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The City of Barcelona is a Mediterranean port in Catalonia, north-eastern Spain. It is located some 315 miles (507km) northeast of Spain’s capital city, Madrid, and is the capital of Barcelona province. The city is also the capital of the autonomous community of Catalonia. With a city population of 1.6 million (4.8 million in the urban area and 5.5 million in the metropolitan area), Barcelona is the second most populous municipality of Spain.
The main purpose of this webpage is to show some photos taken during sightseeing trips to this popular destination.

Some old sources suggest that Barcelona was founded by the Carthaginian Barca family in the 3rd century BC. Around 15 BC, the Romans redrew the town as a castrum (Roman military camp). It became a major trading centre in the late Middle Ages. On a number of occasions (1640-52, 1715, and 1808-14), the French occupied and lost it. The city has a long history of being the focal point for radical political and Catalan separatist movements; the autonomous Catalan government of 1932-39 was established here, but came to an end as a result of the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). Historically, industries in Barcelona have included cars, aircraft, textiles, machinery and electrical goods, whilst tourism has played an important role, with the city today being in the top 10 most popular visitor destinations in Europe.

At the heart of the city lies the Gothic Quarter (Barri Gòtic), a maze of squares and narrow streets located between the Ramblas (a series of connected boulevards, going south-eastwards to the sea), and the Via Laietana. By the middle of the 19th century, as the need for city defences were no more, the city underwent much-needed expansion. A planned-out area now known as L’Eixample (“the Extension”), was constructed. L’Eixample was based on a geometric street layout. Further (and sometimes uncontrolled) expansion took place, within the city and also outwards, absorbing surrounding municipalities.
Photos taken during visits here in the 2000’s are shown below, followed by a brief description of some of the city’s main sights:

Note: For more photos from a later visit (in 2019), see the page addendum further down.

Some of the main sights throughout the city include the following:

① The spectacular and famous Basílica de la Sagrada Familia (Photo 3, above; dealt with on a separate webpage Here)
② Barri Gòtic (the Gothic Quarter, spiritual and secular centre of the city for some two millennia. Highlights here include the Gothic Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulali or simply “Barcelona Cathedral”, The Roman and Medieval walls, Remains of the Roman Temple, Plaça Sant Jaume and the Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya, Palau Reial Major, Plaça Reial, and Casa de la Ciutat/City Hall, as well as other squares, churches and buildings of interest)
③ Casa Mila (Antoni Gaudí's most famous secular building. Sometimes referred to as La Pedrera - "The Stone Quarry", this avant-garde house was built 1906-12 in the city’s Eixample district, off the Passeig de Gràcia boulevard)
④ Casa Batlló (an elaborate residential property, also designed by Gaudí, it is one of Barcelona’s most characteristic Modernist buildings) [Photo 2, above]
⑤ La Rambla (an unmissable broad, tree-lined avenue that divides the Old Town into two parts. It runs from Plaça de Catalunya down to the port and is lined with shops, cafés and restaurants, forming the city’s social hub. A must-see along la Rambla is the food market Mercat de la Boqueria. At the port end of La Rambla is Portal de la Pau Square, where a Christopher Columbus monument stands in commemoration of his “discovery” of America and his announcement of it in the city) [Photos 19-21, 35&36, above]
⑥ Palau de la Música Catalana (Palace of Catalan Music, built 1905-08)
⑦ Parc Güell (a surrealistic park designed by Antoni Gaudí and created in 1900-14. Its terrace offers panoramic views of the city and the sea beyond) [Photos 4-18, above]
⑧ Camp Nou (the largest stadium in Europe and second largest in the world, it was one of the venues for the 1992 Summer Olympics and is home to football club FC Barcelona)
⑨ Barcelona Zoo (a zoo in the Parc de la Ciutadella) [Photo 31, above]
⑩ La Barceloneta (a neighbourhood bordering Sant Sebastià Beach. It contains a long palm tree-lined promenade which connects the beach area to marinas. The Port Cable Car ascends from here to the hilltop of Montjuïc)
⑪ Montjuïc (accessible several ways, such as the aforementioned cable-car, bus, or funicular, this hilltop neighbourhood includes the 17th-century Castle of Montjuïc - the latest of several fortifications which have stood here, Montjuïc Cemetery, The National Art Museum of Catalonia, Fundació Joan Miró modern art museum, the Museum of Ethnology, The Catalan Museum of Archaeology, The Magic Fountain, The Poble Espanyol or Spanish Village, The Botanical Gardens, and The Olympic and Sports Museum)
⑫ Monestir de Pedralbes (a convent in Jardines Reina Elisenda. Founded in 1326 for the Order of Saint Clare, the building is in the Catalan Gothic architectural style)
⑬ Quadrat d'Or (the Quadrant of Gold, an area of the Eixample district renowned for its Modernist architecture, much of which was inspired by the work of Antoni Gaudí)

Page Addendum

Some more photos follow. These were taken during a 2-night stay at the Urbany Youth Hostel, located about 2.8km (1.7 miles) north east of Plaça de Catalunya (the large square generally considered to be the city’s centre). Seen here are photos from a walk down Las Ramblas down to the Columbus Monument and ending up at Rambla de Mar, a visit to the Joan Miró Foundation located on the hill of Montjuïc (as well as Miró’s works, note the Mercury Fountain by Calder), a walk up to the Gothic Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia (also known as Barcelona Cathedral) in the Old Town and an evening stroll around the Glòries area of the city. Thumbnail gallery below (click on an image to enlarge):

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