Barcelona is included in 'my' European cities even though it passes less than a day in the Catalan capital. Our visit to this city lasted only a few hours but it was enough to confirm its reputation as a beautiful city with a lot of life. It was sunny that day and while we walked through its streets we observed the Art Nouveau buildings especially those of Gaudi, we also visit the Picasso museum located in a medieval house. Of course we tried Catalan food and we enjoyed being in Barcelona, a city that today is made up of a multitude of different nationalities.
|Las Ramblas and its flower stalls|
It is convenient to read a little history of Barcelona to understand both the city and its people first. Barcelona has a varied and sometimes painful history. The Romans, Visigoths, Arabs and Franks have all occupied what now constitutes the city during the first millennium until it became the key to the Catalan region under a dynasty founded by a curiously named ruler Count Guifre el Pelos that lasted almost Five hundred years.
The Catalan connection helps define the city and perhaps it is because the Bourbon King Felipe forbade writing or teaching the Catalan language in the early 18th century. However, the demand for autonomy was never suppressed and remains today a unifying element in the culture of this cosmopolitan city.
In fact, during the Second Spanish Republic created in 1931, Catalonia declared its independence. During the Spanish civil war the city was ruled by anarchists and Trotskyists. Many of its churches were destroyed and more than 1,200 priests, nuns and monks were shot. The city was bombarded by Franco's forces. Under Franco's government, violence continued and many people were executed.
The 1992 Olympics it marked a new era for the city and gave it a new confidence after so many years of violent history. Its elegant buildings were rediscovered and the city was remodeled. Even the works in the Cathedral of La Sagrada Familia they continued despite the disapproval of art critics who believed that the original design was in danger of being lost. However, the independence of Catalonia It continues as a political objective for many people although now the population of Barcelona consists of people from all over Europe and notably from South America, all seeking to improve their quality of life.
Barcelona has become one of the most important cities in Spain, perhaps the most important, although the people of Madrid would not agree. It attracts a lot of tourists. I want to see the city again and my dream would be to spend more than a few hours. For more information and a complete guide to Barcelona see the page of our site
And if you want to know something about his soccer team, you can get in touch with my Anglo-Spanish grandson!