A classic in the centre of Barcelona, located in Plaza Catalunya offers visitors a vision of the daily day to day lives of Barcelona's people in the city's nerve centre. Visitors have the capacity to access whichever element be ...more
This Best Western is located approximately six miles from Barcelona Airport and near to public train, coach, bus, and tube stations. Local attractions include Maremagnum leisure center, Olympic harbor, Montjuich Mountain ...more
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As the capital of autonomous Catalonia, Spain, Barcelona is the second largest Spanish city. It's also one of the most populous European cities, and the largest one to border the deep blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea.
Today the city boasts a population of over 1.5 million, second only to Madrid, and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of Spain and Europe more broadly; it is the fourth most-visited city in Europe and the 16th worldwide.
In fact, the beautiful landscape of rolling hills and the city's unique position face to face with the Mediterranean Sea has rendered it a popular destination as far back as 15 B.C. when the Roman Empire laid claim to the region.
History of Barcelona
Like most European cities and nations alike, the history of Barcelona has its roots in mythology when Hercules arrived from the lands of Africa with the idea of colonization in mind.
400 years later, the Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca conquered the lands and founded Barcino, after his family's name. Shortly after, in 15 B.C., the Roman rule of Barcino was established and lasted until the 5th century when the Visigoths conquered the city.
Much of the Roman influence was destroyed over the years, but even today remnants of the fortress wall that surrounded the old city of Barcino still stand. Additionally, the historic La Seu Cathedral was built in the footprints of a Roman cathedral constructed in 343 A.D. but later destroyed.
In the early 8th century, the city changed hands yet again and came under Muslim rule. Not long after, however, it was conquered once more, this time by the heir of Charlemagne in the year 801. Barcelona would then become a key territory in the Crown of Aragon.
It was during the time of the Crown of Aragon that Barcelona thrived, serving as the political and economic center for the western Mediterranean region. Much of the architecture in Barcelona's Gothic Quarter is a standing testament to the successes enjoyed during this medieval period.
The dark days of Barcelona's history occurred during the 15th to 18th centuries, when it fell under the rule of the Catholic Kings who were more concerned with imperialistic exploration than domestic opulence.
Following years of turmoil and civil conflict, it wasn't until the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century that Barcelona regained it's footing and went through a period of intellectual and cultural revolution. This was the period during which renowned artist and architect Antoni Gaudi lived and worked. His creations are today some of the most famous buildings and historic landmarks in all of Europe.
Because of the centuries of conquest in Barcelona's history, the city is a cornucopia of cultural influences, much of which is reflected in the architecture.
The city contains no less than eight UNESCO world heritage sites, and the architectural style ranges from Gothic to Modernista, with a healthy scattering of Roman influences as well.
Some of the most famous buildings include the Palau Reial Major, the official residence of the medieval Aragon dynasty, as well as Antoni Gaudi's Sagrada Família, the Palau Güell and Park Güell, as well as his Casa Milà.
Barcelona is also home to many world-renowned art museums, including the Picasso Museum and the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art.