City of Barcelona
Located on the shore of the Mediterranean in the northeastern part of the country, the Spanish city of Barcelona is the capital of the Autonomous Community of Catalonia. It is a major Spanish port and commercial center. Encircled by mountains, the city has a mild and pleasant climate.
The Spanish city of Barcelona was founded by the Carthaginians around the year 230 BCE. Like the rest of Spain, Barcelona invaded by first the Visigoths and then the Muslims. From the thirteenth through the fifteenth centuries Barcelona enjoyed a period of such magnificence that it became the most powerful city in the Mediterranean. The period from the fifteenth through the eighteenth centuries was marked by decline. With the Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth century, Barcelona began to recover its economic and cultural strength. During the twentieth century, the city witnessed important urban developments. The Olympic Games of 1992 helped to further invigorate the city. Today, Barcelona is a metropolis, and one of the focal points of European tourism.
The Spanish city of Barcelona is filled with landmark buildings and world-class museums. These include Antoni Gaudi’s famed Sagrada Familia, the Museu Picasso, the Gothic cathedral, and La Rambla (also known as Les Ramblas). La Rambla is a tree-lined boulevard running through the heart of Old Town. The walkway is full of street musicians, live statues, mimes and peddlers. The Expiatory Temple of the Sagrada Familia is the incomplete genius of Barcelona’s most well respected architect, Antonio Gaudi. He commenced this masterpiece in the year 1882.
The highlight of the Picasso collection at Museu Picasso is undoubtedly Las Meninas, a series of fifty nine interpretations of Velazquez’s masterpiece. Another key work is The Harlequin, a painting clearly influenced by the time the artist spent with the Ballet Russes in Paris. The waterfront of the Spanish city of Barcelona is an open area of boulevards, marinas, and modern eateries that stretches over several kilometers from the Columbus Monument to the Olympic Village and beyond. A stopover at the Montjuic Mountain in the south-west of Barcelona presents a panoramic view of the city centre.
The Spanish city of Barcelona celebrates certain significant and distinct festivals, such as St. George’s Day on April 23rd, which is its version of Valentine´s Day. While men traditionally give their girlfriends a rose on Valentine Day, the girls in Barcelona present their men with a book on St.George´s Day. Another popular tradition is the celebration of “Our Lady of La Merce Day,” which relates to the history when a plague of locusts were driven out from the city in 1687 by the Virgin of Mercy. This miracle has been celebrated ever since on the 24th day of September, as the celebration of “Our Lady of La Merce Day.” The streets are enlivened by musicians and performers, while symbolic giants walk in procession. Concerts and events also take place on this day, as well as on the preceding and following days.