Barcelona, Catalonia`s capital, is one of the most colourful and vibrating cities in Spain. Its unique location near the Mediterranean Sea and Gaudí`s impressive architecture are a magnet for people from all over the world and contribute to the cosmopolite charm of the city. Since Barcelona’s makeover for the Olympics in 1992, it has become even more attractive with a man-made beach, extended transport system and the Olympic Village. Barcelona is constantly changing; even nowadays original projects for the Olympic games are being realized and contribute to the character of Barcelona.
The Ciutat Vella is the historical centre of Barcelona. In former times, Barcelona was only a small Roman village called Barcino, surrounded by a massive defensive wall. During the 14th and 15th century it grew rapidly and today the small winding streets, gothic buildings and medieval places still remember of Barcelona’s golden era. The best way to discover the Ciutat Vella in Barcelona is by foot – drift along the small streets and enjoy the lively atmosphere. Do not miss the following highlights when visiting the Ciutat Vella of Barcelona city.
Raval is the original medieval name for the district left of Las Ramblas of Barcelona. Shabby apartment houses and dodgy bars can be found right next to modern museums and trendy shops in the small winding streets in this district of Barcelona– Raval is a traditional workers area that is constantly changing. Once known as poor and dangerous area, it is now growing in popularity for its central location and its shops. El Raval is the home of many immigrants and the multicultural atmosphere contributes to the charm of this district of Barcelona. Some streets in El Ravel make up the red-light district of Barcelona.
Antoni I Cornet Gaudí was born in Reus near Tarragona in 1852. Very little is known about his personality; instead his famous architecture remained as witness of his life. He formed especially the city of Barcelona with his visionary buildings. Nevertheless Gaudí was not very well respected during his lifetime and many of his buildings in Barcelona are still disputed.
Las Ramblas is probably the most famous boulevard in Barcelona. The street is two kilometres long and right at the heart of the city. It divides the Ciutat Vella starting from the buzzing Plaça Catalunya right to the harbour of Barcelona. The wide pedestrian area in the middle of Las Ramblas is the ideal place to meet people, watch the busy traders or street performers. The numerous birds and flower stalls underline the colourful atmosphere of Las Ramblas. Be sure you have visited the following places.
The hill Montjüic (Jewish mountain) is one of the most significant landmarks of Barcelona. The huge park lies 213 metres above the harbour and is today one of the major tourist attractions in Barcelona. Montjüic hosted the World Exhibition in 1929 and the Olympic Games in 1992, remains of these big events in Barcelona can still be visited. The impressive view of Barcelona and the sporting and cultural devices on Montjüic are worth more than one visit.
The Parc Ciutadella is right next to the Ciutat Vella of Barcelona – a green space to breath and relax. The park was created during the 1860s on the grounds of a citadel. In 1888, the World Exhibition in Barcelona partly took place here and numerous Modernism architects contributed to the design of park. Nowadays it is a space for Barcelonans to enjoy nature, culture and their free time in the centre of Barcelona. On Sundays the park is full of young people who play drums, sell food and clothes.
“All that I shall give you” (tibi dabo) –these are the words with which the devil is said to have seduced Christ on a mountain like Tibidabo. Indeed, the sight of Barcelona from the top of the 542-meter high mountain is seductive. Barcelona is laid in miniature; Montjüic and the sea frame all the familiar sights and roads of the city.