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.

Rome: Facts About the Capital of Italy

Here are some facts about Rome.

  • Rome has a population of almost 2.7 million and is Italy’s capital and largest city. It is located on the River Tiber, almost exactly in the middle of the country.
  • Rome was founded in 753 BC, and every April residents celebrate its founding. It may have been named after the twins Romulus and Remus who were cared for by a wolf.

  • The world’s smallest country, Vatican City, is surrounded entirely by Rome. It covers just 44 hectares and has its own post office, railway station, currency and police force.
  • Rome has featured in many films, including Spartacus, La Dolce Vita, Roman Holiday and Angels and Demons.
  • The city is twinned with Paris, and partner cities include Cairo, London and Tokyo.
  • Rome’s most famous building is the Colosseum, built in around 70 AD, for gladiator fights. The huge arena could hold 80,000 people and has influenced the design of many modern stadiums.
  • The Pantheon was built in 27 BC as a temple. It still has one of the largest unsupported concrete domes in the world, which measures 43 metres across.
  • St. Peter’s is the largest church in the world, and covers 21,000 square metres of floor space. It is almost 140 metres high and measures over 210 metres from front to back.
  • Two offbeat sites in Rome include the pasta museum, and the Park of the Monsters, containing scary figures carved out of rock.
  • The Trevi Fountain is one of the most famous in the world. An estimated 3,000 Euros are thrown into the fountain each day, and throwing in a coin is said to ensure a return to Rome.
  • There are at least 40 catacombs deep under Rome’s streets, stretching for over 250 km. The Capuchin crypt is decorated with the old bones of 4,000 dead monks.

Sweden: Facts and Information

Sweden Fact File

Location: Sweden is in Northern Europe and is part of Scandinavia. It has borders with Norway and Finland, and Denmark can be reached by bridge.

Capital: Stockholm (also the largest city in Sweden)

Population: 9.5 million (approx)

Area: 449,964 km sq

Currency: Swedish Krona

Official Language: Swedish


The Flag of Sweden

Flag of Sweden


Other Facts About Sweden

  • Vikings from Sweden, known as the Rus, travelled east and south from Sweden. During the 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th centuries they visited many places, such as: Finland, Russia, Belarus and Ukraine.
  • Sweden was officially neutral during both World War 1 and World War 2.
  • Sweden is a member of the European Union – it joined in 1995.
  • Some of the largest cities in Sweden are: Stockholm (the capital), Gothenburg, Malmo and Uppsala.
  • The Swedish language is very similar to Norwegian and Danish.
  • Many popular bands have come from Sweden, such as: ABBA, Roxette, The Cardigans and The Hives.
  • Astrid Lindgren, the author of the Pippi Longstocking stories, was born in Sweden.
  • Stieg Larsson, the writer of the Millennium crime trilogy, was from Sweden, as was the detective fiction writer, Henning Mankell.
  • Sweden is well-known for its meatballs (served with gravy and lingonberry jam), boiled crayfish and herring.
  • The actresses Ingrid Bergman and Greta Garbo were both Swedish.
  • Sport is incredibly popular in Sweden. Many famous sportsmen and sportswomen have come from Sweden, including: Bjorn Borg, Mats Wilander, Stefen Edberg and Robin Soderling (tennis), Carolina Kluft (athletics), Annika Sorenstam (golf), Henrick Larsson, Zlatan Ibrahimovic (football), and Ingemar Johansson (boxing).
  • The 1912 Summer Olympic Games were held in Sweden.
  • The mobile phone company Ericsson and the furniture chain IKEA are both Swedish companies, as are Electrolux and Zanussi.
  • Sweden has a good reputation in the field of car manufacture. Volvo and Saab are Swedish car manufacturers.
  • The Icehotel in Sweden is the first hotel made completely from blocks of ice. In the Spring the hotel melts.
  • There are about 100,000 lakes in Sweden.
  • A Smorgasbord is a lavish Swedish buffet.