Barcelona: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about Barcelona:

  • Barcelona is Spain‘s second largest city and one of the most popular destinations in Europe. It has a population of about 1.6 million and is located on the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Legend says that Hercules founded the city, although it was probably founded by the Romans in about 15 BC. It grew in size and became an independent city state in the 12th century.

  • The city is the capital of the Catalan region of Spain. Catalans have always been fiercely independent, and the region has often voted to be a separate country from the rest of Spain.
  • The architect Antoni Gaudi was one of Barcelona’s most famous residents. His distinctive Art Nouveau type buildings can be seen all over the city, including Park Guell and Casa Mila.
  • Gaudi’s best known work is the still unfinished church, Sagrada Familia. The church has spectacular religious carvings and the front door features a carved donkey, modeled on a real donkey.
  • The centre of Barcelona is the Gothic Quarter, with medieval and Roman buildings. The area has dozens of cafes and bars, including Les Quatre Gats, site of Picasso‘s first art exhibition.
  • Barcelona has some of the world’s best beaches. It also has one of Europe’s oldest banks and was the first city to win a gold medal for its architecture.
  • Las Ramblas is the city’s famous 2 km long boulevard, always busy with shoppers, vendors and tourists. The Portal de l’Àngel is said to be Spain’s busiest street.
  • Barcelona drivers are said to be some of the worst in the world, with an accident about every 19 seconds. However, the city has over 130 hectares set aside for pedestrians.
  • The 1992 Olympic Games were held in Bareclona, helping to revitalize the city. A song written by Freddie Mercury of the rock group Queen became the song of the games.

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