About Barcelona

The capital of Catalonia , founded by the Romans, was a great medieval town too, but in the last 150 years it has lived through the splendor of modernism, the creation of the Eixample, two international exhibitions and the Olympic Games.

Less than two hundred kilometres from the French border, the city is surrounded by the Collserola hills to the west and by the hill of Montjuïc, which climbs up from the coast.

With a population over 1,600,000 inhabitants, Barcelona is divided into 10 districts each one of which is divided into several “barris” (neighbourhoods), Ciutat Vella being the historical centre of the city. The Eixample district is an example of the expansion of the city after the walls were knocked down.

The origins of Barcelona date back to the first century BC, when the Romans established a small colony around Mont Tàber (Taber Hill) called Barcino. The remains of two Roman walls bear witness to this period.

From the 4th to the 13th centuries, Barcelona expanded and consolidated the urban centre established by the Romans. At the end of the 13th century, a second wall was built, around the Santa Maria del Mar church, a symbol of medieval Barcelona. This was where the Ribera “barri” arose, the neighbourhood of craftsmen.

The unstoppable growth of the city was reinforced by trade with America and incipient industrialization which broke up the old regime. However, the revolution did not arrive until centuries later when the walls were demolished to urbanize the city following the Cerdà Eixample Plan.
It was the time when the first railroad connected Barcelona and Mataró, a symbol of industrial prosperity that was soon reflected in the architecture. Wealthy Families ordered the construction of iconic modernist buildings like Park Guell, Casa Mila and Casa Batllo.

When Barcelona was chosen to host the 1992 Olympic Games the city turned into an international reference point.

Catalan, the official language of Catalonia, is spoken in Barcelona, as is Spanish, the official language of Spain. The two Romance languages co-exist, however you can also hear other languages, as a result of the importance of tourism and the fact that the city is a meeting point for various cultures.

Barcelona is bubbling all year round. Alternative art galleries, urban sport, festivals, fairs, exhibitions and more fill the calendar with ideas that bring us closer to a culture always hanging onto the latest trends, not just personal but also with respect to urban elements, art, transportation and even food. Yet Barcelona’s inhabitants have fixed habits and they like to look after and promote their own history, conserving buildings and streets, while maintaining their traditions throughout the year. Celebrations like the Festa de la Mercè, literally the “Festival of Our Lady of Mercy”, the city’s patroness, is a very good example of this. It is also important to mention the folk festivals in each of the city’s neighbourhoods, notably those in Sants and Gràcia, where every year they follow the same traditions, with giants, human towers and folk music.

Barcelona faces the sea and, as a result, during the course of its history, became a gateway through which, knowledge, traditions, customs and new consumer products have passed, in short, an inexhaustible source of wealth, not only from Europe but also all the lands that form the Mediterranean and beyond. Although culturally Barcelona’s inhabitants have fed themselves through this permanently open window, they are people of habits, with fixed timetables and family orientated. We can therefore assert that their cultural growth has always rested on a formula that is very much their own and difficult to copy: an interesting mix of local and imported traditions.

The most of the web page pictures are shoted by Tarannà Team during the trips

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