With a history of over 2,000 years, Barcelona has been the traditional gateway to Spain and is a vibrant and international city. With one of Europe’s busiest seaports, the medieval romance of its Gothic Quarter, and a feast of Catalan Art Nouveau buildings, including the great creations of Antonio Gaudí, Barcelona is one of the most intriguing and beautiful cities of the “old world”. Being the capital of the region of Catalonia, Barcelona is a city that is welcoming, dynamic, innovative, playful, avant-garde, modernist, gothic, and Olympic. A center of art, architecture and design, it is indeed a truly unforgettable destination.
The history of Barcelona is clearly written in its buildings and streets. Founded by the Phoenicians, Barcelona and its Catalans have survived the occupation of the Visigoths and Moors before being integrated into the Frankish empire under Charlemagne. It was here, in the Plaça del Rei, where the Spanish king welcomed Columbus on his return from discovering the New World. Throughout the centuries that followed, Barcelona experienced significant growth and a spectacular economic revival at the onset of industrialization. Culture and arts flourished and the splendor reached by Catalan modernism is one of the most patent displays. Being located close to the French border (a little over 200 km) and with a wide Mediterranean coastline, Barcelona has a solid position as a major regional economic power. Its key industries include automotive, textiles, electronics and tourism. Events of the past decades include the 1992 Olympic Games and the 2004 World Cultural Forum. Those who visit Barcelona, the city of Gaudí, Miró and Casals generally become amigos para siempre.
How many Barcelonas are you ready to get to know? With the special themed trails you can trace the evolution of the city, from the time when it was a Roman colony to its present-day modern character, without overlooking the imprints left on the city by some of the foremost geniuses from the world of art and culture. All the Barcelonas that have shaped, and continue to shape the city, are waiting for you.
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