A capital of the Spanish province Catalonia, Barcelona is one of the largest cities in the country and one of the major tourist centers.
Barcelona attracts millions of tourists every year. The amount of the hotels in Barcelona is equal to the amount of the hotels in Madrid, although the capital of the Spain is much bigger. Barcelona differs much from any other Spanish city, like the entire Catatonia. The province has its own language – Catalan, the original architecture and live attitude.
Barcelona is a city with almost two thousand years history and during this time knew its rises and falls. It survived Roman and later Arabian invasions. In Middle Ages Barcelona was the most powerful and flourishing city of the Mediterranean. The houses of the nobility of that period still adorn the centre of the city. In XVIII century Barcelona (and the whole Catalonia) lost its privileged status and became a part of Spain.
Barcelona is rich in architectural attractions, but it was Antonio Gaudi whose buildings became the real architectural symbols of the city. His famous unfinished masterpiece – Sagrada Familia (the Holy Family) cathedral is world known, and is always represented on the postcards, photos and travel guides devoted to Barcelona.
Apartment and office block - La Pedrera, - also created by Gaudi, houses his small museum. His edifices cannot be confused with anybody else’s works – the bright clear colors and the unusual lines are his distinguishing features. One more sample of Antonio Gaudi’s architecture is Parc Guell.
Barcelona is also known is a shopping centre, and its most famous street La Rambla (also called Las Ramblas) is filled both with the prestigious boutiques and the small shops with the works of the local craftsmen. The other Barcelona’s shopping thoroughfare is known as the Barcelona Shopping Line.
Barcelona is located on the Mediterranean coast, between hills and river. The centre of the city is hill Montjuic where stands the ancient fortress (now the military museum). On the slope of the hill lies the National Palace, built in 1929. Since 1934 it has been housing the Museum of the Catalan Art.