Barcelona comp

Barcelona is a major city and Capital of the Catalonia (Catalunya) region of Spain. The region is quite nationalistic with their own language Catalan (Catala) and 6 million people speak it. All road signs and menus in the area are in Catalan and Spanish (or Castilian as it is also known). Barcelona sees itself as a cultural and political rival of Madrid and this rivalry can be seen in the football matches between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. Barcelona hosted the Olympics and a number of the artworks / sculptures that were commissioned for it brighten up the streets.

The city is sheltered by the hills and has a major port with boats that travel to the Balearic islands of Majorca, Ibiza and Menorca.

The skyline of Barcelona is dominated by the Sagrada Familia cathedral which is one of the most unique buildings in the world. It is the work of the influential modernist architect Antoni Gaudi and the building was begun in 1882 by Josep Nocabella Verdageur using a different architect with a Neo Gothic design but a year later Gaudi was commsioned and the whole design was transforrmed. It is still not finished today and Gaudis original plans were destroyed by anarchists during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s. After his death the work has continued, although there is some disagreement how close to his original plans the newer parts of the building are.

Park Gueil balcony

Gaudi was a very important architect and there are a number of other fantastic buildings designed by him in the city including the apartments on the top right and the Park Gueil that has some unique buildings such as the balcony just above.

The area that is the focal pont in Barcelona is around the main square Plaça Catalunya. In addition to the large shops and buildings, the most popular road is known as Las Ramblas, which is just off it. Las Ramblas means sand in Arabic as it was originally a sandy bed near some water. Later it became the main trading street and focal point. Las Ramblas has a number of Theatres and concert halls, there are street performers and restaurants. This area has not been over developed and is a labyrinth of narrow alleys with designer shops and boutiques on the ground floor. There are also some well preserved gothic buildings in the area.

Barcelona Museum

On Las ramblas there is Le Boqueria food market that sells a wonderful selection of fresh foods including fruit vegetables and meats. It also has some of the freshest finest fish and seafood you might ever see.

Barcelona has a number of other important historic buildings including the National Art Museum of Catalonia pictured above that has some good local art work in addition to other European collections.

Barcelona comp