Barcelona (Barcelona) — the capital of the Autonomous province of Catalonia. The city is located in the northeast of Spain and is an important industrial and commercial center not only of Spain, but throughout Europe. That, however, it is not surprising, since Barcelona is the largest and most populous city of the Mediterranean.

The history of the founding of the city goes back into deep antiquity. It is believed that Barcelona was founded in the III century BC by the Carthaginian commander Hamilcar Barca, father of the legendary Hannibal. During the military campaign in the Iberian Peninsula he built at the foot of mount montjuïc fortified settlement, which was called Barsine. In the second century of Barcino came under the rule of the Romans, and the V century was captured by the Visigoths and for a time was the capital of the Visigothic Kingdom, now called Barinova, and after a while received, a well-known name — Barcelona. In the future, Barcelona became the capital of the Spanish mark of the Frankish Empire.

In the middle Ages Barcelona was one of the largest and most important cities of Europe, the capital of the Aragonese Kingdom, which belonged to Sardinia, Sicily, Corsica and Naples. After the unification of Aragon and Castile and the beginning of centralization of Spain, the Barcelona influence starts to wane, and simultaneously began to rise Madrid became the capital of the Spanish Kingdom.

In modern times Barcelona several times devastated by the troops of Madrid, could not tolerate the separatist sentiment of the Catalans. Despite all the trials, the city in the nineteenth century, confidently entered the industrial era and began to flourish. Since the last quarter of the XX century, Barcelona became the largest world megapolis, strengthening their international, cultural, economic, financial and, of course, a tourist status.

Barcelona is an architectural wonder of Spain, of attractions which attract huge number of tourists throughout the year. It is a Museum under the open sky, where amazingly harmoniously combines Gothic masterpieces of the middle Ages, experimental buildings in the art Nouveau style and modern directions in art, such as high-tech.

Barcelona is divided into ten administrative districts. All main sights are concentrated in three of them: the Old city (Ciutat Vella), aka the Gothic quarter (El Gòtic), the historic center of the capital of Catalonia; Barcelona (Eixample), or the New town, built in the nineteenth century and demonstrating the main works of Gaudi; and the area of Montjuic (Sants-Montjuïc), situated on the slopes of the hill of the same name.

The heart of the city — plaça de Catalunya, from which towards the sea is the main pedestrian street and part-time local attraction is La Rambla. Plaça de Catalunya (50000 m2) is the boundary between the Gothic quarter and Eixample. Around the Central square are concentrated a great variety of attractions: the monument to Columbus and the medieval shipyards Drassanes (now Maritime Museum), Exhibition centre of Barcelona, the national Palace, the Palace of Marset.

The Gothic quarter is the oldest quarter of the Old city. Most of the buildings of the quarter dates back to the XIV - XV centuries. In addition, you can find built in Roman times. The main attraction is the Cathedral, or the Cathedral of the Holy cross and Saint Eulalia, which is considered one of the most beautiful not only in Barcelona but throughout Spain, and today it was he, not Sagrada Familia, serves as the seat of the Archbishop. In the chapel of the Cathedral live white geese. Their color symbolizes the purity of the Holy Martyr Eulalia, in honour of which a temple was built.

Within the district are the Palace real Mayor, Ajuntament, chapel of Santa Agatha and the Historical Museum on the square in ray. On the square of Sant just draws attention to the Gothic fountain, the Palace Mouse and the Church of Santos Justo and Pastor. It is impossible to ignore Centelles Palace and the Jewish quarter cal.

The most visited Museum of Barcelona and one of the best in Spain, it is considered the Picasso Museum on Montcada street in the Old town. The Museum occupies five Gothic buildings, and includes many works of the great artist.

The area of Eixample was designed in the XIX century, when it became clear that the city needed to expand. Rectilinear layout not until this moment in Barcelona was not applied, and thanks to them, the architects were able to achieve not only convenience, but also external effects. The Eixample district starts from Plaza Catalunya and includes the entire Central part of the city. There are a large number of unique buildings, including famous buildings by the great gaudí. His famous Church of Sagrada Familia (Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família) or the Sagrada Familia with a height of 170 meters is one of the symbols of the city. And although the construction of the temple is still not completed, this does not prevent him to be the most famous architectural structure in the city.

Montjuïc is not only the name of district close to the seaport, but also the name of a mountain, got its name because of who was here first Jewish cemetery.

Montjuïc is one of the largest urban parks in Europe (70000 hectares). On top of the mountain there is a fortress built in 1640 g, which now houses a Military Museum.

The best views of montjuïc offer from Plaza españa, where the Gran via (Gran Via), Tarragona (Tarragona) and Parallel (Parallel). On the square is the old Bullring, the two bell towerssimilar to the towers on Piazza San Marco in Venice. Here are the national Palace, where the national Museum of art of Catalonia, light and music "Magic fountain". One of the most interesting objects of Montjuic is a "Spanish town" (Poble Espanyol). It is an architectural Museum under the open sky, which contains copies of buildings from different regions of Spain.

The main street of Barcelona and one of the most famous in Spain is Rambla (La Rambla), which is called the soul of the city. Pedestrian Boulevard stretching 1.2 kilometres from plaça Catalunya to the Old port. It serves as a kind of border between the Gothic quarter and the Raval. Here are concentrated all the entertainment of Barcelona's many attractions. On Rambla hold festive parades and processions.

La Rambla is sometimes called in the plural - Ramblas (Las Ramblas), because it consists of 5 boulevards - "rumble": Canaletes (Rambla de Canaletes), Teachings (Rambla dels'estudis), San Jose, or St. Joseph (Rambla de Sant Josep), the Capuchins (Rambla dels Caputxins) and St. Monica (Rambla de Santa Mònica).

These old boulevards are referred and pedestrian bridge, Marine Rambla (Rambla de Mar). built in 1992, before the Olympics. It connects the main street of Barcelona built in the waters of the port shopping center.

Feeling the fatigue from endless walks through the city streets in search of the next attractions of global importance, you can relax in the sun by visiting the city's beaches. The beach of Barceloneta is the most famous and crowded beach on the outskirts of Barcelona. It is located close to the city centre and is a long sandy strip along which are situated very close to each other restaurants and bars. The beach Bogatell is located near the Olympic port, you can get here at a leisurely pace for 20 minutes straight from the city centre. The beach is a sandy belt along the sea by as much as 640 meters. There is a convenient Parking for cars, and all the necessary infrastructure for tourists. Up the stairs from the beach there are many restaurants and eateries. The beach Mar Bella whether you like water activities, Windsurfing, diving, catamarans, kayaking, etc. Along the sandy beach strip there are many restaurant establishments. If during the day, it basically rests the youth, closer to the evening the beach "is occupied by" lovers of promenades along the sea.

Beach season in Barcelona begins in mid-may and lasts until mid-November.

But if You like a more relaxed beach holiday, it is better to visit the nearby coastal resorts of Barcelona located on the Costa del Garraf, Costa del Maresme or Costa Dorada.

Barcelona is also considered an excellent place for shopping. On the streets of the city's many boutiques, where the clothes of leading designers. In Barcelona all you can find entertainment for every taste.

It is this diversity of the city and attracts travelers from around the world. Everyone can find here something interesting for yourself, and no one can remain indifferent.

Many travelers who visit Barcelona will surely wish to stay here to live. Some of them are really affordable real estate in the capital of Catalonia, the others can only dream about this city, returning to the memories on the narrow old streets or wide, dynamic avenues of the business centre, and ever dream is definitely a reality.

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