barcelona grew and prospered in the 19th century despite the devastation caused by the civil war. Mass immigration from other regions of Spain led to rapid urbanization. When the city became the site of the Olympic Games in 1992, Barcelona of the 20th century turned into a diverse and cosmopolitan city. In addition to investing in the new sports arenas, large sums were also invested in expanding the cultural offerings and infrastructure. Today Barcelona has become a major arts and culture center and one of the most popular destinations for city breaks in Europe.