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Mayor Xavier Trias (CiU)
Municipality 101.9 km2 (39.3 sq mi)
• Urban 803 km2 (310 sq mi)
Elevation(AMSL) 12 m (39 ft)
Population (2009)
• Municipality 1,621,537 (city limits), 3,218,071 (Greater Barcelona)
• Density 15,991/km2 (41,420/sq mi)
• Urban 4,223,000 Increase
• Urban zone 4,440,629 Increase
• Metro 5,083,000 Increase
Demonym Barcelonan or Barcelonian
barceloní, barcelonina (ca)
barcelonés, barcelonesa (es)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
• Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 08001–08080
Area code +34 (Spain) 93 (City)
Official language(s) Catalan and Spanish

Barcelona is the administrative and economic capital of Catalonia, Province of Barcelona, of the county of El Barcelonès and its area and metropolitan area, in Spain.

It is the second largest city in Spain in terms of population and activities, the eleventh most populous city of the European Union and the sixth including its banlieue.

Located on the Mediterranean coast, it is crossed by the rivers Llobregat and Besòs and bordered to the west by the Serra de Collserola which rises to 512 meters (summit Tibidabo).

It is considered a global city because of its importance in the areas of finance, international trade, publishing, arts, entertainment and media. Barcelona is a major economic center which has moreover a major Mediterranean ports and the second behind the Spanish airport of Barajas. It is also the city that has the largest metropolitan park in the world, the Collserola Park, before the Central Park in New York.

Having been founded by the Romans, the city became the capital of the Counts of Barcelona and one of the major cities of the Crown of Aragon. Redesigned several times during its history, today it is a major tourist destination and has a unique cultural heritage. The Güell Palace (1984), Casa Mila, Park Güell, the Palau de la Música Catalana and Hospital de Sant Pau are also on the World Heritage List of UNESCO. In addition, the city is also known for hosting the Olympics in 1992 and, more recently, the headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean.


Las Ramblas, the true center of life

Las Ramblas is the iconic avenue and walk instead of linking Barcelona Plaça de Catalunya, the nerve center of the city, to the old port where stands the column of Christophe Colomb. It is characterized by its many booths dedicated to the press, but also the sale of flowers or animals. It is also the place of the living statues and a great place to eat, with many restaurants or cafes. At its center stands the adjacent covered market La Boqueria. It is complemented by a bridge, called the Rambla de Mar, to access the shopping center Maremagnum.

Barri Gòtic, the jewel of Old Town

At the heart of the Old Town, the Gòtic Quarter is the oldest neighborhood of Barcelona. It includes many of the medieval buildings including the Cathedral Sainte-Eulalie and houses several government buildings including the Casa de la Ciutat. The maze of alleys, emerges Plaça Nova with two cylindrical towers dating from the Roman period or the Plaça del Rei headquarters Palau Reial Major, the count’s residence and royal characterized by its streetlights, early works of Antoni Gaudí . Busy as well, the Plaça del Pi is one of the kingpins of the district extending to the edge of the Borne.

Eixample, showcase of modernism

L’Eixample result of a planned extension of the city by the architect Ildefons Cerdà within his Cerdà plan (in Catalan, eixamplar meaning «grow»). This is reflected on the ground by a very sensitive grid plan. Cerdà had divided the 9 km ² which constitute this part of the city in 550 blocks called poma, themselves interspersed with streets and boulevards perfectly parallel, with the exception of three avenues: the Meridian, in north, whose route north / south runs along a meridian, the Parallèle in south whose route east / west follows a parallel, and Avinguda Diagonal, which crosses the city from southwest to northeast.

There are a large number of modernist buildings, and in particular the famous Sagrada Familia, Antoni Gaudí’s unfinished work, begun more than a century ago.

Passeig de Gràcia

There is in Passeig de Gràcia the works of the three main Catalan architects:

  • Casa Ametller, by Josep Puig i Cadafalch;
  • Casa Batllo and La Pedrera, by Antoni Gaudí;
  • Casa Lleó Morera, by Lluis Domenech i Montaner.

This block of buildings is called the Illa de la Discordia (island of discord), because the greatest modernist architects are competing together.

The house is still the most famous Gaudi’s Casa Mila, also known as La Pedrera (“the quarry” in Catalan).

Casa Batllo, another masterpiece of Gaudí, is already a myth of the art. Behind an exceptional modernist, representing the waves of the sea after the lull, lies a world of surprises and a succession of fine architectural details … Casa Batllo was built in 1904.


The Ciutadella’ Parc is the place where the Expo was held in 1888. This time, there is the triumphal arch through which we entered the grounds of the museum and the current exhibition of Zoology which housed a coffee shop then. The park is named like this because Felipe V (representing the Bourbons during the War of Succession 1702-1717) built a fortress here by removing a neighborhood. It was used to monitor the population and especially to avoid some rebellion. In 1868 the fortress was destroyed to host the World Expo. Today in the park are in addition the zoology museum, a museum of geology, the former arsenal of the citadel which houses the Parliament of Catalonia, a cascade of Antoni Gaudí and Barcelona Zoo, where you can see dolphins.

Park Güell

This park is located on the heights of the city was commanded by Count Güell Gaudí: architecture and nature blend and complement in these places.


Castell de Montjuïc overlook the city and harbor with a magnificent view. A gondola can access it. Below is the Olympic site in 1992, and further down, the site of Expo 1929.

Sagrada Familia

Posthumous masterpiece of Antoni Gaudí, the Sagrada Familia cathedral became the emblem of Barcelona. Begun in 1882, construction is ongoing. Only the Nativity façade and four slender towers are now finally completed.

One issue that has attracted the most controversy about the Sagrada Família is its urban setting in Barcelona. When work begins, the site is located on vacant lots, but the church is quickly overtaken by the urbanization of the city. In 1905, Gaudí carried out a project to include the Sagrada Família in Jaussely Plan – the development plan of the northern districts of Barcelona and is designed to organize and contain the growth of the city. Gaudí then draws a diagram putting his Catholic church in the center of an octagonal star place with trees. This organization provides a long enough to enjoy the temple in its entirety. However, because the cost of land, the project is reduced to a star with four branches.

In 1902, the Veu de Catalunya published a drawing of the temple made by Joan Rubió i Bellver, Gaudí’s collaborator whose name is The realized dream. This design will be completed by the presentation at the Grand Palais in Paris on 15 April 1910 to 30 June 1910, a polychrome model 1:25 scale of the Nativity façade as well as drawings of the Place of the Estelada that Gaudí had proposed to the Barcelona City Council. Her project shows the distances required to obtain a perfect view of the temple with an angle of 30 degrees horizontally and vertically, so you’ll see the two sides at once. His proposal was not accepted.

Municipal archives preserve the plans from 1916 presented by Gaudí during council debates on development surrounding the temple. The final design retains no proposals of architect.

However, the Gaudí’s plan is not completely forgotten. In 1975, the Barcelona City Council is conducting a study that provides an urban area in a cross around the Sagrada Família, with four seats arranged in two parks. At this time, there are only two of these places and the creation of the two new involves demolition of many buildings. The project was postponed indefinitely.

In 1981, Gaudí place, in front of the Sagrada Família is equipped with a garden project by Nicolau Maria Rubió i Tudurí. The garden pond is designed to reflect the temple.


This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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