BARCELONA

Barcelona is one of my favorite cities in the world. The fashion and people are just so effortlessly cool.

~Leigh Lezark

Barcelona city is the capital and largest city of Catalonia and Spain’s second largest city, with a population of over one and a half million people.

This city, located directly on the northeastern Mediterranean coast of Spain, has a rich history, having been under Roman, then Frank law before declaring its independence. It is the tallest peak of which is 512 meters (1,680 feet) high.

In 1992, Barcelona gained international recognition by hosting the Olympic games which brought a massive upturn in its tourism industry.

This had the effect of changing the city in ways that are still felt today with neighborhoods renovated (and in some cases leveled) and the intense focus of modern design permeating all aspects of life in Barcelona from public buildings to something as simple as a park bench or an event poster.

For visitors, this has translated into the very modern, yet incredibly old city you see now in the 21st century, where the new elements work to both preserve and celebrate the ancient.

This beautiful city is full of what European cities are known for (outdoor markets, restaurants, shops, museums, and churches) and is fantastic for walking with an extensive and reliable Metro system for more far-flung destinations. The core center of town focused around the Ciutat Vella (“Old City”) provides days of enjoyment for those looking to experience the life of Barcelona while the beaches the city was built upon provide sun and relaxation during the long periods of agreeably warm weather.

History of Barcelona city

The origin of the earliest settlement at the site of present-day Barcelona is unclear. The founding of Barcelona is the subject of two different legends.

Around 15 B.C., the Romans established the military camp of Faventia near the present-day Barcelona city hall. The colony was, at first, dwarfed in size by nearby Tarraco but soon grew large and prosperous, largely due to its excellent harbor. To this day, there are vestiges in Barcelona of its Roman past, many on display at the Barcelona City History Museum. In the city’s historic center, the original Roman street grid is still discernible.

By the 8th Century, Islamic invaders took the city, but in 801, the French wrested it back into Christian hands and made it the capital of a new buffer state called the “Hispanic March.

In 1469, Aragon was united to Castile, again by royal marriage, and Madrid instead of Barcelona became the capital of the Monarchy of Spain. When Spain gained a New World Empire, the importance of Mediterranean commerce, and thus of Barcelona, declined.

In 1931 Barcelona was one of the first cities to proclaim the Second Spanish Republic and it was declared the capital of the autonomous region of Catalonia the same year. In more recent decades, Barcelona, again the capital of the autonomous Catalonia, has gained importance as an economic center and as one of Europe’s busiest ports. In 1992, the city garnered attention by hosting the Summer Olympics.

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