Heart of Catalonia

Located in the heart of Catalonia and also its capital, Barcelona has gained worldwide fame due to its splendid architecture, its museums and monuments and, over the last decades, its excellence in football. First attested in Roman times, although predating Rome according to a legend, Barcelona is now the second largest city and provider of employment opportunities in Spain.

Park Guell, designed by the famous architect Antonio Gaudi, Barcelona España

Barcelona’s old city centre, known as the Gothic Quarter, is partly composed of buildings with great historical value, most dating from medieval times. Among its most impressive constructions are the notable gothic cathedral, Sagrada Familia, designed by Architect Antoni Gaudi, who also created Park Guell and Palau Guell, two other splendid key locations in the city.

There is also a large and wide-ranging aquarium, known as Aquarium Barcelona, which is impressive in its arcaded construction and comprehensiveness. Aside from many Roman vestiges, its many evocative attractions include renowned museums and art galleries representative for the entire region, such as the Archaeology Museum of Catalonia, National Museum of Art of Catalonia and Museum of History of Catalonia. Those interested in the city’s strategic maritime importance should visit the port as well as Barcelona Maritime Museum.

Life in Barcelona is never dull, yet there are a few distinctive moments to look out for, such as the two main music events held every year, the San Miguel Primavera Sound Festival and the Sonar Festival, both centred on contemporary music genres such as pop, alternative, dance and electronic music. Other events include Montjuic de Nit, the eve of Sant Joan celebration, the Grec Festival in April and Festa de la Merce in September. Other artistic events located outside of Barcelona itself yet in close proximity also draw visitors to the city, such as the popular Festival of Benicassim or the Monegros Desert Festival held near Fraga every July.

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