Barcelona, the 16-th most visited tourist destination in the world and the fourth in Europe, after London, Paris and Rome, is one of the most magnificent cities in Spain with its unique situation and magnificent harbour. The city has a long history and time has managed to fuse the ancient spirit with the modern image in one unforgettable whole.
There are two hypotheses about the foundation of Barcelona. The first of them is a legend – according to it, the city was founded by Hercules himself. The second one attributes the foundation of Barcelona to another famous historical person – Hannibal’s father Hamilcar Barca.
It was under the Roman reign that the city of Barcelona became wealthy and prosperous. The city was consequently conquered by the Visigoths and the Arabs before Louis, the son of Charles the Great gave the throne to the first Count of Barcelona – Bera, in year 801.
Barcelona can be considered a paradise for the tourists and there is a lot to see in the city. The busiest period is in August, when the city is full of tourists who enjoy the beautiful beaches in the morning and visit the famous sights in the evenings. In Barcelona there are a lot of sights included in the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.
Park Güell is a beautiful architectural garden complex, designed by the famous architect Antoni Gaudí from Catalonia. The park is among the largest architectural complexes in the south of Europe and looks like a place in a fairy-tale. Another worth-visiting sites in Barcelona created by Antoni Gaudí and included in UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites are:
Palau Güell – the palace of the industrial magnate Eusebi Güell;
Casa Milà, which holds various activities and exhibitions;
Casa Vicens – the residence of the industrialist Manuel Vicens;
Sagrada Família – a fabulous Roman Catholic church that combines Art Nouveau and Gothic elements; and many others;
Casa Batlló – one of the best and most remarkable creations of the architect, located in the centre of Barcelona.
Palau de la Música Catalana is a grand concert hall with a beautiful architecture, created in the modernista style by Lluís Domènech i Montaner, another famous Catalan architect. At about 400 metres from it is the Barcelona Cathedral, the seat of the Barcelona Archbishop. The Church of Santa Maria del Mar is another beautiful Gothic building, built in the first half of the XIV century.
If you are keen on history and would like to sense the atmosphere of Medieval Barcelona, you can visit the historical complex Palau Reial Major, the residence of the Barcelona Counts and later, of the Aragon Kings. The Columbus Monument, which is 60 meters tall, was built in honour of the first voyage of Columbus. At about two kilometres away is the famous Arc de Triomf, built in the Neo-Mudéjar style in 1888.
It’s up to you to decide when to visit Barcelona – it is beautiful and has what to offer both during any period of the year. You can reach the city in every possible transport way, as it has developed infrastructure, connections with every main world airport and a sea outlet.