After a while, dawn tinged the sky with amber, and Barcelona woke up. We heard the distant bells from the basilica of Santa Maria del Mar, just emerging from the mist on the other side of the harbour.’Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Capital of Spain from 1937 to 1939, Barcelona is the second most populous city on Spain. It is still up to this day capital of Catalonia. Barcelona is home of 9 UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Parc Güell, Palau Güell, Casa Milà (aka La Pedrera), Casa Vicens , La Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló, the Cryst of the Church at Colonia Güell -these 7 were Gaudi’s makings, the Palau de la Música Catalana and the Hospital de Sant Pau – designed by architect Lluis Domenech i Montaner.
Main airport: Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat Airport
Main railway stations:
- Barcelona-Sants railway station
- França railway station
Public transportation is extremely recommended in Barcelona. This is due to most areas of the city being Low Emission zones and driving and parking being restricted. The public transportation system has a travel card (Hola Barcelona), that can be used for unlimited trips on the metro, bus, tram, and train for 2 to 5 days and ranges from 16,40 € to 38,20 €.
Train and metro usually run from 5:00 to 24:00 and Fridays until 2:00.
The patron Saint of Barcelona is San Jordi (Saint George). Images of Jordi slaying a dragon are seen throughout the city.
“The first human settlements in Barcelona date back to Neolithic times. The city itself was founded by the Romans who set up a colony called Barcino at the end of the 1st century BC. The colony had some thousand inhabitants and was bounded by a defensive wall, the remains of which can still be seen in the old town.” www.barcelonaturisme.com
“The story goes that Guifré (Wilfred the Hairy, fighting for Louis the Pious in his siege of Barcelona, was badly wounded by the Saracens. As he lay in his tent after the victory, the king came to visit him and noticed Guifré’s shield, covered in gold leaf but without a blazon. What device could the king give his warrior? Louis dipped his fingers in Guifré’s blood and dragged them down the shield.” Hughes, Robert. Barcelona . Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
The legend of the origin of the Catalan flag and Barcelona FC jersey were born. Barcelona FC is the futbol team of Barcelona and is integrally tied to Catalan identity. During the reign of Franco, while the language was banned, the stadium of Barcelona, Camp Nou, was one of the only places Catalan could be heard. The supporters sang chants in Catalan.
There are two main eras of prosperity in Barcelona. Barcelona plays a crucial role in Mediterranean trade in the Gothic era and Barcelona sees an industrial and cultural rebirth with the advent of .Modernisme.
BASILICA DE LA SAGRADA FAMILIA
PALAU DE LA MUSICA
REFERENCES AND FURTHER READING
Barcelona Modernisme Route. https://rutadelmodernisme.com/en/
Barcelona Turisme. www.barcelonaturisme.com/wv3/en/
Hughes, Robert. Barcelona . Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. 1992.
Palau de la Música https://www.palaumusica.cat/en
Phillips, Jr, William D.; Rahn Phillips, Carla. A Concise History of Spain (Cambridge Concise Histories). Cambridge University Press, 2017.
Steves, Rick. Rick Steves Spain (Travel Guide). Avalon Travel, 2016.
UNESCO World Heritage Foundation. whc.unesco.org/
EDITOR AND LAST UPDATE
John William Bailly 27 June 2022
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