June 12, 2019
Summertime is here, and Barcelona’s obvious attractions again will draw millions of visitors. Yet, there are amazing facets of the city waiting to be discovered by those willing to venture more deeply into its historical roots.
The Old City is a great place to start, with a visit to the Roman walled city of Barcino hidden below its streets. Barcelona’s ‘barrios’ (districts) reveal the character of the city’s subsequent evolution from a poor seaport town dependent on fishing to its great era of artistic creativity. Don’t forget to add the name of the city’s brilliant engineer, Ildefons Cerdà, to its ‘famous five’ artists: Picasso, Miro, Casas, Rusiñol and Nonell.
The foresight of Cerdà’s designs allowed the city to expand. He inspired an era of construction that witnessed the creation of magnificent architecture, including works such as Gaudi’s iconic Sagrada Familia. They’ve helped make Barcelona an exciting and inspiring world class destination.
But it is the bordellos of the Raval (best seen in daytime), the former textile workhouses of Poblenou, and the markets and municipal dairies (organized by municipal authorities to distribute milk and fresh food to the people) which reveal the working class character of Barcelonès—its citizens, and the roots of Catalan urban culture.
Barcelona has a robust history of scientific discoveries and inventions, and is home to several international pharmaceutical manufacturers, such as Esteve. Today, it is a world class centre for science and pharmacology. Barcelona has a thriving cultural and educational focus, with eleven universities. Its annual festivals, music and theatre, featuring traditional and modern artists, have become legendary. For people of all ages, Barcelona is the place to be!
Did you know?
- Barcelona derived its name from the Roman colony of Barcino. The Visigoths called it Barchinona and the Arabs named it Barshiluna.
- The Llibreria Almirall is a Barcelona bookshop dating from 1773.
- Barcadi is the name of the family originally from Barcelona (Sitges) which founded the famous drinks empire in 1862.
Just For You
Set in Barcelona, my novel The Girl From Barcelona takes you into a murky world of crime and the lives of some fascinating characters. Meet Daniela, the spy and seductress. Watch as the brilliant but emotionally immature young deputy detective inspector Antonio clashes with his federal counterpart Diego. A global terrorist plot is underway—and this fast-moving thriller will keep you on the edge of your deck chair.