Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is the second largest Spanish city in population and the principal industrial and commercial center of the country.

Barcelona is a charming, cosmopolitan port on the shores of the Mediterranean sea.

Spring is the best time to visit Barcelona, you can expect a temperature of round and about 20 degrees. During summer, it can get very hot (about 35 degrees) and crowded (because of the cultural events). City council : or

City guide:

The chief manufactures are textiles, precision instruments, machinery, railroad equipment, paper, glass, and plastics. Barcelona is a major Mediterranean port and a financial and publishing center of Spain.

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The best place to watch people go by, to stroll or simply relax, is 'Las Ramblas', a pedestrian street with dozens of outdoor cafes.

The oldest section of the city of Barcelona, formerly enclosed by walls, was built on the harbor and is traversed by the Rambla, a paved thoroughfare extending from the harbor to the Plaza de Cataluña, the focal point of the city. The streets of the old section are narrow and crooked; in the newer sections they are wide and straight, and the buildings are modern. Dominating Barcelona's skyscape are the fantastic openwork spires of Templo Expiatorio de la Sagrada Familia (Church of the Sacred Family), a huge, unfinished cathedral notable for the elaborate patterns and undulating curves characteristic of its builder, the Catalan architect Antonio Gaudí y Cornet. Other points of major interest include the Church of San Pablo del Campo (914), the Gothic Cathedral of Santa Eulalia, a monument to Christopher Columbus, and the nearby peak Tibidabo (532 m/1745 ft). Among the many cultural institutions are the University of Barcelona (1450), the Autonomous University of Barcelona (1968), the Royal Archives of Aragón, the Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Ancient Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Contemporary Art Museum.

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Catalans are known for their independent spirit and their sense of humour. Salvador Dali was a Catalan and his bizarre sense of humour is just one example of the region’s endearing weirdness.

According to legend, Barcelona was founded as Barcino about 230 BC by the Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca. The region became part of the Roman Empire in the 3rd century BC; it was ruled by the Visigoths in the 5th century AD, was conquered by the Moors in 713, and was captured by Charlemagne, King of the Franks, in 801. Under Frankish rule the city and the supporting region became the self-governing county of Catalonia, or Barcelona. The region was absorbed into the kingdom of Aragón in 1137. Barcelona thereafter gained in commercial and political importance as a Mediterranean trading and shipping center. Barcelona's prosperity diminished after the kingdoms of Aragón and Castile united in 1479 and subsequently imposed restrictive trade policies on the city. In 1833 Barcelona Province was established, with Barcelona as the provincial capital. In the 19th and 20th centuries Barcelona was a center of Catalan regionalism, anarchy, and industrial unrest. During the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) the city was the seat of the autonomous Catalan government and was a Loyalist stronghold. It was heavily bombed in 1938 by the insurgents, or Nationalists, who finally captured the city on January 26, 1939.

Barcelona's selection as the site for the 1992 Summer Olympics sparked a massive municipal redevelopment program.

Barcelona Province

The area of Barcelona Province is 7733 sq km (2986 sq mi); population (1986) 4,598,249. Population of city of Barcelona (1991) 1,625,542.

Barcelona Province, the most populous and industrialized of the Spanish provinces, is mountainous, with fertile plains and a low, sandy coast. Agricultural products include cork, olives, grains, vegetables, grapes, almonds, oranges, and peaches. Cement and textiles are the major manufactures, and lignite and potash are mined.

 See Barcelona: in March 2010

Major cities near Barcelona :

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