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Barcelona

Barcelona

Overview
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 after Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

, and the capital  of Catalonia
Catalonia
Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, with the official status of a "nationality" of Spain. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an...

, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of 101.4 km² (39 sq mi). The urban area of Barcelona extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of between 4,200,000 and 4,500,000 on an area of 803 km² (310 sq mi), being the sixth-most populous urban area
Largest urban areas of the European Union
This is a list of all the urban areas of the European Union which have greater than 750,000 inhabitants each in 2011.This list is an attempt to present a consistent list of population figures for urban areas in the European Union. All the figures here have been compiled by Demographia.-Important...

 in the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 after Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, Ruhr area
Ruhr Area
The Ruhr, by German-speaking geographers and historians more accurately called Ruhr district or Ruhr region , is an urban area in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. With 4435 km² and a population of some 5.2 million , it is the largest urban agglomeration in Germany...

, Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

 and Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

.
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Timeline

1714   Siege of Barcelona: Barcelona, capital city of Catalonia, surrenders to Spanish and French Bourbon armies in the War of the Spanish Succession.

1861   The Canellas meteorite, an 859-gram chondrite-type meteorite, strikes the earth near Barcelona, Spain.

1939   Spanish Civil War: Troops loyal to nationalist General Francisco Franco and aided by Italy take Barcelona.

1957   Camp Nou, the largest stadium in Europe, is opened in Barcelona.

 
Encyclopedia
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 after Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

, and the capital  of Catalonia
Catalonia
Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, with the official status of a "nationality" of Spain. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an...

, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of 101.4 km² (39 sq mi). The urban area of Barcelona extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of between 4,200,000 and 4,500,000 on an area of 803 km² (310 sq mi), being the sixth-most populous urban area
Largest urban areas of the European Union
This is a list of all the urban areas of the European Union which have greater than 750,000 inhabitants each in 2011.This list is an attempt to present a consistent list of population figures for urban areas in the European Union. All the figures here have been compiled by Demographia.-Important...

 in the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 after Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, Ruhr area
Ruhr Area
The Ruhr, by German-speaking geographers and historians more accurately called Ruhr district or Ruhr region , is an urban area in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. With 4435 km² and a population of some 5.2 million , it is the largest urban agglomeration in Germany...

, Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

 and Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

. About five million people live in the Barcelona metropolitan area
Barcelona metropolitan area
This article is about the metropolitan area. For the administrative area, see Àrea Metropolitana de Barcelona .Barcelona metropolitan area is the metropolitan area in Catalonia, north of Spain, centered on the city of Barcelona...

. It is also Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

's largest metropolis on the Mediterranean coast. It is the main component of an administrative area of Greater Barcelona
Àrea Metropolitana de Barcelona
The Àrea Metropolitana de Barcelona , often referred to as Greater Barcelona, is administrative area integrated by three territorial executive bodies. As a whole they serve 36 municipalities and a population of 3,218,071 within an area of 636 km2...

, with a population of 3,218,071 in an area of 636 km² (density 5,060 hab/km²). It is located on the Mediterranean
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

 coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat
Llobregat
The Llobregat is the second longest river in Catalonia, Spain. It originates in Castellar de n'Hug at an altitude of 1,259 meters in the Serra del Cadí, and ends in the Mediterranean Sea, in the municipality of El Prat de Llobregat, near Barcelona...

 and Besòs and is bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola
Serra de Collserola
The Serra de Collserola , or simply Collserola, is a mountain range between the rivers Besòs and Llobregat. It is part of the Catalan Coastal Range....

 ridge (512 m (1,680 ft)).

Barcelona is today one of the world's leading tourist
Tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

, economic
Economy
An economy consists of the economic system of a country or other area; the labor, capital and land resources; and the manufacturing, trade, distribution, and consumption of goods and services of that area...

, trade fair
Trade fair
A trade fair is an exhibition organized so that companies in a specific industry can showcase and demonstrate their latest products, service, study activities of rivals and examine recent market trends and opportunities...

/exhibition
Exhibition
An exhibition, in the most general sense, is an organized presentation and display of a selection of items. In practice, exhibitions usually occur within museums, galleries and exhibition halls, and World's Fairs...

s and cultural
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

-sport
Sport
A Sport is all forms of physical activity which, through casual or organised participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical fitness and provide entertainment to participants. Sport may be competitive, where a winner or winners can be identified by objective means, and may require a degree...

s centres, and its influences in commerce
Commerce
While business refers to the value-creating activities of an organization for profit, commerce means the whole system of an economy that constitutes an environment for business. The system includes legal, economic, political, social, cultural, and technological systems that are in operation in any...

, education
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

, entertainment
Entertainment
Entertainment consists of any activity which provides a diversion or permits people to amuse themselves in their leisure time. Entertainment is generally passive, such as watching opera or a movie. Active forms of amusement, such as sports, are more often considered to be recreation...

, media
Mass media
Mass media refers collectively to all media technologies which are intended to reach a large audience via mass communication. Broadcast media transmit their information electronically and comprise of television, film and radio, movies, CDs, DVDs and some other gadgets like cameras or video consoles...

, fashion
Fashion
Fashion, a general term for a currently popular style or practice, especially in clothing, foot wear, or accessories. Fashion references to anything that is the current trend in look and dress up of a person...

, science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

, and the arts
ARts
aRts, which stands for analog Real time synthesizer, is an audio framework that is no longer under development. It is best known for previously being used in KDE to simulate an analog synthesizer....

 all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities
Global city
A global city is a city that is deemed to be an important node in the global economic system...

. Indeed, it is a major economic centre and a growing financial centre (Diagonal Mar area and Gran Via
Gran Via (Barcelona)
Gran Via - is a second major business district of Barcelona, after Diagonal Mar. Part of Fira de Barcelona, second largest trade fair and exhibition centres in Europe. Lies on borderline of Barcelona, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat and El Prat de Llobregat...

); one of Europe's principal Mediterranean
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

 port
Port
A port is a location on a coast or shore containing one or more harbors where ships can dock and transfer people or cargo to or from land....

s, can be found here as well as Barcelona international airport, which handles about 30 million passengers per year. It also boasts an extensive motorway network and is a hub of high-speed rail
High-speed rail
High-speed rail is a type of passenger rail transport that operates significantly faster than the normal speed of rail traffic. Specific definitions by the European Union include for upgraded track and or faster for new track, whilst in the United States, the U.S...

, particularly that which will link France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 with Spain. Barcelona is the 16th-most-visited city in the world and 4th most visited in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 after Paris, London, and Rome, with several million tourists every year. Barcelona is the 16th most "livable city" in the world according to lifestyle magazine Monocle
Monocle (2007 magazine)
Monocle is a lifestyle magazine and website founded by Tyler Brûlé, a Canadian journalist and entrepreneur. Described by CBC News reporter Harry Forestell as a "meeting between Foreign Policy and Vanity Fair", the magazine provides a globalist perspective on issues as fashion, international...

. Similarly, according to Innovation Analysts 2thinknow, Barcelona occupies 13th place in the world on Innovation Cities™ Global Index. It is the 4th richest city by GDP in the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 and 35th in the world with an output amounting to €177 billion, a figure nonetheless smaller than alternative estimates. Consequently, its GDP per capita output stands at €39,859 – some 44% higher than the European Union average and GDP per head is €80,894 according to Eurostat
Eurostat
Eurostat is a Directorate-General of the European Commission located in Luxembourg. Its main responsibilities are to provide the European Union with statistical information at European level and to promote the integration of statistical methods across the Member States of the European Union,...

. Similarly, the city of Barcelona stands in 29th place in a list of net personal earnings headed by Zurich
Zürich
Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zurich. It is located in central Switzerland at the northwestern tip of Lake Zurich...

. The city is Europe's 3rd and one of the world's most successful as a city brand, both in terms of reputation and assets. Barcelona is 7th most important fashion capital
Fashion capital
A Fashion City or Fashion Capital is a city where the fashion industry has a relevant and important position for the local economy. Production and exporting of fashion goods, as well as fashion events like fashion weeks, trade fairs and awards, boosts its economy and raises its annual revenue,...

 in the world. Also, the city is Europe's 4th best business city and fastest improving European city, with growing improved by 17% per year.

Founded as a Roman city, Barcelona became the capital of the Counts of Barcelona. After merging with the Kingdom of Aragon
Kingdom of Aragon
The Kingdom of Aragon was a medieval and early modern kingdom in the Iberian Peninsula, corresponding to the modern-day autonomous community of Aragon, in Spain...

, Barcelona became one of the most important cities of the Crown of Aragon
Crown of Aragon
The Crown of Aragon Corona d'Aragón Corona d'Aragó Corona Aragonum controlling a large portion of the present-day eastern Spain and southeastern France, as well as some of the major islands and mainland possessions stretching across the Mediterranean as far as Greece...

. Besieged several times during its history, Barcelona is today an important cultural centre and a major tourist destination
Tourist destination
A tourist destination is a city, town, or other area that is dependent to a significant extent on the revenues accruing from tourism. It may contain one or more tourist attractions and possibly some "tourist traps."...

 and has a rich cultural heritage
Cultural heritage
Cultural heritage is the legacy of physical artifacts and intangible attributes of a group or society that are inherited from past generations, maintained in the present and bestowed for the benefit of future generations...

. Particularly renowned are architectural works of Antoni Gaudí
Antoni Gaudí
Antoni Gaudí i Cornet was a Spanish Catalan architect and figurehead of Catalan Modernism. Gaudí's works reflect his highly individual and distinctive style and are largely concentrated in the Catalan capital of Barcelona, notably his magnum opus, the Sagrada Família.Much of Gaudí's work was...

 and Lluís Domènech i Montaner
Lluís Domènech i Montaner
Lluís Domènech i Montaner was a Spanish Catalan architect who was highly influential on Modernisme català, the Catalan Art Nouveau / Jugendstil movement. He was also a Catalan politician....

 that have been designated UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

s. The city is well known in recent times for the 1992 Summer Olympics
1992 Summer Olympics
The 1992 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the XXV Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event celebrated in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, in 1992. The International Olympic Committee voted in 1986 to separate the Summer and Winter Games, which had been held in the same...

. The headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean
Union for the Mediterranean
The Union for the Mediterranean is a multilateral partnership that encompasses 43 countries from Europe and the Mediterranean Basin: the 27 member states of the European Union and 16 Mediterranean partner countries from North Africa, the Middle East and the Balkans...

 is located in Barcelona.

As the capital of Catalonia
Catalonia
Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, with the official status of a "nationality" of Spain. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an...

, Barcelona houses the seat of the Catalan government, known as the Generalitat de Catalunya; of particular note are the executive branch
Government of Catalonia
The Government of Catalonia is the executive branch of the Generalitat de Catalunya. It is responsible for the political action, reglamentation and administration of the Generalitat....

, the parliament
Parliament of Catalonia
The Parliament of Catalonia is the unicameral legislature of Catalonia. It is formed by 135 members , who are elected every four years in ordinary period, or extraordinarily upon dissolution and call of elections by the President of Catalonia, by universal suffrage in proportional lists with four...

, and the Supreme Court
Supreme court
A supreme court is the highest court within the hierarchy of many legal jurisdictions. Other descriptions for such courts include court of last resort, instance court, judgment court, high court, or apex court...

 of Catalonia
Catalonia
Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, with the official status of a "nationality" of Spain. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an...

. The city is also the capital of the Province of Barcelona and the Barcelonès
Barcelonès
Barcelonès is the most economically important comarca of Catalonia, Spain. Its capital is Barcelona, which is also the capital of Catalonia.- Municipalities :Population figures are for 2009 .-External links:* *...

 comarca
Comarques of Catalonia
This is a list of the comarques of Catalonia . A comarca is roughly equivalent to a US "county" or a UK "district". However, in the context of Catalonia, the term "county" can be a bit misleading, because in medieval Catalonia, the most important rulers were counts, notably the Counts of Barcelona...

 (shire).

Names


The name Barcelona comes from the ancient Iberian Phoenician Barkeno, attested in an ancient coin inscription in Iberian script
Iberian scripts
The Iberian scripts are the Paleohispanic scripts that were used to represent the extinct Iberian language. Most of them are typologically very unusual in that they are semi-syllabic rather than purely alphabetic...

 as
, in Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek is the stage of the Greek language in the periods spanning the times c. 9th–6th centuries BC, , c. 5th–4th centuries BC , and the c. 3rd century BC – 6th century AD of ancient Greece and the ancient world; being predated in the 2nd millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek...

 sources as , Barkinṓn; and in Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 as Barcino, Barcilonum and Barceno.

During the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

, the city was variously known as Barchinona, Barçalona, Barchelona, and Barchenona.

Some sources say that the city could have been named after the Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca
Hamilcar Barca
Hamilcar Barca or Barcas was a Carthaginian general and statesman, leader of the Barcid family, and father of Hannibal, Hasdrubal and Mago. He was also father-in-law to Hasdrubal the Fair....

, who was supposed to have founded the city in the 3rd century BC.

History



The founding of Barcelona is the subject of two different legends. The first attributes the founding of the city to the mythological Hercules
Hercules
Hercules is the Roman name for Greek demigod Heracles, son of Zeus , and the mortal Alcmene...

 400 years before the building of Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

. The second legend attributes the foundation of the city directly to the historical Carthaginian
Carthage
Carthage , implying it was a 'new Tyre') is a major urban centre that has existed for nearly 3,000 years on the Gulf of Tunis, developing from a Phoenician colony of the 1st millennium BC...

 Hamilcar Barca
Hamilcar Barca
Hamilcar Barca or Barcas was a Carthaginian general and statesman, leader of the Barcid family, and father of Hannibal, Hasdrubal and Mago. He was also father-in-law to Hasdrubal the Fair....

, father of Hannibal, who named the city Barcino after his family in the 3rd century BC.

About 15 BC
15 BC
Year 15 BC was either a common year starting on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday or a leap year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar and a common year starting on Monday of the Proleptic Julian calendar...

, the Romans
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 redrew the town as a castrum
Castra
The Latin word castra, with its singular castrum, was used by the ancient Romans to mean buildings or plots of land reserved to or constructed for use as a military defensive position. The word appears in both Oscan and Umbrian as well as in Latin. It may have descended from Indo-European to Italic...

(Roman military camp) centred on the "Mons Taber", a little hill near the contemporary city hall (Plaça de Sant Jaume). Under the Romans, it was a colony with the surname of Faventia, or, in full, Colonia Faventia Julia Augusta Pia Barcino or Colonia Julia Augusta Faventia Paterna Barcino. Mela
Mela
Mela is a Sanskrit word meaning 'gathering' or 'to meet' or a Fair. It is used in the Indian subcontinent for all sizes of gathering and can be religious, commercial, cultural or sports. In rural traditions melas or village fairs were of great importance...

 mentions it among the small towns of the district, probably as it was eclipsed by its neighbour Tarraco
Tarragona
Tarragona is a city located in the south of Catalonia on the north-east of Spain, by the Mediterranean. It is the capital of the Spanish province of the same name and the capital of the Catalan comarca Tarragonès. In the medieval and modern times it was the capital of the Vegueria of Tarragona...

(modern Tarragona
Tarragona
Tarragona is a city located in the south of Catalonia on the north-east of Spain, by the Mediterranean. It is the capital of the Spanish province of the same name and the capital of the Catalan comarca Tarragonès. In the medieval and modern times it was the capital of the Vegueria of Tarragona...

), but it may be gathered from later writers that it gradually grew in wealth and consequence, favoured as it was with a beautiful situation and an excellent harbour. It enjoyed immunity from imperial burdens. The city minted its own coins; some from the era of Galba
Galba
Galba , was Roman Emperor for seven months from 68 to 69. Galba was the governor of Hispania Tarraconensis, and made a bid for the throne during the rebellion of Julius Vindex...

 survive.

Some important Roman ruins are exposed under the Plaça del Rei, entrance by the city museum (Museu d'Història de la Ciutat), and the typically Roman grid-planning is still visible today in the layout of the historical centre, the Barri Gòtic ("Gothic Quarter"). Some remaining fragments of the Roman walls have been incorporated into the cathedral. The cathedral, also known as basilica La Seu, is said to have been founded in 343. The city was conquered by the Visigoths in the early 5th century, becoming for a few years the capital of the whole Hispania
Hispania
Another theory holds that the name derives from Ezpanna, the Basque word for "border" or "edge", thus meaning the farthest area or place. Isidore of Sevilla considered Hispania derived from Hispalis....

. After being conquered by the Arabs in the early 8th century, it was reconquered in 801 by Charlemagne
Charlemagne
Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800...

's son Louis
Louis the Pious
Louis the Pious , also called the Fair, and the Debonaire, was the King of Aquitaine from 781. He was also King of the Franks and co-Emperor with his father, Charlemagne, from 813...

, who made Barcelona the seat of Carolingian "Spanish Marches
Marca Hispanica
The Marca Hispanica , also known as Spanish March or March of Barcelona was a buffer zone beyond the province of Septimania, created by Charlemagne in 795 as a defensive barrier between the Umayyad Moors of Al-Andalus and the Frankish Kingdom....

" (Marca Hispanica), a buffer zone
Buffer zone
A buffer zone is generally a zonal area that lies between two or more other areas , but depending on the type of buffer zone, the reason for it may be to segregate regions or to conjoin them....

 ruled by the Count of Barcelona.

The Counts of Barcelona became increasingly independent and expanded their territory to include all of Catalonia
Catalonia
Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, with the official status of a "nationality" of Spain. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an...

. In 1137, Aragon
Kingdom of Aragon
The Kingdom of Aragon was a medieval and early modern kingdom in the Iberian Peninsula, corresponding to the modern-day autonomous community of Aragon, in Spain...

 and the County of Barcelona merged by dynastic union
Dynastic union
A dynastic union is the combination by which two different states are governed by the same dynasty, while their boundaries, their laws and their interests remain distinct...

 by the marriage of Ramon Berenguer IV
Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Barcelona
Ramon Berenguer IV , sometimes called the Holy, was the Count of Barcelona who effected the union between the Kingdom of Aragon and the Principality of Catalonia into the Crown of Aragon....

 and Petronilla of Aragon
Petronila of Aragon
Petronilla of Aragon , whose name is also spelled Petronila or Petronella , was Queen regnant of Aragon from 1137 until 1164. She was the daughter and successor of Ramiro II by Agnes of Aquitaine...

, and their titles were finally borne by only one person when their son Alfonso II of Aragon
Alfonso II of Aragon
Alfonso II or Alfons I ; Huesca, 1-25 March 1157 – 25 April 1196), called the Chaste or the Troubadour, was the King of Aragon and Count of Barcelona from 1164 until his death. He was the son of Ramon Berenguer IV of Barcelona and Petronilla of Aragon and the first King of Aragon who was...

 ascended to the throne in 1162. His territories were later to be known as the Crown of Aragon
Crown of Aragon
The Crown of Aragon Corona d'Aragón Corona d'Aragó Corona Aragonum controlling a large portion of the present-day eastern Spain and southeastern France, as well as some of the major islands and mainland possessions stretching across the Mediterranean as far as Greece...

, which conquered many overseas possessions, ruling the western Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

 with outlying territories in Naples
Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

 and Sicily and as far as Athens
Duchy of Athens
The Duchy of Athens was one of the Crusader States set up in Greece after the conquest of the Byzantine Empire during the Fourth Crusade, encompassing the regions of Attica and Boeotia, and surviving until its conquest by the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century....

 in the 13th century. The forging of a dynastic link between the Crowns of Aragon and Castile
Crown of Castile
The Crown of Castile was a medieval and modern state in the Iberian Peninsula that formed in 1230 as a result of the third and definitive union of the crowns and parliaments of the kingdoms of Castile and León upon the accession of the then King Ferdinand III of Castile to the vacant Leonese throne...

 marked the beginning of Barcelona's decline.
The marriage of Ferdinand II of Aragon
Ferdinand II of Aragon
Ferdinand the Catholic was King of Aragon , Sicily , Naples , Valencia, Sardinia, and Navarre, Count of Barcelona, jure uxoris King of Castile and then regent of that country also from 1508 to his death, in the name of...

 and Isabella I of Castile
Isabella I of Castile
Isabella I was Queen of Castile and León. She and her husband Ferdinand II of Aragon brought stability to both kingdoms that became the basis for the unification of Spain. Later the two laid the foundations for the political unification of Spain under their grandson, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor...

 in 1469 united the two royal lines. The centre of political power became Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

 and the colonisation of the Americas
Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...

 reduced the financial importance (at least in relative terms) of Mediterranean trade. Barcelona was always the stronghold of Catalan separatism and was the center of the Catalan Revolt
Catalan Revolt
The Catalan Revolt affected a large part of the Catalan Principality of Catalonia between the years of 1640 and 1659. It had an enduring effect in the Treaty of the Pyrenees , which ceded the county of Roussillon and the northern half of the county of Cerdanya to France , thereby splitting the...

 (1640–52) against Philip IV of Spain
Philip IV of Spain
Philip IV was King of Spain between 1621 and 1665, sovereign of the Spanish Netherlands, and King of Portugal until 1640...

. The great plague
Black Death
The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350. Of several competing theories, the dominant explanation for the Black Death is the plague theory, which attributes the outbreak to the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Thought to have...

 of 1650–1654 halved the city's population. The Napoleonic wars
Peninsular War
The Peninsular War was a war between France and the allied powers of Spain, the United Kingdom, and Portugal for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war began when French and Spanish armies crossed Spain and invaded Portugal in 1807. Then, in 1808, France turned on its...

 left the province ravaged, but the postwar period saw the start of industrialization.

In the eighteenth century a fortress was built at Montjuïc
Montjuïc
Montjuïc is a hill located in Barcelona, Catalonia.-Etymology:Montjuïc is translated as 'Jew Hill' in medieval Catalan, or is perhaps related to the Latin phrase Mons Jovicus . The name is found in several locations in the Catalan Countries: the Catalan cities of Girona and Barcelona both have a...

 that overlooked the harbour. In 1794, this fortress was used by the French astronomer Pierre François André Méchain
Pierre Méchain
Pierre François André Méchain was a French astronomer and surveyor who, with Charles Messier, was a major contributor to the early study of deep sky objects and comets.-Life:...

 for observations relating to a survey stretching to Dunkirk that provided the basis of the metre
Metre
The metre , symbol m, is the base unit of length in the International System of Units . Originally intended to be one ten-millionth of the distance from the Earth's equator to the North Pole , its definition has been periodically refined to reflect growing knowledge of metrology...

. The definitive metre bar, manufactured from platinum, was presented to the French legislative assembly on 22 June 1799.

The resistance of Barcelona to Franco
Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco y Bahamonde was a Spanish general, dictator and head of state of Spain from October 1936 , and de facto regent of the nominally restored Kingdom of Spain from 1947 until his death in November, 1975...

's coup d'état was to have lasting effects after the defeat of the Republican government. The autonomous institutions of Catalonia
Catalonia
Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, with the official status of a "nationality" of Spain. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an...

 were abolished, and the use of the Catalan language
Catalan language
Catalan is a Romance language, the national and only official language of Andorra and a co-official language in the Spanish autonomous communities of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Valencian Community, where it is known as Valencian , as well as in the city of Alghero, on the Italian island...

 in public life was suppressed. Barcelona remained the second largest city in Spain, at the heart of a region which was relatively industrialised and prosperous, despite the devastation of the civil war
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

. The result was a large-scale immigration from poorer regions of Spain (particularly Andalucia, Murcia
Murcia
-History:It is widely believed that Murcia's name is derived from the Latin words of Myrtea or Murtea, meaning land of Myrtle , although it may also be a derivation of the word Murtia, which would mean Murtius Village...

 and Galicia), which in turn led to rapid urbanisation. Barcelona hosted the Olympic Games
Olympic Games
The Olympic Games is a major international event featuring summer and winter sports, in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games have come to be regarded as the world’s foremost sports competition where more than 200 nations participate...

 in 1992, which helped revitalize the city.

Geography



Barcelona is located on the northeast coast of the Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

, facing the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

, on a plateau approximately 5 km (3 mi) wide limited by the mountain range of Collserola
Serra de Collserola
The Serra de Collserola , or simply Collserola, is a mountain range between the rivers Besòs and Llobregat. It is part of the Catalan Coastal Range....

, the Llobregat
Llobregat
The Llobregat is the second longest river in Catalonia, Spain. It originates in Castellar de n'Hug at an altitude of 1,259 meters in the Serra del Cadí, and ends in the Mediterranean Sea, in the municipality of El Prat de Llobregat, near Barcelona...

 river to the southwest and the Besòs river to the north. This plateau has 170 km² (66 sq mi), of which 101 km² (38.9 sq mi) are occupied by the city itself. It is 120 km (75 mi) south of the Pyrenees
Pyrenees
The Pyrenees is a range of mountains in southwest Europe that forms a natural border between France and Spain...

 and the Catalonia
Catalonia
Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, with the official status of a "nationality" of Spain. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an...

n border with France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

.

Tibidabo
Tibidabo
Tibidabo is a mountain overlooking Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. At 512 meters it is the tallest mountain in the Serra de Collserola. Rising sharply to the north-west, it affords spectacular views over the city and the surrounding coastline....

, 512 m (1,680 ft) high, offers striking views over the city and is topped by the 288.4 m (946.2 ft) Torre de Collserola
Torre de Collserola
Torre de Collserola is a uniquely designed tower located on the Tibidabo hill in the Serra de Collserola, in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It was designed by architect Sir Norman Foster, and built in 1991 for the 1992 Summer Olympics. It features a pod for floor space like many towers but uses...

, a telecommunications tower
Radio masts and towers
Radio masts and towers are, typically, tall structures designed to support antennas for telecommunications and broadcasting, including television. They are among the tallest man-made structures...

 that is visible from most of the city. Barcelona is peppered with small hills, most of them urbanized and that gave their name to the neighbourhoods built upon them, such as Carmel
El Carmel
El Carmel , or simply Carmel, is a neighbourhood in the district of Horta-Guinardó, in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.Carmel is in the municipal district of Horta-Guinardó. The area was developed mainly in the 60s and 70s when immigrant workers, encouraged to move to Barcelona by the government of...

 (267 m), Putxet (181 m) and Rovira (261 m). The escarpment of Montjuïc
Montjuïc
Montjuïc is a hill located in Barcelona, Catalonia.-Etymology:Montjuïc is translated as 'Jew Hill' in medieval Catalan, or is perhaps related to the Latin phrase Mons Jovicus . The name is found in several locations in the Catalan Countries: the Catalan cities of Girona and Barcelona both have a...

 (173 m), situated to the southeast, overlooks the harbour and is topped by Montjuïc castle, a fortress built in the 17–18th centuries to control the city as a replacement for the Ciutadella. Today, the fortress is a museum and Montjuïc is home to several sporting and cultural venues, as well as Barcelona's biggest park and gardens.

The city borders are the municipalities of Santa Coloma de Gramenet
Santa Coloma de Gramenet
Santa Coloma de Gramenet is a city in Catalonia, Spain. It is situated on the south-east side of the Litoral range, with the Puig Castellar...

 and Sant Adrià de Besòs
Sant Adrià de Besòs
Sant Adrià de Besòs is a city in the comarca of the Barcelonès in Catalonia, northern Spain. It is situated at the mouth of the river Besòs, extending to both sides of the estuary. The original settlement with the parish church is on the left bank of the river, in the north of the municipal...

 to the north; the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

 to the east; El Prat de Llobregat
El Prat de Llobregat
El Prat de Llobregat , commonly known as El Prat, is a municipality in the comarca of Baix Llobregat inCatalonia, Spain. It is situated in the delta of the Llobregat river on the right bank, bordering the coast of the Mediterranean Sea between Barcelona and Viladecans. More than a quarter of the...

 and L'Hospitalet de Llobregat
L'Hospitalet de Llobregat
L'Hospitalet de Llobregat or briefly L'Hospitalet is a city to the immediate southwest of Barcelona in Catalonia, Spain, and the second largest in Catalonia by population...

 to the south; and Sant Feliu de Llobregat
Sant Feliu de Llobregat
Sant Feliu de Llobregat is a city and municipality in Catalonia, Spain, in the province of Barcelona. It is the capital of the comarca of Baix Llobregat, and the see of a Bishopric since June 2005, when the Archbishopric of Barcelona was divided in three....

, Sant Just Desvern
Sant Just Desvern
Sant Just Desvern is a town near Barcelona, in the comarca of the Baix Llobregat, Catalonia,....

, Esplugues de Llobregat
Esplugues de Llobregat
Esplugues de Llobregat is a municipality of the Barcelona metropolitan area. It belongs to the comarca of Baix Llobregat, Barcelona province, Catalonia, Spain. It has some schools, such as the German School of Barcelona and American School of Barcelona, which attract rich families, thus increasing...

, Sant Cugat del Vallès
Sant Cugat del Vallès
Sant Cugat del Vallès is a town and municipality north of Barcelona in Catalonia, Spain. In antiquity known as Castrum Octavianum, it is named after Saint Cucuphas, who is said to have been martyred on the spot now occupied by its medieval monastery.Sant Cugat has seen its population increase in...

, and Montcada i Reixac
Montcada i Reixac
Montcada i Reixac , often referred to as simply Montcada, is a municipality in the comarca of the Vallès Occidental inCatalonia, Spain. It is situated at the confluence of the Ripoll river and the Besós river, and very close to the northernmost neighbourhoods of the city of Barcelona and is...

 to the west.

Climate



Barcelona has a Mediterranean climate
Mediterranean climate
A Mediterranean climate is the climate typical of most of the lands in the Mediterranean Basin, and is a particular variety of subtropical climate...

 (Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

: Csa), with mild, humid winters and warm, dry summers.

Its average annual temperature is 20 °C (68 °F) during the day and 11 °C (51.8 °F) at night. Average annual temperature of sea is about 18 °C (64.4 °F). In the coldest month – January, typically the temperature ranges from 8 to 17 °C (46.4 to 62.6 F) during the day, 2 to 10 °C (35.6 to 50 F) at night and the average sea temperature is 13 °C (55.4 °F). In the warmest month – August, the typically temperature ranges from 25 to 31 °C (77 to 87.8 F) during the day, about 20 °C (68 °F) at night and the average sea temperature is 25 °C (77 °F). Generally – "summer's" / "holiday" season lasts about six months, from May to October. Two months – April and November – are transitional, sometimes temperature exceeds 20 °C (68 °F), with average temperature of 17–18 °C (62.6–64.4 F) during the day and 8–9 °C (46.4–48.2 F) at night. December, January and February are the coldest months, with average temperatures around 14 °C (57.2 °F) during the day and 5 °C (41 °F) at night. Large fluctuations in temperature are rare, particularly in summer months. Sunshine duration is 2,524 hours per year, from 138 (average 4.5 hours of sunshine at day) in December to 310 (average 10 hours of sunshine at day) in July.

Main sights



The Barri Gòtic ("Gothic Quarter" in Catalan) is the centre of the old city of Barcelona. Many of the buildings date from medieval times, some from as far back as the Roman settlement of Barcelona. Catalan modernisme
Modernisme
Modernisme was a cultural movement associated with the search for Catalan national identity. It is often understood as an equivalent to a number of fin-de-siècle art movements, such as Art Nouveau, Jugendstil, Secessionism, and Liberty style, and was active from roughly 1888 to 1911 Modernisme ...

architecture (often known as Art Nouveau
Art Nouveau
Art Nouveau is an international philosophy and style of art, architecture and applied art—especially the decorative arts—that were most popular during 1890–1910. The name "Art Nouveau" is French for "new art"...

 in the rest of Europe), developed between 1885 and 1950 and left an important legacy in Barcelona. A great number of these buildings are World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

s. Especially remarkable is the work of architect Antoni Gaudí
Antoni Gaudí
Antoni Gaudí i Cornet was a Spanish Catalan architect and figurehead of Catalan Modernism. Gaudí's works reflect his highly individual and distinctive style and are largely concentrated in the Catalan capital of Barcelona, notably his magnum opus, the Sagrada Família.Much of Gaudí's work was...

, which can be seen throughout the city. His best known work is the immense but still unfinished church of the Sagrada Família
Sagrada Familia
The ' , commonly known as the Sagrada Família, is a large Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí...

, which has been under construction since 1882, and is still financed by private donations. As of 2007, completion is planned for 2026.

Barcelona was also home to Mies van der Rohe
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was a German architect. He is commonly referred to and addressed as Mies, his surname....

's Barcelona Pavilion
Barcelona Pavilion
The Barcelona Pavilion , designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, was the German Pavilion for the 1929 International Exposition in Barcelona, Spain. This building was used for the official opening of the German section of the exhibition. It was an important building in the history of modern...

. Designed in 1929 for the International Exposition
1929 Barcelona International Exposition
The 1929 Barcelona International Exposition took place from 20 May 1929 to 15 January 1930 in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain...

 for Germany, it is an iconic building that came to symbolize modern architecture as the embodiment of van der Rohe's aphorisms "less is more" and "God is in the details." The Barcelona pavilion was intended as a temporary structure, and was torn down in 1930 less than a year after it was constructed. A modern re-creation by Spanish architects now stands in Barcelona, however, constructed in 1986.

Barcelona won the 1999 RIBA
Royal Institute of British Architects
The Royal Institute of British Architects is a professional body for architects primarily in the United Kingdom, but also internationally.-History:...

 Royal Gold Medal
Royal Gold Medal
The Royal Gold Medal for architecture is awarded annually by the Royal Institute of British Architects on behalf of the British monarch, in recognition of an individual's or group's substantial contribution to international architecture....

 for its architecture, the first (and as of 2009, only) time that the winner has been a city, and not an individual architect.

Heritage


In Barcelona there are several points of interest declared World Heritage by UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

:
Code Name Year Coordinates Image
320-001 Park Güell
Park Güell
Park Güell is a garden complex with architectural elements situated on the hill of El Carmel in the Gràcia district of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It was designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí and built in the years 1900 to 1914...

1984 41°24′59.6"N 2°09′07.9"E
320-002 Palau Güell
Palau Güell
The Palau Güell is a mansion in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí for the Catalan industrial tycoon Eusebi Güell.It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Works of Antoni Gaudí"....

1984 41.379183°N 2.174445°E
320-003 Casa Milà
Casa Milà
Casa Milà , better known as La Pedrera , is a building designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí and built during the years 1905–1910, being considered officially completed in 1912...

1984 41°23′51.3"N 2°09′46.9"E
320-004 Casa Vicens
Casa Vicens
Casa Vicens is a family residence in Barcelona , designed by Antoni Gaudí and built for industrialist Manuel Vicens. It was Gaudí's first important work. It was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Works of Antoni Gaudí" in 2005....

2005 41°22′50.5"N 2°10′30.6"E
320-005 Facade of the Nativity and crypt of the Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia
The ' , commonly known as the Sagrada Família, is a large Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí...

2005 41°24′19.8"N 2°10′30.2"E
320-006 Casa Batlló
Casa Batlló
Casa Batlló is a building restored by Antoni Gaudí and Josep Maria Jujol, built in the year 1877 and remodelled in the years 1904–1906; located at 43, Passeig de Gràcia , part of the Illa de la Discòrdia in the Eixample district of Barcelona, Spain...

2005 41°22′00.3"N 2°09′59.0"E
804-001 Palau de la Música Catalana
Palau de la Música Catalana
The Palau de la Música Catalana is a concert hall in Barcelona. Designed in the Catalan modernista style by the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, it was built between 1905 and 1908 for the Orfeó Català, a choral society founded in 1891 that was a leading force in the Catalan cultural movement...

1997 41°23′16"N 2°10′30"E
804-002 Hospital de Sant Pau
Hospital de Sant Pau
The present Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau in the neighborhood of El Guinardó, Barcelona, Catalonia , is a complex built between 1901 and 1930, designed by the Catalan modernist architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner. Together with Palau de la Música Catalana, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site...

1997 41°24′50"N 2°10′30"E

Historic buildings and monuments




  • Sagrada Família
    Sagrada Familia
    The ' , commonly known as the Sagrada Família, is a large Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí...

    , the international symbol of Barcelona
  • Palau de la Música Catalana
    Palau de la Música Catalana
    The Palau de la Música Catalana is a concert hall in Barcelona. Designed in the Catalan modernista style by the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, it was built between 1905 and 1908 for the Orfeó Català, a choral society founded in 1891 that was a leading force in the Catalan cultural movement...

     and Hospital de Sant Pau
    Hospital de Sant Pau
    The present Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau in the neighborhood of El Guinardó, Barcelona, Catalonia , is a complex built between 1901 and 1930, designed by the Catalan modernist architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner. Together with Palau de la Música Catalana, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site...

    , designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner
    Lluís Domènech i Montaner
    Lluís Domènech i Montaner was a Spanish Catalan architect who was highly influential on Modernisme català, the Catalan Art Nouveau / Jugendstil movement. He was also a Catalan politician....

    , included in the UNESCO Heritage List list in 1997.
  • Works by Antoni Gaudí
    Antoni Gaudí
    Antoni Gaudí i Cornet was a Spanish Catalan architect and figurehead of Catalan Modernism. Gaudí's works reflect his highly individual and distinctive style and are largely concentrated in the Catalan capital of Barcelona, notably his magnum opus, the Sagrada Família.Much of Gaudí's work was...

    , including Park Güell
    Park Güell
    Park Güell is a garden complex with architectural elements situated on the hill of El Carmel in the Gràcia district of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It was designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí and built in the years 1900 to 1914...

    , Palau Güell
    Palau Güell
    The Palau Güell is a mansion in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí for the Catalan industrial tycoon Eusebi Güell.It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Works of Antoni Gaudí"....

    , Casa Milà
    Casa Milà
    Casa Milà , better known as La Pedrera , is a building designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí and built during the years 1905–1910, being considered officially completed in 1912...

     (La Pedrera), Casa Vicens
    Casa Vicens
    Casa Vicens is a family residence in Barcelona , designed by Antoni Gaudí and built for industrialist Manuel Vicens. It was Gaudí's first important work. It was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Works of Antoni Gaudí" in 2005....

    , Sagrada Família
    Sagrada Familia
    The ' , commonly known as the Sagrada Família, is a large Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí...

     (Nativity façade and crypt), Casa Batlló
    Casa Batlló
    Casa Batlló is a building restored by Antoni Gaudí and Josep Maria Jujol, built in the year 1877 and remodelled in the years 1904–1906; located at 43, Passeig de Gràcia , part of the Illa de la Discòrdia in the Eixample district of Barcelona, Spain...

    , Crypt in Colonia Güell. The first three works were inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1984. The other four were added as extensions to the site in 2005.
  • The Cathedral of St. Eulalia
  • Church of Santa Maria del Mar (Gothic)
  • Gothic church of Santa Maria del Pi
  • Church of Sant Pau del Camp
    Sant Pau del Camp
    Sant Pau del Camp is a church and former monastery in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain...

  • Palau Reial Major
    Palau Reial Major
    The Palau Reial Major is a complex of historic buildings in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It was a residence of the counts of Barcelona and, later, of the Kings of Aragon. It is composed of three distinct edifices:...

    , medieval residence of the counts of Barcelona and the Kings of Aragon
    Kingdom of Aragon
    The Kingdom of Aragon was a medieval and early modern kingdom in the Iberian Peninsula, corresponding to the modern-day autonomous community of Aragon, in Spain...

  • The Columbus Monument
    Columbus Monument, Barcelona
    The Columbus Monument is a tall monument for Christopher Columbus at the lower end of La Rambla, Barcelona, Spain. It was constructed for the Exposición Universal de Barcelona and is located at the site where Columbus returned to Spain after his first voyage to the Americas...

  • Forum Building
    Forum Building
    The Forum Building , also known as Museu Blau de les Ciències Naturals, is an architectural landmark in Barcelona designed by the Swiss architects Jaques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron ,....

    , an example of contemporary architecture
  • The Arc de Triomf
    Arc de Triomf
    The Arc de Triomf is an archway structure in Barcelona, Spain. It was built for the Exposición Universal de Barcelona , as its main access gate by architect Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas.The arch is built in reddish brickwork in the Neo-Mudéjar style...

    , a triumphal arch
    Triumphal arch
    A triumphal arch is a monumental structure in the shape of an archway with one or more arched passageways, often designed to span a road. In its simplest form a triumphal arch consists of two massive piers connected by an arch, crowned with a flat entablature or attic on which a statue might be...

     built in 1888
  • Medieval church of Sant Pau del Camp
    Sant Pau del Camp
    Sant Pau del Camp is a church and former monastery in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain...


Museums



Barcelona has a great number of museums, which cover different areas and eras. The National Museum of Art of Catalonia
Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya
The Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya , abbreviated as MNAC, is a museum of Catalan visual art located in Barcelona, Catalonia. It is housed in the Palau Nacional, built for the 1929 World's Fair...

 possesses a well-known collection of Romanesque art
Romanesque art
Romanesque art refers to the art of Western Europe from approximately 1000 AD to the rise of the Gothic style in the 13th century, or later, depending on region. The preceding period is increasingly known as the Pre-Romanesque...

 while the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art
Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art
The Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art is situated in the Plaça dels Àngels, in El Raval, Ciutat Vella, Barcelona, Spain. The museum opened to the public on November 28, 1995. Its current director is Bartomeu Marí . Previous directors were Daniel Giralt-Miracle , Miguel Molins , Manuel J...

 focuses on post-1945
Post-war
A post-war period or postwar period is the interval immediately following the ending of a war and enduring as long as war does not resume. A post-war period can become an interwar period or interbellum when a war between the same parties resumes at a later date...

 Catalan and Spanish art
Spanish art
Spanish art is the visual art of Spain, and that of Spanish artists worldwide. Whilst an important contributor to Western art and producing many famous and influential artists Spanish art has often had distinctive characteristics and been assessed...

. The Fundació Joan Miró
Fundació Joan Miró
The ' is a museum of modern art honoring Joan Miró and located on the hill called Montjuïc in Barcelona, Catalonia.-History:...

, Picasso Museum
Museu Picasso
The Museu Picasso in Barcelona, Spain, has one of the most extensive collections of artworks by the 20th century Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. This is one of the most popular and most visited museums in Barcelona. The museum is housed in five adjoining medieval palaces in Barcelona's La Ribera.The...

 and Fundació Antoni Tàpies
Fundació Antoni Tàpies
The Fundació Antoni Tàpies is a cultural center and museum, located in Carrer d'Aragó, in Barcelona, Catalonia , dedicated mainly to the life and works of the painter Antoni Tàpies....

 hold important collections of these world-renowned artists.

Several museums cover the fields of history and archeology, like the City History Museum, the Museum of the History of Catalonia
History of Catalonia
The territory that now constitutes the autonomous community of Catalonia in Spain, and the adjoining Catalan region of France, was first settled during the Middle Palaeolithic...

, the Archeology Museum of Catalonia
Archaeology Museum of Catalonia
The Archaeology Museum of Catalonia was created under the Museums of Catalonia Act in 1990 by the Department of Culture of the Government of the Spanish of Catalonia, in Spain. The head office is located in the former Palace of Graphic Arts, which was built for the 1929 World's Fair, in Barcelona...

, the Barcelona Maritime Museum
Maritime museum
A maritime museum is a museum specializing in the display of objects relating to ships and travel on large bodies of water...

 and the private-owned Egyptian Museum. The Erotic museum of Barcelona is among the most peculiar ones, while Cosmocaixa is a science museum
Science museum
A science museum or a science centre is a museum devoted primarily to science. Older science museums tended to concentrate on static displays of objects related to natural history, paleontology, geology, industry and industrial machinery, etc. Modern trends in museology have broadened the range of...

 that received the European Museum of the Year Award
European Museum of the Year Award
The European Museum of the Year Award , established in 1977, is presented each year by the European Museum Forum , under the Council of Europe...

 in 2006.

Parks


Barcelona contains 68 municipal parks, divided into 12 historic parks, 5 thematic (botanical) parks, 45 urban park
Urban park
An urban park, is also known as a municipal park or a public park, public open space or municipal gardens , is a park in cities and other incorporated places to offer recreation and green space to residents of, and visitors to, the municipality...

s and 6 forest parks. They range from vest-pocket parks to large recreation areas. The urban parks alone cover 10% of the city (549.7 ha (1,358.3 acre)). The total park surface grows about 10 ha (25 acre) per year, with a proportion of 18.1 square metres (195 sq ft) of park area per inhabitant.

Of Barcelona's parks, Montjuïc
Montjuïc
Montjuïc is a hill located in Barcelona, Catalonia.-Etymology:Montjuïc is translated as 'Jew Hill' in medieval Catalan, or is perhaps related to the Latin phrase Mons Jovicus . The name is found in several locations in the Catalan Countries: the Catalan cities of Girona and Barcelona both have a...

 is the largest, with 203 ha
Hectare
The hectare is a metric unit of area defined as 10,000 square metres , and primarily used in the measurement of land. In 1795, when the metric system was introduced, the are was defined as being 100 square metres and the hectare was thus 100 ares or 1/100 km2...

 located on the mountain of the same name. It is followed by Parc de la Ciutadella
Parc de la Ciutadella
The Parc de la Ciutadella is a park in Ciutat Vella, Barcelona, Spain. After its establishment during the mid 19 century, it was for decades the only green area in the city, and hitherto of the most popular...

 (situated in the place of the old military citadel
Citadel
A citadel is a fortress for protecting a town, sometimes incorporating a castle. The term derives from the same Latin root as the word "city", civis, meaning citizen....

 and which houses the Parliament
Parliament of Catalonia
The Parliament of Catalonia is the unicameral legislature of Catalonia. It is formed by 135 members , who are elected every four years in ordinary period, or extraordinarily upon dissolution and call of elections by the President of Catalonia, by universal suffrage in proportional lists with four...

 building, the Barcelona Zoo
Barcelona Zoo
Barcelona Zoo is a zoo in the Parc de la Ciutadella in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain...

 and several museums; 31 ha (76.6 acre) including the zoo), the Guinardó Park (19 ha (46.9 acre)), Park Güell
Park Güell
Park Güell is a garden complex with architectural elements situated on the hill of El Carmel in the Gràcia district of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It was designed by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí and built in the years 1900 to 1914...

 (designed by Antoni Gaudí
Antoni Gaudí
Antoni Gaudí i Cornet was a Spanish Catalan architect and figurehead of Catalan Modernism. Gaudí's works reflect his highly individual and distinctive style and are largely concentrated in the Catalan capital of Barcelona, notably his magnum opus, the Sagrada Família.Much of Gaudí's work was...

; 17.2 ha (42.5 acre)), Oreneta Castle Park (also 17.2 ha (42.5 acre)), Diagonal Mar Park (13.3 ha (32.9 acre), inaugurated in 2002), Nou Barris Central Park (13.2 ha (32.6 acre)), Can Dragó Sports Park and Poblenou Park (both 11.9 ha (29.4 acre)) and the Labyrinth Park
Parc del Laberint d'Horta
The Parc del Laberint d'Horta del Laberint d'Horta) is an historical garden in the Horta-Guinardó district in Barcelona, and the oldest of its kind in the city...

 (9.1 ha (22.5 acre)), named after the garden maze it contains. A part of the Collserolla Park is also within the city limits.

Beaches



Beach in Barcelona gained status as the best urban beach in the World according to National Geographic and Discovery Channel
Discovery Channel
Discovery Channel is an American satellite and cable specialty channel , founded by John Hendricks and distributed by Discovery Communications. It is a publicly traded company run by CEO David Zaslav...

, with total third best beach in the World. Barcelona contains seven beaches, totalling 4.5 km (2.8 mi) of coastline. Sant Sebastià and Barceloneta beaches, both 1100 m (3,608.9 ft) in length, are the largest, oldest and the most frequented beaches in Barcelona. The Olympic Port separates them from the other city beaches: Nova Icària, Bogatell, Mar Bella, Nova Mar Bella and Llevant. These beaches (ranging from 400 to 640 m/1,300 to 2,100 ft) were opened as a result of the city restructuring to host the 1992 Summer Olympics
1992 Summer Olympics
The 1992 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the XXV Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event celebrated in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, in 1992. The International Olympic Committee voted in 1986 to separate the Summer and Winter Games, which had been held in the same...

, when a great number of industrial buildings were demolished. At present, the beach sand is replenished from quarries given that storms regularly remove large quantities of material. The 2004 Universal Forum of Cultures
2004 Universal Forum of Cultures
The 2004 Universal Forum of Cultures - was a 141-day international event that took place in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain from May 9 to September 26, 2004.-History:...

 left the city a large concrete bathing zone on the eastmost part of the city's coastline.

Other


The area around the Plaça Catalunya
Plaça de Catalunya, Barcelona
Plaça de Catalunya is a large square in central Barcelona that is generally considered to be both its city centre and the place where the old city and the 19th century-built Eixample meet....

 makes up the city's historical centre and, alongside the upper half of Avinguda Diagonal
Avinguda Diagonal, Barcelona
Avinguda Diagonal is the name of one of Barcelona's broadest and most important avenues. It cuts the city in two, diagonally from west to east , hence the name....

, is the main commercial area of the city. Barcelona has several commercial complexes, like L'Illa in the higher part of the Diagonal avenue and Diagonal Mar
Diagonal Mar i Front Marítim del Poblenou
Diagonal Mar i Front Marítim del Poblenou is a neighborhood in the Sant Martí district of Barcelona, Catalonia .The area between the seafront, Sant Adrià de Besòs and the Besòs river was previously made up of slums and poor areas surrounding the neighbourhoods of La Mina, El Maresme and Poblenou...

 in the lowest, La Maquinista, Glòries
Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes, Barcelona
Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes , most often shortened to Glòries, is a large square in Barcelona, first designed by Ildefons Cerdà to serve as the city centre in his original urban plan , but nowadays relegated to quite a secondary position...

 in the place of the same name and the Maremagnum by the port.

Barcelona has several skyscrapers, the tallest being the Hotel Arts
Hotel Arts
The Hotel Arts is a 44-story, 483 room luxury hotel on the seafront of Barcelona, in Catalonia.Contrary to popular belief, it was not built to service the 1992 Summer Olympics, though its construction was part of the big changes underwent by the city to prepare the Games. It remains one of the...

 and its twin the Torre Mapfre
Torre Mapfre
Torre Mapfre is a skyscraper in the Port Olímpic , the maritime neighborhood of the Old City of Barcelona in Spain. It is named after its owner, Mapfre, an insurance company....

, both 154 m (505 ft) high, followed by the, Torre Agbar
Torre Agbar
The Torre Agbar is a 38-storey tower located between Avinguda Diagonal and Carrer Badajoz, near Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes, which marks the gateway to the new technological district of Barcelona, Spain. It was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel in association with the Spanish firm B720...

 144 m (472 ft) and the newest W Barcelona Hotel. Barcelona is situated 125 km from the ski resorts of the Pyrenées
Pyrenees
The Pyrenees is a range of mountains in southwest Europe that forms a natural border between France and Spain...

. The skyline of the city is decorated in winter by the summit (1712 m (5,616.8 ft) high) of the Montseny
Montseny
Montseny is a mountain range west of the coastal hills north of Barcelona. It is part of the Catalan Pre-Coastal Range.-Features:The Montseny massif is located within a triangle formed by the AP-7, C-17 and C-25 roads. It has the highest mountains in the area south of the Pyrenees and dominates...

 massif, normally covered by snow.

Demographics



According to Barcelona's City Council, Barcelona's population as of 1 June 2006 was
1,673,075 people, while the population of the urban area
Urban area
An urban area is characterized by higher population density and vast human features in comparison to areas surrounding it. Urban areas may be cities, towns or conurbations, but the term is not commonly extended to rural settlements such as villages and hamlets.Urban areas are created and further...

 was 4,210,000. It is the central nucleus of the Barcelona metropolitan area
Barcelona metropolitan area
This article is about the metropolitan area. For the administrative area, see Àrea Metropolitana de Barcelona .Barcelona metropolitan area is the metropolitan area in Catalonia, north of Spain, centered on the city of Barcelona...

, which relies on a population of 5,083,000.

The population density
Population density
Population density is a measurement of population per unit area or unit volume. It is frequently applied to living organisms, and particularly to humans...

 of Barcelona was 15779 PD/km2, with Eixample
Eixample
The Eixample is a district of Barcelona between the old city and what were once surrounding small towns , constructed in the 19th and early 20th centuries....

 being the most populated district. 62% of the inhabitants were born in Catalonia
Catalonia
Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, with the official status of a "nationality" of Spain. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an...

, with a 23.5% coming from the rest of Spain. Of the 13.9% from other countries, a proportion which has more than tripled since 2001 when it was 3.9%, the majority come from (in order) Ecuador
Ecuador
Ecuador , officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and by the Pacific Ocean to the west. It is one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border...

, Peru
Peru
Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

, Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

, Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

, Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

, Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 and China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

.

As the national language, Spanish is understood almost universally in Barcelona. 95% of the population understand Catalonia's native Catalan language
Catalan language
Catalan is a Romance language, the national and only official language of Andorra and a co-official language in the Spanish autonomous communities of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Valencian Community, where it is known as Valencian , as well as in the city of Alghero, on the Italian island...

, while 74.6% can speak it, 75% can read it, and 47.1% can write it, thanks to the linguistic immersion educational system
Education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

. While most of the population state they are Roman Catholic (208 churches), there are also a number of other groups, including Evangelical
Evangelicalism
Evangelicalism is a Protestant Christian movement which began in Great Britain in the 1730s and gained popularity in the United States during the series of Great Awakenings of the 18th and 19th century.Its key commitments are:...

 (71 locations, mostly professed by Roma), Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity. The religion reports worldwide membership of over 7 million adherents involved in evangelism, convention attendance of over 12 million, and annual...

 (21 Kingdom Hall
Kingdom Hall
A Kingdom Hall is a place of worship used by Jehovah's Witnesses. The term was first suggested in 1935 by Joseph Franklin Rutherford, then president of the Watch Tower Society, for a building in Hawaii...

s) and Buddhists
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 (13 locations), and a number of Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s due to immigration
Immigration
Immigration is the act of foreigners passing or coming into a country for the purpose of permanent residence...

.

In 1900, Barcelona had a population of 533,000 people, which grew steadily but slowly until 1950, when it started absorbing a high number of people from other less-industrialized parts of Spain. Barcelona's population peaked in 1979 with 1,906,998 people, and fell throughout the 1980s and 1990s as more people sought a higher quality of life
Quality of life
The term quality of life is used to evaluate the general well-being of individuals and societies. The term is used in a wide range of contexts, including the fields of international development, healthcare, and politics. Quality of life should not be confused with the concept of standard of...

 in outlying cities in the Barcelona Metropolitan Area. After bottoming out in 2000 with 1,496,266 people, the city's population began to rise again as younger people started to return, causing a great increase in housing prices.

Population density



Note: This text is entirely based on the municipal statistical database provided by the city council.

Barcelona is one of the most densely populated cities in Europe. For the year 2008 the city council calculated the population to 1,628,090 living in the 102.2 km2 sized municipality, giving the city an average population density of 15,926 inhabitants per square kilometre.

In the case of Barcelona though, the land distribution is extremely uneven. Half of the municipality or 50.2 km2, all of it located on the municipal edge is made up of the ten least densely populated neighbourhoods containing less than 10% of the city's population, the uninhabited Zona Franca
Zona Franca (Barcelona)
Zona Franca is a logistics and industrial area located in the Sants-Montjuïc district of Barcelona, Catalonia . It is near the C-31 road and la Marina de Sants , el Prat de Llobregat and l'Hospitalet de Llobregat...

 industrial area and Montjuïc
Montjuïc
Montjuïc is a hill located in Barcelona, Catalonia.-Etymology:Montjuïc is translated as 'Jew Hill' in medieval Catalan, or is perhaps related to the Latin phrase Mons Jovicus . The name is found in several locations in the Catalan Countries: the Catalan cities of Girona and Barcelona both have a...

 forest park. Leaving the remaining 90% or slightly below 1.5 million inhabitants living on the remaining 52 square kilometres at an average density close to 28,500 inhabitants per square kilometre.

Of the 73 neighbourhoods in the city, 45 had a population density above 20,000 inhabitants per square kilometre with a combined population of 1,313,424 inhabitants living on 38.6 km2 at an average density of 33,987 inhabitants per square km. The 30 most densely populated neighbourhoods accounted for 57.5% of the city population occupying only 22,7% of the municipality, or in other words, 936,406 people living at an average density of 40,322 inhabitants per square kilometre. The city's highest density is found at and around the neighbourhood of la Sagrada Família
Sagrada Família, Barcelona
Sagrada Família is a neighborhood in the Eixample district of Barcelona, Catalonia . Its name comes from the temple of the Sagrada Família, work of Antoni Gaudí, which can be found in the center of the neighborhood....

 where four of the city's most densely populated neighbourhoods are located side by side, all with a population density above 50,000 inhabitants per square kilometre.

Economy


The Barcelona metropolitan area comprises over 66% of the people in one of the richest regions in Southern Europe
Southern Europe
The term Southern Europe, at its most general definition, is used to mean "all countries in the south of Europe". However, the concept, at different times, has had different meanings, providing additional political, linguistic and cultural context to the definition in addition to the typical...

 – Catalonia, with a GDP
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....

 PPP
Purchasing power parity
In economics, purchasing power parity is a condition between countries where an amount of money has the same purchasing power in different countries. The prices of the goods between the countries would only reflect the exchange rates...

 per capita amounting to
Euro
The euro is the official currency of the eurozone: 17 of the 27 member states of the European Union. It is also the currency used by the Institutions of the European Union. The eurozone consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg,...

30,700 European Union's GDP PPP per capita). Furthermore, the Barcelona metropolitan area has a GDP amounting €177 billion what is equivalent to €35,975 in per capita terms.

Barcelona has a long-standing mercantile tradition. Less well known is that the region was one of the earliest to begin industrialization in continental Europe
Continental Europe
Continental Europe, also referred to as mainland Europe or simply the Continent, is the continent of Europe, explicitly excluding European islands....

, beginning with textile related works from the mid 1780s but really gathering momentum in the mid 19th century, when it became a major centre for the production of textiles and machinery. Since then, manufacturing has played a large role in its history. The traditional importance in textiles is reflected in Barcelona's repeated attempts to become a major fashion centre. In summer 2000, the city became a host for the prestigious Bread & Butter urban fashion fair until 2009 when it was announced that it would be held again on Berlin. This was a hard blow for the city as the fair brought €100 m to the city in just three days. There have been many attempts to launch Barcelona as a fashion capital, notably Gaudi Home. The Brandery
The Brandery
The Brandery is an urban fashion show, organized by Fira de Barcelona and held twice a year, in summer and winter. The first edition was held in July 2009 at the Montjuïc exhibition site in Barcelona and was initially addressed exclusively to professional visitors.- History :The first edition had...

, an urban fashion show, is held in Barcelona twice a year.

As in other modern cities, the manufacturing sector has long since been overtaken by the services sector, though it remains very important. The region's leading industries today are textiles, chemical, pharmaceutical, motor, electronic, printing, logistics, publishing, telecommunications and information technology
Information technology
Information technology is the acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of vocal, pictorial, textual and numerical information by a microelectronics-based combination of computing and telecommunications...

 services.

Drawing upon its tradition of creative art and craftsmanship, Barcelona is nowadays also known for its award-winning industrial design
Industrial design
Industrial design is the use of a combination of applied art and applied science to improve the aesthetics, ergonomics, and usability of a product, but it may also be used to improve the product's marketability and production...

. It also has several congress halls, notably Fira de Barcelona
Fira de Barcelona
Fira de Barcelona is a trade fair ground and organizer that was officially constituted in 1932 in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It is publicly owned company with autonomous management, organizing more than 80 trade shows, bringing together 40,000 companies and receiving three and a half million...

 (Trade Fair) - second largest trade fair and exhibition centres in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

, that host a quickly growing number of national and international events each year, which had also meant the opening of new hotels each year. However, the economic crisis and deep cuts in business travel are affecting the Council's positioning of the city as a convention centre.

An important business centre in Barcelona, the World Trade Center Barcelona
World Trade Center Barcelona
World Trade Center Barcelona is a business park located in Barcelona, opened on July 22, 1999. This business center is located on the waterfront close to the city center, and has 40,000 m² of rented office and a conference center, conventions and meeting spaces with 20 different rooms.WTCB building...

, is located in Barcelona's harbour Port Vell
Port Vell
Port Vell is a waterfront harbour in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, and part of the Port of Barcelona. It was built as part of an urban renewal program prior to the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Before this, it was a run-down area of empty warehouses, railroad yards, and factories...

.

Infrastructures impact on the economy



Fira de Barcelona


The Fira de Barcelona
Fira de Barcelona
Fira de Barcelona is a trade fair ground and organizer that was officially constituted in 1932 in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It is publicly owned company with autonomous management, organizing more than 80 trade shows, bringing together 40,000 companies and receiving three and a half million...

, Barcelona trade show
Fira de Barcelona
Fira de Barcelona is a trade fair ground and organizer that was officially constituted in 1932 in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It is publicly owned company with autonomous management, organizing more than 80 trade shows, bringing together 40,000 companies and receiving three and a half million...

, organized numerous exhibitions, shows, congresses and fairs for professionals, some of which are among the first in the world, as the Mobile World Congress
Mobile World Congress
The GSMA Mobile World Congress is the combination of the world's largest exhibition for the mobile industry and a conference featuring prominent Chief Executives representing mobile operators, device manufacturers, technology providers, vendors and content owners from across the world...

, which is the largest in the world in its sector, the urban fashion fair The Brandery
The Brandery
The Brandery is an urban fashion show, organized by Fira de Barcelona and held twice a year, in summer and winter. The first edition was held in July 2009 at the Montjuïc exhibition site in Barcelona and was initially addressed exclusively to professional visitors.- History :The first edition had...

, or the fair construction
Construmat on a biannual basis. These and other shows makes it one of the most important fairs of Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 and former Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 with over 3.5 million annual visitors,

Fira de Barcelona is a trade fair
Trade fair
A trade fair is an exhibition organized so that companies in a specific industry can showcase and demonstrate their latest products, service, study activities of rivals and examine recent market trends and opportunities...

 ground and organizer that was officially constituted in 1932 in Barcelona
Barcelona
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after Madrid, and the capital of Catalonia, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of...

, Catalonia
Catalonia
Catalonia is an autonomous community in northeastern Spain, with the official status of a "nationality" of Spain. Catalonia comprises four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. Its capital and largest city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an...

, Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

. It is publicly owned company with autonomous management, organizing more than 80 trade shows, bringing together 40,000 companies and receiving three and a half million visitors.

Fira de Barcelona has 365,000 m2 of exhibition floor space, one of the largest areas in Europe, divided into two exhibition centres, the initial one at Montjuïc
Montjuïc
Montjuïc is a hill located in Barcelona, Catalonia.-Etymology:Montjuïc is translated as 'Jew Hill' in medieval Catalan, or is perhaps related to the Latin phrase Mons Jovicus . The name is found in several locations in the Catalan Countries: the Catalan cities of Girona and Barcelona both have a...

 (165,000m2 of exhibition floor space, 50,000 outdoor) and the new one at the Gran Via
Gran Via (Barcelona)
Gran Via - is a second major business district of Barcelona, after Diagonal Mar. Part of Fira de Barcelona, second largest trade fair and exhibition centres in Europe. Lies on borderline of Barcelona, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat and El Prat de Llobregat...

 business district, opened in 2007 close to Hospitalet de Llobregat (200,000m2 exhibition floor space).

Port of Barcelona


Even today, the Port of Barcelona is an economic engine of the city. It has become in recent years one of the largest ports in the Mediterranean
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

 in freight tonnage and number of Freight traffic from the port of Barcelona and fishing canneries where they settle in Spain, like USIS (based on over a thousand miles away in Isla Cristina
Isla Cristina
Isla Cristina is a city and municipality located in the province of Huelva, Spain. According to the 2009 census, the city has a population of 21,324 inhabitants....

), and can export and import industrial production or semi-processed raw materials. It is also the first Mediterranean port and fifth in the world on cruise ships, carrying up to two million passengers Barcelona annual port.

The port of Barcelona was born while the city of Barcelona as a natural port located on a beach that was among a small peninsula that formed the mountain Montjuic, and the old mouth of the river Llobregat
Llobregat
The Llobregat is the second longest river in Catalonia, Spain. It originates in Castellar de n'Hug at an altitude of 1,259 meters in the Serra del Cadí, and ends in the Mediterranean Sea, in the municipality of El Prat de Llobregat, near Barcelona...

. This was the only point that could be used minimally protected ancient mariners for many miles of coastline. Over the centuries, the city and its port were gaining in importance, to become the maritime capital of the kings of Aragon. Despite that the port remained south of the mountain Montjuic until the year 1378 the city authorities asked the Pedro IV of Aragon to continue the work that began on Pedro port III of Aragon, who had ordered the building of Barcelona Drassanes ("yards" in Catalan), which even today still stand forming the Barcelona Maritime Museum and the construction of a port north of the mountain Montjuic, because the old site had lost depth by the accumulation of sand. Permission to build the new artificial harbor opposite the town came the December 8, 1438, by order of Alfonso V the Magnanimous. Unfortunately, a decade after the storms had destroyed all the work, and it was not until 1477, under the reign of Juan II of Aragon, which was placed what would be the cornerstone of the doors permanently. He joined the former island to the mainland by Maians a breakwater. With the successive enlargements of the port, and the accumulation of sand, the island has been joined to the mainland to form the land where now stands the district of Barceloneta
Barceloneta, Barcelona
La Barceloneta is a neighborhood in the Ciutat Vella district of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. The neighborhood was constructed during the 18th century for the residents of the Ribera neighborhood who had been displaced by the construction of the Ciudadela of Barcelona...

.

Some tourist sites of the port are:

  • Torre Jaume I
    Torre Jaume I
    Torre Jaume I is a 107 metre high steel truss tower in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, which was built in 1931 by Carlos Boigas. The tower is the second-tallest aerial lift pylon in the world, and is a part of the Port Vell Aerial Tramway from Torre Sant Sebastia to Montjuïc. Torre Jaume I also has...

    .
  • Torre Sant Sebastià
    Torre Sant Sebastia
    Torre Sant Sebastià is a 78 metre tall lattice tower in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It is the terminal of the Port Vell Aerial Tramway of Barcelona, which runs over Torre Jaume I to Montjuïc. Torre Sant Sebastia was opened in 1931.- External links :...

    .
  • Torre Colom.
  • Hotel Vela.
  • Plaça de la Carbonera.
  • Plaça del Portal de la Pau.
  • La Rambla del Mar.
  • Passeig d'Ithaca.
  • World Trade Center Barcelona
    World Trade Center Barcelona
    World Trade Center Barcelona is a business park located in Barcelona, opened on July 22, 1999. This business center is located on the waterfront close to the city center, and has 40,000 m² of rented office and a conference center, conventions and meeting spaces with 20 different rooms.WTCB building...

    .
  • Monument to Columbus
    Columbus Monument, Barcelona
    The Columbus Monument is a tall monument for Christopher Columbus at the lower end of La Rambla, Barcelona, Spain. It was constructed for the Exposición Universal de Barcelona and is located at the site where Columbus returned to Spain after his first voyage to the Americas...

    .
  • Drassanes Reials de Barcelona.
  • Museu d'Història de Catalunya.
  • Museu de les Belles Arts.
  • Museu de Cera de Barcelona.
  • Aquarium of Barcelona
    Aquarium Barcelona
    -External links:...

    .
  • Las Golondrinas.
  • General Captaincy
    General Captaincy
    The Captaincy General was a political body. According to historian Antonio Jimenez Estrella, of Department of Modern History and Latin at the University of Granada, Spain, "from the perspective of institutional history, of power and of power elites, the Captaincy General was, at least during the...

    .
  • Military Command.
  • Torre del Rellotge
  • Porta d'Europa.

Government and administrative divisions


Barcelona is governed by a city council formed by 41 city councilors, elected
Municipal elections in Barcelona
-May 2007:-May 2003:-June 1999:-May 1995:-May 1991:-June 1987:- Sources :*...

 for a four-year term by universal suffrage
Universal suffrage
Universal suffrage consists of the extension of the right to vote to adult citizens as a whole, though it may also mean extending said right to minors and non-citizens...

. As one of the two biggest cities in Spain, Barcelona is subject to a special law articulated through the Carta Municipal (Municipal Law). A first version of this law was passed in 1960 and amended later, but the current version was approved in March 2006. According to this law, Barcelona's city council is organized in two levels: a political one, with elected city councilors, and one executive, which administrates the programs and executes the decisions taken on the political level. This law also gives the local government a special relationship with the central government and it also gives the mayor wider prerogatives by the means of municipal executive commissions. It expands the powers of the city council in areas like telecommunications, city traffic, road safety and public safety
Public Safety
Public safety involves the prevention of and protection from events that could endanger the safety of the general public from significant danger, injury/harm, or damage, such as crimes or disasters .-See also:* By nation...

. It also gives a special economic regime to the city's treasury and it gives the council a veto
Veto
A veto, Latin for "I forbid", is the power of an officer of the state to unilaterally stop an official action, especially enactment of a piece of legislation...

 in matters that will be decided by the central government, but that will need a favourable report from the council.

The Comissió de Govern (Government Commission) is the executive
Executive (government)
Executive branch of Government is the part of government that has sole authority and responsibility for the daily administration of the state bureaucracy. The division of power into separate branches of government is central to the idea of the separation of powers.In many countries, the term...

 branch, formed by 24 councilors, led by the Mayor, with 5 lieutenant-mayors and 17 city councilors, each in charge of an area of government, and 5 non-elected councilors. The plenary, formed by the 41 city councilors, has advisory, planning, regulatory, and fiscal executive functions. The six Commissions del Consell Municipal (City council commissions) have executive and controlling functions in the field of their jurisdiction. They are composed by a number of councilors proportional to the number of councilors each political party has in the plenary. The city council has jurisdiction in the fields of city planning
Urban planning
Urban planning incorporates areas such as economics, design, ecology, sociology, geography, law, political science, and statistics to guide and ensure the orderly development of settlements and communities....

, transportation, municipal taxes, public highways security through the Guàrdia Urbana (the municipal police), city maintenance, gardens, parks and environment, facilities (like schools, nurseries, sports centres, libraries, and so on.), culture, sports, youth and social welfare
Welfare
Welfare refers to a broad discourse which may hold certain implications regarding the provision of a minimal level of wellbeing and social support for all citizens without the stigma of charity. This is termed "social solidarity"...

. Some of these competencies are not exclusive, but shared with the Generalitat de Catalunya or the central Spanish government.

The executive branch is led by a Chief Municipal Executive Officer which answers to the Mayor. It is made up of departments which are legally part of the city council and by separate legal entities of two tipes: autonomous public departments and public enterprises.

The seat of the city council is on the Plaça de Sant Jaume, opposite the seat of Generalitat de Catalunya. Since the coming of the Spanish democracy
Spanish transition to democracy
The Spanish transition to democracy was the era when Spain moved from the dictatorship of Francisco Franco to a liberal democratic state. The transition is usually said to have begun with Franco’s death on 20 November 1975, while its completion has been variously said to be marked by the Spanish...

, Barcelona had been governed
Municipal elections in Barcelona
-May 2007:-May 2003:-June 1999:-May 1995:-May 1991:-June 1987:- Sources :*...

 by the PSC
Socialists' Party of Catalonia
The Socialists' Party of Catalonia is a social-democratic political party in Catalonia, Spain resulting from the merge of two parties PSC Reagrupament led by Josep Pallach i Carolà and PSC Comgres. It is the Catalan referent of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party , and its Aranese section is...

, first with an absolute majority and later in coalition with ERC and ICV
Initiative for Catalonia Greens
Initiative for Catalonia Greens is a political party in Catalonia, Spain. It was formed as a merger of Iniciativa per Catalunya and Els Verds. IC had been an alliance led by Partit Socialista Unificat de Catalunya and was the equivalent of Izquierda Unida in Catalonia...

. After the May 2007 election, the ERC did not renew the coalition agreement and the PSC governed in a minority coalition with ICV as the junior partner.

After 32 years, on 22 May 2011, CiU gained a plurality of seats at the municipal election, gaining 15 seats to the PSC's 11. The PP
People's Party (Spain)
The People's Party is a conservative political party in Spain.The People's Party was a re-foundation in 1989 of the People's Alliance , a party led and founded by Manuel Fraga Iribarne, a former Minister of Tourism during Francisco Franco's dictatorship...

 hold 8 seats, ICV 5 and ERC 2.

Districts




Since 1987, the city has been divided into 10 administrative districts
Districts of Barcelona
Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain proper is presently divided into 10 districts. These are administrated by a councillor designated by the main city council, and each of them have some powers relating to issues such as urbanism or infrastructure in their area. The current division of the city into...

 (districtes in Catalan, distritos in Spanish), each one with its own council led by a city councillor. The composition of each district council depends on the number of votes each political party had in that district, so a district can be led by a councillor from a different party than the executive council.

The districts are based mostly on historical divisions. Several of the city's districts are former towns annexed by the city of Barcelona in the 18th and 19th centuries that still maintain their own distinct character. The official names of these districts are in the Catalan language.

Education


Barcelona has a well-developed higher education
Higher education
Higher, post-secondary, tertiary, or third level education refers to the stage of learning that occurs at universities, academies, colleges, seminaries, and institutes of technology...

 system of public universities
Public university
A public university is a university that is predominantly funded by public means through a national or subnational government, as opposed to private universities. A national university may or may not be considered a public university, depending on regions...

. Most prominent among these is the University of Barcelona
University of Barcelona
The University of Barcelona is a public university located in the city of Barcelona, Catalonia in Spain. It is a member of the Coimbra Group, LERU, European University Association, Mediterranean Universities Union, International Research Universities Network and Vives Network...

, a world-renowned research and teaching institution with campus
Campus
A campus is traditionally the land on which a college or university and related institutional buildings are situated. Usually a campus includes libraries, lecture halls, residence halls and park-like settings...

es around the city. Barcelona is also home to the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, and the newer Pompeu Fabra University
Pompeu Fabra University
Pompeu Fabra University is a university in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It is widely considered to be one of the best universities in Spain and in Europe, and was ranked 1st in scientific productivity in Spain in 2009. Founded in 1990, it is named after the Catalan philologist Pompeu Fabra...

,and, in the private sector the IESE Business School
IESE
IESE Business School is the graduate business school of the University of Navarra. IESE has campuses in Barcelona, Madrid, and New York City and teaching facilities in Munich and Sao Paulo...

, as well as the largest private educational institution, the Ramon Llull University
Ramon Llull University
Ramon Llull University is a private university located in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain founded in 1990. Currently it is formed by several different colleges specialized in different topics, most of which are located in downtown Barcelona...

, which encompasses internationally-prestigious schools and institutes such as the ESADE
ESADE
The Escuela Superior de Administración y Dirección de Empresas is a college associated with the Ramon Llull University located in Barcelona, Spain. ESADE is composed of three departments; the ESADE Business School, the ESADE Executive Language Center and the ESADE Law School...

 Business School. The Autonomous University of Barcelona
Autonomous University of Barcelona
The Autonomous University of Barcelona is a public university mostly located in Cerdanyola, near the city of Barcelona in Catalonia, Spain....

, another public university, is located in Bellaterra
Bellaterra
Bellaterra is a wealthy quarter of Cerdanyola del Vallès, in the metropolitan area of Barcelona . It's famous for being the location of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona...

, a town in the Metropolitan Area
Àmbit metropolità de Barcelona
Àmbit metropolità de Barcelona is one of the seven territories defined by the Regional Plan of Catalonia . It is located in the central coast of Catalonia, Spain, in Barcelona and its influence area...

. The Open University of Catalonia, a private Internet-centered open university
Open University
The Open University is a distance learning and research university founded by Royal Charter in the United Kingdom...

, is also based in Barcelona.

The city has a network of public schools, from nurseries to high schools, under the responsibility of a consortium led by city council (though the curriculum is the responsibility of the Generalitat de Catalunya). There are also many private schools, some of them Roman Catholic. Most such schools receive a public subsidy on a per-student basis, are subject to inspection by the public authorities, and are required to follow the same curricular guidelines as public schools, though they charge tuition. Known as escoles concertades, they are distinct from schools whose funding is entirely private (escoles privades).

The language of instruction at public schools and escoles concertades is Catalan, as stipulated by the 2009 Catalan Education Act. Spanish may be used as a language of instruction by teachers of Spanish literature or language, and foreign languages by teachers of those languages. An experimental partial immersion programme adopted by some schools allows for the teaching of a foreign language (English, generally) across the curriculum, though this is limited to a maximum of 30% of the school day. No public school or escola concertada in Barcelona may offer 50% or full immersion programmes in a foreign language, nor does any public school or escola concertada offer International Baccalaureate programmes.

Culture


Barcelona's cultural roots go back 2000 years. To a greater extent than the rest of Catalonia, where Catalonia's native Catalan
Catalan language
Catalan is a Romance language, the national and only official language of Andorra and a co-official language in the Spanish autonomous communities of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Valencian Community, where it is known as Valencian , as well as in the city of Alghero, on the Italian island...

 is more dominant, Barcelona is a bilingual city: Catalan
Catalan language
Catalan is a Romance language, the national and only official language of Andorra and a co-official language in the Spanish autonomous communities of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Valencian Community, where it is known as Valencian , as well as in the city of Alghero, on the Italian island...

 and Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

 are both official language
Official language
An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

s and widely spoken. The Catalan spoken in Barcelona, Central Catalan
Central Catalan
Central Catalan is the Eastern Catalan dialect with the highest number of speakers, since it is commonly spoken in densely populated areas such as the whole Barcelona province, the eastern half of Tarragona province and most of the Girona province, except for it is northern part, where a...

, is the one closest to standard Catalan. Since the arrival of democracy
Spanish transition to democracy
The Spanish transition to democracy was the era when Spain moved from the dictatorship of Francisco Franco to a liberal democratic state. The transition is usually said to have begun with Franco’s death on 20 November 1975, while its completion has been variously said to be marked by the Spanish...

, the Catalan culture (very much repressed during the dictatorship of Franco
Spanish State
Francoist Spain refers to a period of Spanish history between 1936 and 1975 when Spain was under the authoritarian dictatorship of Francisco Franco....

) has been promoted, both by recovering works
from the past and by stimulating the creation of new works. Barcelona is designated as a world-class city
Global city
A global city is a city that is deemed to be an important node in the global economic system...

 by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network.

Entertainment and performing arts



Barcelona has many venues for live music
Concert
A concert is a live performance before an audience. The performance may be by a single musician, sometimes then called a recital, or by a musical ensemble, such as an orchestra, a choir, or a musical band...

 and theatre, including the world-renowned Gran Teatre del Liceu
Liceu
The Gran Teatre del Liceu , or simply Liceu in Catalan and Liceo in Spanish, is an opera house on La Rambla in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain...

 opera theatre, the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya
Teatre Nacional de Catalunya
Teatre Nacional de Catalunya is a public theatre in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain created by the Culture Department of the Catalan Government....

, the Teatre Lliure
Teatre Lliure
The Teatre Lliure is a theatre in Barcelona considered one of the most prestigious in Catalonia. It was created in 1976 in the neighborhood of Gràcia by a group of professionals from Barcelona's independent theater scene. It became distinguished for its practice of presenting theater in Catalan,...

 and the Palau de la Música Catalana
Palau de la Música Catalana
The Palau de la Música Catalana is a concert hall in Barcelona. Designed in the Catalan modernista style by the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, it was built between 1905 and 1908 for the Orfeó Català, a choral society founded in 1891 that was a leading force in the Catalan cultural movement...

 concert hall. Barcelona also is home to the Barcelona and Catalonia National Symphonic Orchestra
Orchestra
An orchestra is a sizable instrumental ensemble that contains sections of string, brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments. The term orchestra derives from the Greek ορχήστρα, the name for the area in front of an ancient Greek stage reserved for the Greek chorus...

 (Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya, usually known as OBC), the largest symphonic orchestra in Catalonia. In 1999, the OBC inaugurated its new venue in the brand-new Auditorium (l'Auditori). It performs around 75 concerts per season and its current director is Eiji Oue
Eiji Oue
is a Japanese conductor.Oue began his conducting studies with Hideo Saito of the Toho Gakuen School of Music. In 1978, Seiji Ozawa invited him to spend the summer studying at the Tanglewood Music Center. While there, he met Leonard Bernstein, who became a mentor. Oue won the Tanglewood...

.

Yearly two major pop music festival
Music festival
A music festival is a festival oriented towards music that is sometimes presented with a theme such as musical genre, nationality or locality of musicians, or holiday. They are commonly held outdoors, and are often inclusive of other attractions such as food and merchandise vending machines,...

s take place in the city, the Sónar Festival
Sónar
Sónar is an annual three-day music festival held in Barcelona, Spain. It is described officially as a festival of Advanced Music and Multimedia Art. Music is by far the main aspect of the festival....

 and the Primavera Sound Festival
Primavera Sound Festival
San Miguel Primavera Sound, commonly known as Primavera Sound or simply Primavera, is an annual music festival which takes place in Barcelona, Spain in late May and, in some years, early June...

. The city also has a thriving alternative music
Alternative rock
Alternative rock is a genre of rock music and a term used to describe a diverse musical movement that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1980s and became widely popular by the 1990s...

 scene, with groups such as The Pinker Tones
The Pinker Tones
The Pinker Tones are an alternative pop band from Barcelona, Spain. They have released 6 albums to date, and have been included on many more. The Whistling Song is featured in all versions of EA Sports' FIFA 2009.- Artists and Music :...

 receiving international attention.

Media


El Periódico de Catalunya
El Periódico de Catalunya
El Periódico de Catalunya is a morning daily newspaper based in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain and owned by Grupo Zeta. El Periódico is actually two newspapers, publishing separate editions in Spanish and in Catalan...

and La Vanguardia
La Vanguardia
La Vanguardia is Catalonia's leading daily newspaper as well as the fourth best-selling in Spain. It has its headquarters in Barcelona, Catalonia's largest city....

are Barcelona's two major daily newspapers (both with Catalan and Spanish editions) while Sport
Sport (newspaper)
Sport is a Spanish daily sports newspaper based in Barcelona, Spain. Founded in 1979, it is owned by Grupo Zeta, who also publishes El Periódico de Catalunya....

and El Mundo Deportivo (both in Spanish) are the city's two major sports daily newspapers, published by the same companies. The city is also served by a number of smaller publications such as Ara
Ara (newspaper)
Ara is a Catalan daily newspaper that began publication on November 28, 2010, coinciding with the Catalan parliamentary elections. Between 40,000 and 60,000 copies are printed each day....

, Avui
Avui
Avui is a Catalan daily newspaper, based in Barcelona, Catalonia . It is one of the city's newest papers, having been founded in 1976. The editorial line is Catalan nationalist.- History :...

and El Punt
El punt
El Punt is a Catalan daily newspaper based in Girona, Catalonia . The newspaper was renamed in 1990 from the original Punt Diari .-History:...

(in Catalan), by nation-wide newspapers with special Barcelona editions like El Pais and El Mundo
El Mundo (Spain)
El Mundo is the second largest printed and the largest digital daily newspaper in Spain and one of the newspapers of record in that country, with a daily circulation topping 300,000 readers for the printed edition and 24 million unique web visitors per month for the...

(both in Spanish), and by several free newspapers like 20 minutos
20 minutos
20 minutos is a free Spanish newspaper, with local editions in several Spanish cities, published by "Multiprensa & Mas S.L.", a company founded in Madrid in 1999....

, ADN and Què (all bilingual).

Several major FM stations include Catalunya Ràdio
Catalunya Ràdio
Catalunya Ràdio is Catalonia's public radio network. It's part of Corporació Catalana de Mitjans Audiovisuals, owned by the Generalitat de Catalunya...

, RAC 1
RAC 1
RAC 1 is the main Catalan language private radio station. It is mainly owned by media group Godó and is based in Barcelona. It has a sister radio station, RAC 105, dedicated to chart music....

, RAC 105 and Cadena SER
Cadena SER
La Cadena SER is Spain's premier radio network in terms of both seniority and audience share...

. Barcelona also has several local TV stations
Television channel
A television channel is a physical or virtual channel over which a television station or television network is distributed. For example, in North America, "channel 2" refers to the broadcast or cable band of 54 to 60 MHz, with carrier frequencies of 55.25 MHz for NTSC analog video and...

, among them BTV (owned by city council) and 8TV
8TV (Catalonia)
8TV is a Catalan private tv station based in Barcelona, Spain. The channel is run by Grupo Godó and broadcasts from street-level studios on the Avenida Diagonal in the heart of Barcelona.-History:8TV began as a local tv channel in Barcelona in 2001...

 (owned by the Godó group, that also owns La Vanguardia). The headquarters of Televisió de Catalunya
Televisió de Catalunya
Televisió de Catalunya is Catalonia's public broadcasting network, officially composed by eight channels: TV3, 33, Super3, 3/24, 3XL, Esport 3, TV3 HD and TV3CAT. K3 was replaced by Super3 in 2009 and 300 was replaced by 3XL in 2010...

, Catalonia's public network, are located in Sant Joan Despí
Sant Joan Despí
Sant Joan Despí is a city and municipality located in the Baix Llobregat area . It is situated on the left bank of the Llobregat river...

, in Barcelona's metropolitan area.

Sports


Barcelona has a long sporting tradition and hosted the highly successful 1992 Summer Olympics
1992 Summer Olympics
The 1992 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the XXV Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event celebrated in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, in 1992. The International Olympic Committee voted in 1986 to separate the Summer and Winter Games, which had been held in the same...

 as well as several matches during the 1982 FIFA World Cup
1982 FIFA World Cup
The 1982 FIFA World Cup, the 12th FIFA World Cup, was held in Spain from 13 June to 11 July. The tournament was won by Italy, after defeating West Germany 3–1 in the final.-Host selection:...

 (on the two stadiums). It has also hosted, among others, the final of European Champions League
UEFA Champions League
The UEFA Champions League, known simply the Champions League and originally known as the European Champion Clubs' Cup or European Cup, is an annual international club football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations since 1955 for the top football clubs in Europe. It...

 (1989, 1999), Eurobasket
Eurobasket
The EuroBasket, also referred to as the FIBA European Basketball Championship, is the main basketball competition contested biennially by the men's national teams governed by FIBA Europe, the European zone within the International Basketball Federation. The championship was first held in 1935 and...

 (1973, 1997), Euroleague
Euroleague
Euroleague Basketball, commonly known as the Euroleague, is the highest level tier and most important professional club basketball competition in Europe, with teams from up to 18 different countries, members of FIBA Europe. For sponsorship reasons, for five seasons starting with 2010–2011, it is...

 (1969, 1998, 2003, 2011), 2003 EuroHockey Nations Championship
EuroHockey Nations Championship
The EuroHockey Nations Championship is an international men's and women's field hockey competition organised by the European Hockey Federation for the top eight European national teams. It is the top division of the EuroHockey Nations Championships...

 and the 1951, 1954, 1957, 1979 CERH European Roller Hockey

European Roller Hockey Championship
Championship
Championship is a term used in sport to refer to various forms of competition in which the aim is to decide which individual or team is the champion.- Title match system :...

, 1958 European Judo Championships
European Judo Championships
European Judo Championships is the Judo European Championship organized by the European Judo Union.- List of tournaments :- External links :*...

, 1970 European Water Polo Championship
European Water Polo Championship
The European Water Polo Championship is a sport competition for national water polo teams, currently held biannually and organized by the Ligue Européenne de Natation , the governing European aquatics federation. There are both men's and women's competitions.The first European Water Polo...

, 1970 European Aquatics Championships
1970 European Aquatics Championships
The 1970 European Aquatics Championships were held in Barcelona, Spain from 5 to 13 September 1970. Titles were contested in swimming, diving and water polo . The swimming program was significantly expanded. Both men and women competed in the 200 m freestyle, 100 m breaststroke and 200 individual...

, 1976 European Taekwondo Championships
European Taekwondo Championships
European Taekwondo Championships is the Taekwondo European Championship organized by the European Taekwondo Union, first held in 1976.- List of tournaments :-External links:*...

, 1980 European Karate Championships
European Karate Championships
European Karate Championships is the Karate European Championship organized by the European Karate Federation each year. Events from 1966 to 1996 were organized by the European Karate Union.- List of tournaments :...

, 1987 European Wushu Championships
European Wushu Championships
European Wushu Championships is the wushu championship organized by the European Wushu Federation every two years. The first championships were held in Brussels, Belgium in May 1986, with 70 athletes from eight participating member countries....

, 1995 IAAF World Indoor Championships
1995 IAAF World Indoor Championships
The 5th IAAF World Indoor Championships in Athletics were held at the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain from 10 March to 12 March 1995. There were a total number of 602 participating athletes from 130 countries.-Men:-Women:-Medal table:...

, 2002 Euro Beach Soccer Cup
2002 Euro Beach Soccer Cup
-Final standings:...

, 2003 World Aquatics Championships
2003 World Aquatics Championships
Barcelona, Spain was the host city of the X FINA World Aquatics Championships or the 10th FINA World Championships in Aquatics, which were held from July 12 until July 27, 2003....

, 2007 European Baseball Championship
2007 European Baseball Championship
The 2007 European Baseball Championship was an international baseball tournament held from September 7 to 16, between national baseball teams of the Confederation of European Baseball. The tournament was held in Barcelona, Spain and served as the qualifying competition for the 2008 Summer Olympic...

, 2010 European Athletics Championships and some other. Also, the city aspires to organize the 2022 Winter Olympics
2022 Winter Olympics
The XXIV Olympic Winter Games, or the 2022 Winter Olympics, is an event to be organized by the International Olympic Committee. The winning bid will be announced in 2015 at the 127th IOC Session.- Asia : Kazakhstan- Europe : Spain...

. The opening, closing, medal ceremonies and indoor sports would be held in Barcelona, while outdoor sports would be held in ski resorts in the Pyrenees, mainly La Molina
La Molina (ski resort)
La Molina is a ski resort in the Pyrenees mountains of northeastern Spain, in the municipality of Alp in the comarca of Cerdanya, Catalonia...

.

FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona
Futbol Club Barcelona , also known as Barcelona and familiarly as Barça, is a professional football club, based in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain....

 is a sports club
Sports club
A sports club or sport club, sometimes athletics club or sports association is a club for the purpose of playing one or more sports...

 best known worldwide for its football team, one of the largest in Europe, four-time winner (last one in 2011) of the UEFA Champions League
UEFA Champions League
The UEFA Champions League, known simply the Champions League and originally known as the European Champion Clubs' Cup or European Cup, is an annual international club football competition organised by the Union of European Football Associations since 1955 for the top football clubs in Europe. It...

 and the only men's club in the world to accomplish a sextuple. FC Barcelona also has teams in the Spanish basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

 ACB league (Regal FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona Bàsquet
FC Barcelona Bàsquet, known as FC Barcelona Regal for sponsorship reasons, is a Spanish professional basketball club. It is part of the FC Barcelona sports club and was founded on August 24, 1926 which makes it the oldest club in Liga ACB. The club competes in the Asociación de Clubes de Baloncesto...

), the handball
Team handball
Handball is a team sport in which two teams of seven players each pass a ball to throw it into the goal of the other team...

 ASOBAL league (FC Barcelona Handbol), and the roller hockey
Roller hockey
Roller Hockey is a form of hockey played on a dry surface using skates with wheels. The term "Roller Hockey" is often used interchangeably to refer to two variant forms chiefly differentiated by the type of skate used. There is traditional "Roller Hockey," played with quad roller skates, and...

 league (FC Barcelona Hoquei
FC Barcelona Hoquei
Futbol Club Barcelona Hoquei is a professional roller hockey team based in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It's part of the FC Barcelona family and plays in the OK Liga...

), all of them winners of the highest European competitions. The club's museum is the second most visited in Catalonia. Twice a season, FC Barcelona and cross-town rivals RCD Espanyol
RCD Espanyol
Reial Club Deportiu Espanyol de Barcelona is a sports club based in Barcelona, Spain. It is best known for its football team. Espanyol currently play in the Estadi Cornellà-El Prat with seats for 40,500 spectators. It was inaugurated on 2 August 2009...

 contest in the local derby in La Liga
La Liga
The Primera División of the Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional , commonly known as La Liga or, for sponsorship reasons, Liga BBVA since 2008, is the top professional association football division of the Spanish football league system...

, while its basketball section has its own local derby in Liga ACB with nearby Joventut Badalona
Joventut Badalona
Club Joventut Badalona, S.A.D. is a Spanish professional basketball club based in Badalona, Catalonia, playing in the Asociación de Clubs de Baloncesto . Known to their fans as La Penya , it is one of only three teams that have never been relegated from the top division of the Spanish League...

. Barcelona also has other clubs in lower categories, like CE Europa
CE Europa
Club Esportiu Europa is a Spanish/Catalan sports club, based in the Gràcia district of Barcelona. The club is best known for its football team who in 1928, along with city neighbours FC Barcelona and RCD Espanyol, were founder members of La Liga. During the late 1990s they won the Copa Catalunya...

 and UE Sant Andreu
UE Sant Andreu
Unió Esportiva Sant Andreu is a Spanish football team based in the city of Barcelona, in the district of Sant Andreu, Catalonia. Founded in 1925, it plays in Segunda División B - Group 3, holding home matches at Camp Municipal Narcís Sala, with an all-seated capacity of 6,900.-Club background:*Club...

.

Barcelona has two UEFA elite stadiums (): FC Barcelona's Camp Nou
Camp Nou
Camp Nou , sometimes called "the Nou Camp" in English, is a football stadium in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. The stadium, located in the west of the city, has been the home of FC Barcelona since its construction in 1957....

, the largest stadium in Europe with a capacity of 100,000 and the publicly owned Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys
Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys
Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys is a stadium in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Originally built in 1927 for the 1929 International Exposition in the city , it was renovated in 1989 to be the main stadium for the 1992 Summer Olympics...

, with a capacity of 55,000; used for the 1992 Olympics
1992 Summer Olympics
The 1992 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the XXV Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event celebrated in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, in 1992. The International Olympic Committee voted in 1986 to separate the Summer and Winter Games, which had been held in the same...

. Also, the city has several smaller stadiums such as Mini Estadi
Mini Estadi
Mini Estadi is a football stadium located in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. The 15,276 seat stadium is situated across from Camp Nou, the home stadium of FC Barcelona.The stadium was home to FC Barcelona C until July 2007, when they disbanded...

, Estadio Narcís Sala with a capacity of 15,000 and Nou Sardenya with a capacity of 7,000. In the suburbs of Barcelona there is a third UEFA elite stadium () - Estadi Cornellà-El Prat, with a capacity of 40,000.

Several major road running
Road running
Road running is the sport of running on a measured course over an established road . These events would be classified as long distance according to athletics terminology, with distances typically ranging from 5 kilometers to 42.2 kilometers in the marathon. They may involve large numbers of runners...

 competitions are organized year-round in Barcelona: the Barcelona Marathon
Barcelona Marathon
The Barcelona Marathon is an annual marathon race over the classic distance of 42.195 km held in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It takes place in March....

 every March with a participants of over 10,000 in 2010, the Cursa de Bombers
Cursa de Bombers
The Cursa de Bombers is an annual road running race over 10 km which takes place in April in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. The race holds IAAF Bronze Label Road Race status.-History and course:...

 in April, the Cursa de El Corte Inglés in May (with about 60,000 participants each year), the Cursa de la Mercè, the Cursa Jean Bouin, the Milla Sagrada Família and the San Silvestre.

The Open Seat Godó
Torneo Godó
The Barcelona Open also known as Torneo Godó, Trofeo Conde de Godó, Open Banco Sabadell, is an annual tennis tournament for male professional players. The event has been held annually in Barcelona, Spain since 1953, and is played on clay courts. Originally an event of the Grand Prix tennis circuit...

, a 50-year-old ATP World Tour
Association of Tennis Professionals
The Association of Tennis Professionals or ATP was formed in 1972 by Donald Dell, Jack Kramer, and Cliff Drysdale to protect the interests of male professional tennis players. Since 1990, the association has organized the worldwide tennis tour for men and linked the title of the tour with the...

 500 Series tennis tournament
ATP World Tour 500 series
The ATP World Tour 500 series is the third highest tier of men's tennis tournament after the four Grand Slam tournaments, and the ATP World Tour Masters 1000.The series includes 11 tournaments, with a number of 500 rankings points to win for the events' singles...

, is held annually in the facilities of the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona
Real Club de Tenis Barcelona
The Real Club de Tenis Barcelona 1899 is a private tennis club in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. The facility has 18 clay courts, including a stadium court with a capacity of 7,200 and show court for 2,000 spectators. Since moving to its current location in the northwest of the city in 1953, the...

 (Barcelona Royal Tennis Club). Also, each Christmas, a swimming race across the port is organized. Near Barcelona, in Montmeló
Montmeló
Montmeló is a municipality in the comarca of Vallès Oriental in Catalonia, Spain. It contains the Circuit de Catalunya, which is the home of the Formula One Spanish Grand Prix and the MotoGP Catalan Grand Prix.- Demography :-References:...

, the 131,000 capacity Circuit de Catalunya / Circuit de Barcelona
Circuit de Catalunya
The Circuit de Catalunya is a racetrack in Montmeló, to the north of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. With long straights and a variety of corners, the Circuit de Catalunya is seen as an all-rounder circuit.-History:...

 racetrack hosts the Formula One World Championship
Formula One
Formula One, also known as Formula 1 or F1 and referred to officially as the FIA Formula One World Championship, is the highest class of single seater auto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile . The "formula" designation in the name refers to a set of rules with which...

, Formula One Spanish Grand Prix
Spanish Grand Prix
The Spanish Grand Prix is a Formula One race currently held at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain, as part of the annual Formula One championship season.-History:...

, Catalan motorcycle Grand Prix
Catalan motorcycle Grand Prix
The Catalan motorcycle Grand Prix is a motorcycling event held at the Circuit de Catalunya in Montmeló, Catalonia, Spain, as part of the Grand Prix motorcycle racing season.-Multiple winners :-Multiple winners :-By year:...

, Spanish GT Championship
Spanish GT Championship
The Spanish GT Championship is a Spanish auto racing series founded in 1999 and organised by the GT Sport Organización. The series runs multiple classes of grand tourer cars in events around Spain and Portugal...

 and GP2 Series
GP2 Series
The GP2 Series, GP2 for short, is a form of open wheel motor racing introduced in 2005 following the discontinuation of the long-term Formula One feeder series, Formula 3000. The format was conceived by Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore, while Ecclestone also has the rights to the name GP1...

. In Barcelona very popular is skateboarding
Skateboarding
Skateboarding is an action sport which involves riding and performing tricks using a skateboard.Skateboarding can be a recreational activity, an art form, a job, or a method of transportation. Skateboarding has been shaped and influenced by many skateboarders throughout the years. A 2002 report...

 and bicycling. In the city and the metropolitan area is tens of kilometers of bicycle paths.

Top sport clubs in Barcelona:
Club Primary league Sport Venue Established Capacity
FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona
Futbol Club Barcelona , also known as Barcelona and familiarly as Barça, is a professional football club, based in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain....

La Liga
La Liga
The Primera División of the Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional , commonly known as La Liga or, for sponsorship reasons, Liga BBVA since 2008, is the top professional association football division of the Spanish football league system...

Football Camp Nou
Camp Nou
Camp Nou , sometimes called "the Nou Camp" in English, is a football stadium in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. The stadium, located in the west of the city, has been the home of FC Barcelona since its construction in 1957....

1899 100,000
RCD Espanyol
RCD Espanyol
Reial Club Deportiu Espanyol de Barcelona is a sports club based in Barcelona, Spain. It is best known for its football team. Espanyol currently play in the Estadi Cornellà-El Prat with seats for 40,500 spectators. It was inaugurated on 2 August 2009...

La Liga
La Liga
The Primera División of the Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional , commonly known as La Liga or, for sponsorship reasons, Liga BBVA since 2008, is the top professional association football division of the Spanish football league system...

Football Estadi Cornellà-El Prat 1900 40,500
FC Barcelona Bàsquet
FC Barcelona Bàsquet
FC Barcelona Bàsquet, known as FC Barcelona Regal for sponsorship reasons, is a Spanish professional basketball club. It is part of the FC Barcelona sports club and was founded on August 24, 1926 which makes it the oldest club in Liga ACB. The club competes in the Asociación de Clubes de Baloncesto...

ACB Basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

Palau Blaugrana
Palau Blaugrana
Palau Blaugrana is an arena in Barcelona, Catalonia , belonging to FC Barcelona . The 7,585 seating capacity arena is home to the basketball, handball, roller hockey, and futsal divisions of FC Barcelona...

1926 7,585
FC Barcelona Handbol Asobal Handball
Team handball
Handball is a team sport in which two teams of seven players each pass a ball to throw it into the goal of the other team...

Palau Blaugrana
Palau Blaugrana
Palau Blaugrana is an arena in Barcelona, Catalonia , belonging to FC Barcelona . The 7,585 seating capacity arena is home to the basketball, handball, roller hockey, and futsal divisions of FC Barcelona...

1942 7,585
FC Barcelona Ice Hockey
FC Barcelona Ice Hockey
FC Barcelona Ice Hockey is an ice hockey club in Barcelona, Catalonia, that is part of FC Barcelona club. They are currently playing in the Spanish League and their home arena is the Palau de Gel.- Roster :- History :...

SEdHH
Superliga Española de Hockey Hielo
The National Ice Hockey League is the Spanish league of ice hockey.Two years ago the league was composed of eight teams, but due to financial problems in almost all clubs, the league has been reduced the number of participants year after year until only five today...

Ice hockey
Ice hockey
Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take...

Palau de Gel 1972 1,256
FC Barcelona Hoquei
FC Barcelona Hoquei
Futbol Club Barcelona Hoquei is a professional roller hockey team based in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It's part of the FC Barcelona family and plays in the OK Liga...

OK Liga
OK Liga
The OK Liga is the Spanish rink hockey league and is widely regarded as one of the best leagues in the world. Since 2009 it includes also a women's league.-Champions by year:-Performance by club:...

Roller hockey
Roller hockey
Roller Hockey is a form of hockey played on a dry surface using skates with wheels. The term "Roller Hockey" is often used interchangeably to refer to two variant forms chiefly differentiated by the type of skate used. There is traditional "Roller Hockey," played with quad roller skates, and...

Palau Blaugrana
Palau Blaugrana
Palau Blaugrana is an arena in Barcelona, Catalonia , belonging to FC Barcelona . The 7,585 seating capacity arena is home to the basketball, handball, roller hockey, and futsal divisions of FC Barcelona...

1942 7,585
FC Barcelona Futsal
FC Barcelona Futsal
Fútbol Club Barcelona Futsal is a futsal club, part of FC Barcelona club, based in Barcelona, Catalonia .Originally the FC Barcelona begun to play futsal in 1978 till 1982 when it was disbanded...

Primera División de Futsal Futsal
Futsal
Futsal is a variant of association football that is played on a smaller pitch and mainly played indoors. Its name is a portmanteau of the Portuguese futebol de salão and the Spanish fútbol de salón , which can be translated as "hall football" or "indoor football"...

Palau Blaugrana
Palau Blaugrana
Palau Blaugrana is an arena in Barcelona, Catalonia , belonging to FC Barcelona . The 7,585 seating capacity arena is home to the basketball, handball, roller hockey, and futsal divisions of FC Barcelona...

1986 7,585
FC Barcelona Rugby
FC Barcelona Rugby
FCB Rugby is a Spanish rugby union club. The senior team currently plays in División de Honor B, the second level of Spanish rugby union. The club plays home games at the Ciutat Esportiva Municipal Vall d'Hebrón-Teixonera and belong to the FC Barcelona family...

División de Honor de Rugby
División de Honor de Rugby
-Past winners:-External links:*...

Rugby union
Rugby union
Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand...

CDMVdHT 1924 no data
Barcelona Dragons
Barcelona Dragons
The Barcelona Dragons were a team originally in the World League of American Football and later in the resurrected NFL Europe. Their home field in Barcelona was the Estadi Olímpic de Montjuic, the 1992 Olympic Stadium, and later the Mini Estadi. The Dragons were successful on the field, making it...

World League
World League of American Football
The World League of American Football was founded in 1990 with support from the National Football League to play professional American football in North America, Europe and later possibly Asia...

American football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys
Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys
Estadi Olímpic Lluís Companys is a stadium in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Originally built in 1927 for the 1929 International Exposition in the city , it was renovated in 1989 to be the main stadium for the 1992 Summer Olympics...

1991 (withheld) 56,000
Barcelona Búfals
Barcelona Búfals
Barcelona Búfals is an American football team based in Barcelona, Catalonia .They compete at the LNFA.-History:...

LNFA
LNFA
Liga Nacional de Fútbol Americano is the name of the top American football league which operates in Spain. It was founded in 1995 after the merge of several previous Spanish competitions....

American football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

Estadio Narcís Sala 1987 15,000


Airports


Barcelona is served by Barcelona El Prat Airport, about 17 km (11 mi) from the centre of Barcelona. It is the second-largest airport in Spain, and the largest on the Mediterranean coast. It is a main hub for Vueling Airlines
Vueling Airlines
Vueling Airlines SA , commonly shortened to Vueling, is an airline based in El Prat de Llobregat, near Barcelona , where it maintains its main operating base...

, and also a focus for Iberia, Spanair
Spanair
Spanair is a Spanish airline, with its head office in the Spanair Building in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, near Barcelona. It was, until 2009, a subsidiary of Scandinavian Airlines, which now holds slightly under 20% of the company. Spanair provides a scheduled passenger network within Spain and...

 and Air Europa. The airport mainly serves domestic and European destinations, but some airlines offer destinations in Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

, Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

 and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. The airport is connected to the city by highway, commuter train (Barcelona Airport railway station
Aeroport railway station (el Prat)
Aeroport railway station is a commuter railway station in Terminal B of Barcelona International Airport . Nowadays it is the only station that serves the Airport, as a Rodalies Barcelona service. In the future, there will be a new terminal called Terminal 1...

) and scheduled bus service. A new terminal (T1) has been built, and entered service on 17 June 2009.

Sabadell Airport
Sabadell Airport
Sabadell Airport is located next to the city of Sabadell, from Barcelona's city center. This, and the Cuatro Vientos Airport, are the most important airports for general aviation in Spain. There are more than 200 aircraft registered in this airport, doing around 150.000 operations per year...

 is a smaller airport in the nearby town of Sabadell
Sabadell
Sabadell is the second largest city in the comarca of the Vallès Occidental in Catalonia, Spain. It is in the south of the comarca, on the River Ripoll, 20 km north-west of Barcelona...

, devoted to pilot training
Flight training
Flight training is a course of study used when learning to pilot an aircraft. The overall purpose of primary and intermediate flight training is the acquisition and honing of basic airmanship skills....

, aerotaxi and private flights. Some low-cost airlines, such as Transavia.com
Transavia.com
Transavia.com is a Dutch based low-cost airline operating as an independent part of the Air France-KLM group. Its main base is at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol while Rotterdam The Hague Airport , and Eindhoven Airport are its secondary hubs...

 and Ryanair
Ryanair
Ryanair is an Irish low-cost airline. Its head office is at Dublin Airport and its primary operational bases at Dublin Airport and London Stansted Airport....

, prefer to use Girona-Costa Brava Airport
Girona-Costa Brava Airport
Girona-Costa Brava Airport is an airport located southwest of the city of Girona, next to the small village of Vilobí d'Onyar, in the north-east of Catalonia, Spain...

, situated about 90 km (56 mi) to the north of Barcelona and the Reus Airport
Reus Airport
-Incidents and accidents:* On 20 July 1970, a Condor Boeing 737-100 which was approaching Reus Airport, collided with a privately owned Piper Cherokee light aircraft near Tarragona, Spain. The Piper subsequently crashed, resulting in the death of the three persons on board...

, situated 77 km (48 mi) to the south, though they offer some flights from Barcelona El Prat Airport

Seaport


The Port of Barcelona has a 2000-year old history and a great contemporary commercial importance. It is Europe's ninth largest container
Containerization
Containerization is a system of freight transport based on a range of steel intermodal containers...

 port, with a trade volume of 2.57 million TEU's in 2008. The port is managed by the Port Authority of Barcelona. Its 7.86 km² (3 sq mi) are divided into three zones: Port Vell (the Old Port), the commercial port and the logistics port (Barcelona Free Port
Barcelona Free Port
The Port of Barcelona has a 2000-year history and great contemporary commercial importance. It is Catalonia's largest port, vying with Tarragona, and Europe's ninth largest container port, with a trade volume of 2.57 million TEU's in 2008. It is also one of the most important ports in the...

). The port is undergoing an enlargement that will double its size thanks to diverting the mouth of the Llobregat
Llobregat
The Llobregat is the second longest river in Catalonia, Spain. It originates in Castellar de n'Hug at an altitude of 1,259 meters in the Serra del Cadí, and ends in the Mediterranean Sea, in the municipality of El Prat de Llobregat, near Barcelona...

 river 2 km (1¼ mi) to the south.

The Port Vell
Port Vell
Port Vell is a waterfront harbour in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, and part of the Port of Barcelona. It was built as part of an urban renewal program prior to the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Before this, it was a run-down area of empty warehouses, railroad yards, and factories...

 area also houses the Maremagnum (a commercial mall), a multiplex cinema, the IMAX
IMAX
IMAX is a motion picture film format and a set of proprietary cinema projection standards created by the Canadian company IMAX Corporation. IMAX has the capacity to record and display images of far greater size and resolution than conventional film systems...

 Port Vell and Europe's largest aquarium
Aquarium
An aquarium is a vivarium consisting of at least one transparent side in which water-dwelling plants or animals are kept. Fishkeepers use aquaria to keep fish, invertebrates, amphibians, marine mammals, turtles, and aquatic plants...

 - Aquarium Barcelona
Aquarium Barcelona
-External links:...

, containing 8,000 fish and 11 sharks contained in 22 basins filled with 6 million litres of sea water. The Maremagnum, due to being situated a designated tourist zone, is the only commercial mall in the city that can open on Sundays and public holidays.

Public transport


Barcelona is served by a comprehensive local public transport
Public transport
Public transport is a shared passenger transportation service which is available for use by the general public, as distinct from modes such as taxicab, car pooling or hired buses which are not shared by strangers without private arrangement.Public transport modes include buses, trolleybuses, trams...

 network that includes a metro
Rapid transit
A rapid transit, underground, subway, elevated railway, metro or metropolitan railway system is an electric passenger railway in an urban area with a high capacity and frequency, and grade separation from other traffic. Rapid transit systems are typically located either in underground tunnels or on...

, a bus
Bus
A bus is a road vehicle designed to carry passengers. Buses can have a capacity as high as 300 passengers. The most common type of bus is the single-decker bus, with larger loads carried by double-decker buses and articulated buses, and smaller loads carried by midibuses and minibuses; coaches are...

 network, two separate modern tram
Tram
A tram is a passenger rail vehicle which runs on tracks along public urban streets and also sometimes on separate rights of way. It may also run between cities and/or towns , and/or partially grade separated even in the cities...

 networks, a separate historic tram line, and several funiculars and aerial cable cars
Aerial tramway
An aerial tramway , cable car , ropeway or aerial tram is a type of aerial lift which uses one or two stationary ropes for support while a third moving rope provides propulsion...

. The Barcelona Metro
Barcelona Metro
The Barcelona Metro , part of the public transportation system of Barcelona, Catalonia, is an extensive network of electrified railways that run underground in central Barcelona and above ground into the city's suburbs. Since July 31, 2010, Barcelona Metro system consists of 11 lines with 165...

 network comprises eleven lines, identified by an "L" followed by the line number as well as by individual colours. Most of the network (nine lines) is operated by the Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona
Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona
Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona is the main public transit operator in Barcelona, made up of two formerly separate companies, Ferrocarril Metropolità de Barcelona, SA. and Transports de Barcelona, SA....

 (TMB), but three lines are FGC commuter lines that run through the city. When finished, the L9 will be the second longest underground metro line in Europe with 42.6 km; only shorter than London's 76 km Central Line.

The Estació del Nord (Northern Station), a former railway station
Train station
A train station, also called a railroad station or railway station and often shortened to just station,"Station" is commonly understood to mean "train station" unless otherwise qualified. This is evident from dictionary entries e.g...

 that was renovated for the 1992 Olympic Games, now serves as the terminus for long-distance and regional bus services.

Another company, TRAMMET
TRAMMET
Tramvia Metropolità, SA is a company based in Barcelona, Spain. It's a joint venture of the companies ¡FCC-Vivendi, COMSA, Acciona-Necso, Alstom, Sarbus, Soler&Sauret, Banc Sabadell and Société Générale. It was created in 1999 to operate the new tram systems in Barcelona, Trambaix and Trambesòs...

, operates the city's two modern tram networks, known as Trambaix
Trambaix
The Trambaix is a light rail system operated by TRAMMET connecting the Baix Llobregat area with the city of Barcelona, Catalonia. It opened to the public on April 5, 2004 after a weekend when the tram could be used free of charge....

 and Trambesòs
Trambesòs
The Trambesòs is a light rail system operated by TRAMMET connecting Sant Adrià de Besòs and Badalona with the city of Barcelona in Catalonia. The original line, known as T4, opened on May 8, 2004 and runs from Ciutadella-Vila Olímpica in Barcelona to the east of the city and extends roughly...

. The historic tram line, the Tramvia Blau
Tramvia Blau
Tramvia Blau is one of Barcelona's three tram systems. It is a heritage streetcar line serving a hilly area of the Sarrià-Sant Gervasi district between the terminus of FGC Barcelona Metro L7 and the Funicular del Tibidabo...

, connects the metro to the Funicular del Tibidabo
Funicular del Tibidabo
260px|thumb|right|Lower station at Plaça Dr. AndreuThe Funicular del Tibidabo is a funicular railway in the city of Barcelona, in Catalonia, that connects the Tibidabo with the Plaça del Doctor Andreu, the upper terminus of the Tramvia Blau.The line was opened on October 29, 1901 with a length of...

 (both operated by TMB). The Funicular de Tibidabo climbs the Tibidabo hill, as does the Funicular de Vallvidrera
Funicular de Vallvidrera
right|300px|thumb|Funicular cab at Vallvidrera Superior stationThe Funicular de Vallvidrera, or Vallvidrera funicular, is a funicular railway in the Vallvidrera district of the city of Barcelona, in Catalonia, Spain...

 (FGC). The Funicular de Montjuïc
Funicular de Montjuïc
The Funicular de Montjuïc, or Montjuïc funicular, is a funicular railway in the city of Barcelona, in Catalonia, Spain. The line is largely in tunnel and connects the Barcelona Metro Paral·lel station with the hill of Montjuïc and the various sporting and other facilities there. The funicular uses...

 (TMB) climbs the Montjuïc
Montjuïc
Montjuïc is a hill located in Barcelona, Catalonia.-Etymology:Montjuïc is translated as 'Jew Hill' in medieval Catalan, or is perhaps related to the Latin phrase Mons Jovicus . The name is found in several locations in the Catalan Countries: the Catalan cities of Girona and Barcelona both have a...

 hill. The city has two aerial cable cars
Aerial tramway
An aerial tramway , cable car , ropeway or aerial tram is a type of aerial lift which uses one or two stationary ropes for support while a third moving rope provides propulsion...

: Montjuïc Aerial Tramway
Montjuïc Aerial Tramway
Montjuïc Aerial Tramway is an aerial tramway in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.- See also :* Port Vell Aerial Tramway, primary aerial tramway in Barcelona...

 (to the Montjuïc castle) and Port Vell Aerial Tramway
Port Vell Aerial Tramway
Port Vell Aerial Tramway is an aerial tramway in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, crossing Port Vell, Barcelona's old harbour and connecting Montjuïc with Barceloneta.- Description :...

 that runs via Torre Jaume I
Torre Jaume I
Torre Jaume I is a 107 metre high steel truss tower in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, which was built in 1931 by Carlos Boigas. The tower is the second-tallest aerial lift pylon in the world, and is a part of the Port Vell Aerial Tramway from Torre Sant Sebastia to Montjuïc. Torre Jaume I also has...

 and Torre Sant Sebastià
Torre Sant Sebastia
Torre Sant Sebastià is a 78 metre tall lattice tower in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It is the terminal of the Port Vell Aerial Tramway of Barcelona, which runs over Torre Jaume I to Montjuïc. Torre Sant Sebastia was opened in 1931.- External links :...

 over the port.

Barcelona has a metered taxi
Taxicab
A taxicab, also taxi or cab, is a type of vehicle for hire with a driver, used by a single passenger or small group of passengers, often for a non-shared ride. A taxicab conveys passengers between locations of their choice...

 fleet governed by the Institut Metropolità del Taxi (Metropolitan Taxi Institute), composed of more than 10,000 cars. Most of the licences are in the hands of self-employed
Self-employment
Self-employment is working for one's self.Self-employed people can also be referred to as a person who works for himself/herself instead of an employer, but drawing income from a trade or business that they operate personally....

 drivers. With their black and yellow livery, Barcelona's taxis are easily spotted.

On 22 March 2007, Barcelona's City Council started the Bicing
Bicing
Bicing is the name of a 'community bicycle program' in Barcelona inaugurated on March 22, 2007, similar to the Vélô service in Toulouse, Vélo'v in Lyon and Vélib' in Paris, and apparently uses the same system and bicycles as Stockholm City Bikes...

 service, a bicycle service understood as a public transport. Once the user has their user card, they can take a bicycle from any of the 100 stations spread around the city and use it anywhere the urban area of the city, and then leave it at another station. The service has been a success, with 50,000 subscribed users in three months.

Railway



Barcelona is a major hub for RENFE
RENFE
Renfe Operadora is the state-owned company which operates freight and passenger trains on the 1668-mm "Iberian gauge" and 1435-mm "European gauge" networks of the Spanish national railway infrastructure company ADIF .- History :The name RENFE is derived from that of the former Spanish National...

, the Spanish state railway network, and its main intercity train
Inter-city rail
Inter-city rail services are express passenger train services that cover longer distances than commuter or regional trains.There is no precise definition of inter-city rail. Its meaning may vary from country to country...

 station is Barcelona-Sants
Barcelona Sants railway station
Barcelona Sants railway station or Sants Estació is the main railway station in Barcelona, owned by Adif, the railway infrastructure agency of the Spanish state...

 station. The AVE
AVE
Alta Velocidad Española is a service of high-speed rail in Spain operated by Renfe, the Spanish national railway company, at speeds of up to . The name is literally translated from Spanish as "Spanish High Speed", but also a play on the word , meaning "bird".AVE trains run on a network of...

 high-speed rail
High-speed rail
High-speed rail is a type of passenger rail transport that operates significantly faster than the normal speed of rail traffic. Specific definitions by the European Union include for upgraded track and or faster for new track, whilst in the United States, the U.S...

 system – designed for speeds of 300 km/h (186 mph) – was extended from Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

 to Barcelona (Madrid–Barcelona high-speed rail line) in 2008. Generally, Barcelona has high-speed rail links with major cities of Spain. A high-speed rail connecting Barcelona and France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 – LGV Perpignan–Figueres will be launched in 2012. Rodalies and the Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya
Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya
Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya , or FGC, is a railway company which operates several unconnected lines in Catalonia, Spain....

 (FGC) run Barcelona's widespread commuter train service.

Roads and highways


City cuts three international routes, including European route E15
European route E15
The European route E 15 is part of the United Nations international E-road network. It is a north-south "reference road", running from Inverness, Scotland south through England and France to Algeciras, Spain...

 (north-south), European route E90
European route E90
European route E 90 is an A-Class West-East European route, extending from Lisbon in Portugal in the west to the Turkish-Iraqi border in the east.-Itinerary:...

 (west-east) and European route E09. Also, Barcelona has a comprehensive network of motorways and highway
Highway
A highway is any public road. In American English, the term is common and almost always designates major roads. In British English, the term designates any road open to the public. Any interconnected set of highways can be variously referred to as a "highway system", a "highway network", or a...

s throughout the city and metropolitan area, including A-2
Autovía A-2
The Autovía A-2 is a Spanish autovía and autopista route which starts in Madrid and ends in Barcelona. It replaces the former N-II.- Sections :- Major cities crossed:*Madrid*Guadalajara*Zaragoza*Fraga*Lleida...

, A-7
Autovía A-7
The Autovía A-7 is a Spanish autovía which starts in La Jonquera, near the French frontier and ends in Algeciras....

/AP-7
Autopista AP-7
The Autopista AP-7 is a Spanish autopista . It is a toll motorway that runs along the Mediterranean coast of Spain.AP-7 has two different sections :...

, C-16, C-17, C-31, C-32, C-33
Autopista C-33
The Autopista C-33 is a highway in Catalonia.It connects the Autopista AP-7 north of Barcelona to the City Centre and the Autovía C-17.For the 1992 Summer Olympics when the highway was known as A-17, it was used as part of the road team time trial cycling event that started and ended at the Circuit...

, C-60
Autovia C-60
The Autovia C-60, also known as the Autovia Mataró-Granollers is a highway in Catalonia, Spain. This is a freeway that connects Mataró and Granollers ....

. City is circled by three half ring roads or bypasses, Ronda de Dalt (on the mountain side), Ronda del Litoral (along the coast) and Ronda del Mig (separated into two parts: Travessera de Dalt
Travessera de Dalt
Travessera de Dalt is an important and much-transited street in Barcelona . It spans a good deal of the city's district of Gràcia, starting at the tunnel entrances at Plaça de Lesseps, and running towards the tunnels system near Plaça Sanllehy, where it changes name and merges into Ronda del Guinardó...

 in the north and the Gran Via de Carles III), two partially covered fast highways with several exits that bypass the city.

The city's main arteries include Diagonal Avenue
Avinguda Diagonal, Barcelona
Avinguda Diagonal is the name of one of Barcelona's broadest and most important avenues. It cuts the city in two, diagonally from west to east , hence the name....

, which crosses the city diagonally, Meridiana Avenue
Avinguda Meridiana, Barcelona
Avinguda Meridiana is a major avenue in Barcelona, Spain, spanning parts of the Sant Andreu, Nou Barris and Sant Martí northern districts of the city...

 which leads to Glòries
Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes, Barcelona
Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes , most often shortened to Glòries, is a large square in Barcelona, first designed by Ildefons Cerdà to serve as the city centre in his original urban plan , but nowadays relegated to quite a secondary position...

 and connects with Diagonal Avenue and Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes
Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, Barcelona
Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, more simply known as Gran Via, is one of Barcelona's major avenues. With a length of 13.1 kilometres, it is the longest street in Spain.-Location:...

, which crosses the city from east to west, passing through the centre of the city.

Twin towns and sister cities


Barcelona is twinned with the following cities:(in chronological
Chronology
Chronology is the science of arranging events in their order of occurrence in time, such as the use of a timeline or sequence of events. It is also "the determination of the actual temporal sequence of past events".Chronology is part of periodization...

 order)
Montpellier
Montpellier
-Neighbourhoods:Since 2001, Montpellier has been divided into seven official neighbourhoods, themselves divided into sub-neighbourhoods. Each of them possesses a neighbourhood council....

, France, 1963 Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro , commonly referred to simply as Rio, is the capital city of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the second largest city of Brazil, and the third largest metropolitan area and agglomeration in South America, boasting approximately 6.3 million people within the city proper, making it the 6th...

, Brazil, 1972 Monterrey
Monterrey
Monterrey , is the capital city of the northeastern state of Nuevo León in the country of Mexico. The city is anchor to the third-largest metropolitan area in Mexico and is ranked as the ninth-largest city in the nation. Monterrey serves as a commercial center in the north of the country and is the...

, Mexico, 1977 Boston
Boston
Boston is the capital of and largest city in Massachusetts, and is one of the oldest cities in the United States. The largest city in New England, Boston is regarded as the unofficial "Capital of New England" for its economic and cultural impact on the entire New England region. The city proper had...

, United States, 1983 Busan
Busan
Busan , formerly spelled Pusan is South Korea's second largest metropolis after Seoul, with a population of around 3.6 million. The Metropolitan area population is 4,399,515 as of 2010. It is the largest port city in South Korea and the fifth largest port in the world...

, South Korea, 1983 Cologne
Cologne
Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city , and is the largest city both in the Germany Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants.Cologne is located on both sides of the...

, Germany, 1984 São Paulo
São Paulo
São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, the largest city in the southern hemisphere and South America, and the world's seventh largest city by population. The metropolis is anchor to the São Paulo metropolitan area, ranked as the second-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas and among...

, Brazil, 1985 Montevideo
Montevideo
Montevideo is the largest city, the capital, and the chief port of Uruguay. The settlement was established in 1726 by Bruno Mauricio de Zabala, as a strategic move amidst a Spanish-Portuguese dispute over the platine region, and as a counter to the Portuguese colony at Colonia del Sacramento...

, Uruguay, 1985 Seville
Seville
Seville is the artistic, historic, cultural, and financial capital of southern Spain. It is the capital of the autonomous community of Andalusia and of the province of Seville. It is situated on the plain of the River Guadalquivir, with an average elevation of above sea level...

, Spain San Francisco, United States, 2010
Gdańsk
Gdansk
Gdańsk is a Polish city on the Baltic coast, at the centre of the country's fourth-largest metropolitan area.The city lies on the southern edge of Gdańsk Bay , in a conurbation with the city of Gdynia, spa town of Sopot, and suburban communities, which together form a metropolitan area called the...

, Poland, 1990 Havana
Havana
Havana is the capital city, province, major port, and leading commercial centre of Cuba. The city proper has a population of 2.1 million inhabitants, and it spans a total of — making it the largest city in the Caribbean region, and the most populous...

, Cuba, 1993 Guayaquil
Guayaquil
Guayaquil , officially Santiago de Guayaquil , is the largest and the most populous city in Ecuador,with about 2.3 million inhabitants in the city and nearly 3.1 million in the metropolitan area, as well as that nation's main port...

, Ecuador Kobe
Kobe
, pronounced , is the fifth-largest city in Japan and is the capital city of Hyōgo Prefecture on the southern side of the main island of Honshū, approximately west of Osaka...

, Japan, 1993 Antwerp, Belgium, 1997 Istanbul
Istanbul
Istanbul , historically known as Byzantium and Constantinople , is the largest city of Turkey. Istanbul metropolitan province had 13.26 million people living in it as of December, 2010, which is 18% of Turkey's population and the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Europe after London and...

, Turkey, 1997 Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv , officially Tel Aviv-Yafo , is the second most populous city in Israel, with a population of 404,400 on a land area of . The city is located on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline in west-central Israel. It is the largest and most populous city in the metropolitan area of Gush Dan, with...

, Israel, 1998 Gaza
Gaza
Gaza , also referred to as Gaza City, is a Palestinian city in the Gaza Strip, with a population of about 450,000, making it the largest city in the Palestinian territories.Inhabited since at least the 15th century BC,...

, Palestinian National Authority
Palestinian National Authority
The Palestinian Authority is the administrative organization established to govern parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip...

, 1998 Dublin, Ireland, 1998
Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

, Greece, 1999 Isfahan, Iran, 2000 Sarajevo
Sarajevo
Sarajevo |Bosnia]], surrounded by the Dinaric Alps and situated along the Miljacka River in the heart of Southeastern Europe and the Balkans....

, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2000 Valparaíso
Valparaíso
Valparaíso is a city and commune of Chile, center of its third largest conurbation and one of the country's most important seaports and an increasing cultural center in the Southwest Pacific hemisphere. The city is the capital of the Valparaíso Province and the Valparaíso Region...

, Chile, 2001 Shanghai
Shanghai
Shanghai is the largest city by population in China and the largest city proper in the world. It is one of the four province-level municipalities in the People's Republic of China, with a total population of over 23 million as of 2010...

, People's Republic of China, 2001 Nicosia
Nicosia
Nicosia from , known locally as Lefkosia , is the capital and largest city in Cyprus, as well as its main business center. Nicosia is the only divided capital in the world, with the southern and the northern portions divided by a Green Line...

, Cyprus, 2004 Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

, United Arab Emirates, 2006 Santa Cruz de la Sierra
Santa Cruz de la Sierra
Santa Cruz de la Sierra, commonly known as Santa Cruz, is the capital of the Santa Cruz department in eastern Bolivia and the largest city in the country...

, Bolivia, 2008 Cebu City
Cebu City
The City of Cebu is the capital city of Cebu and is the second largest city in the Philippines, the second most significant metropolitan centre in the Philippines and known as the oldest settlement established by the Spaniards in the country.The city is located on the eastern shore of Cebu and was...

, Philippines, 2009 Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City , formerly named Saigon is the largest city in Vietnam...

, Vietnam, 2009-05-29.


Other forms of cooperation and city friendship similar to the twin city programmes exist to many cities worldwide.

See also

  • Catalan people
    Catalan people
    The Catalans or Catalonians are the people from, or with origins in, Catalonia that form a historical nationality in Spain. The inhabitants of the adjacent portion of southern France are sometimes included in this definition...

  • Catalan cuisine
    Catalan cuisine
    Catalan cuisine is a Mediterranean cuisine from Catalonia. It may also refer to the shared cuisine of Roussillon and Andorra, which has a similar cuisine to the Alt Urgell and Cerdanya comarques, often referred to as "Catalan mountain cuisine"...

  • List of markets in Barcelona
  • List of tallest buildings and structures in Barcelona
  • 1929 Barcelona International Exposition
    1929 Barcelona International Exposition
    The 1929 Barcelona International Exposition took place from 20 May 1929 to 15 January 1930 in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain...

  • Exposición Universal de Barcelona
    Exposición Universal de Barcelona
    The Exposición Universal de Barcelona was Spain's first international Exposition and ran from May 20 to December 9 1888.-Summary:Eugenio Serrano de Casanova tried to launch an expo in 1886, and when that failed the Mayor took over. The fair was hosted on the 115 acre site of Parc de la Ciutadella...

  • Mossos d'Esquadra
    Mossos d'Esquadra
    The Mossos d'Esquadra are the police force of Catalonia, one of the autonomous communities of Spain. It is the oldest civil police force in Europe, founded in the 18th century as the Esquadres de Catalunya to protect the people of Catalonia....

  • Urban Region of Barcelona

External links