Barcelona – City of Color, Life and Gaudí

Barcelona, capital city of the autonomous community of Catalonia in Spain, is Europe’s Largest Metropolis on the Mediterranean coast, with a population of 1.6 million.

Short History – Two Legends, One Settlement

The origin of the earliest settlement of Barcelona is the subject of two legends. The first one claims the founding of the city was done by the mythological Hercules while the second legend attributes it to the historical Carthaginian Hamilcar Barca, who originally named the settlement Barcino.

Becoming a Roman military camp in 15 BC, the city minted its own coins and blossomed until it was sacked by the army of Almanzor when most of Barcelona’s population was either killed or enslaved. Barça continued on a down spiral when the great plague (1650–1654) halved the city’s population, all the way until the Napoleonic wars, when the city was even further affected.

Even with such a rough history, Barcelona managed to survive and prosper, becoming soon the second largest city in Spain.

Why Visit?

DSC_5840Full of color and life, Barcelona redefines the term ‘green’ as more than 10% of the city is covered by parks. The boulevards are also a mix to concrete and green, which helps keep the noise level low, and maintain the air quality.

Also, Barça is home of many buildings dating all the way back to the medieval times, which blend with the gorgeous Art Nouveau constructions, part of them already included in the UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.

La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia is a large Roman Catholic church designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. However, the architect Francisco de Paula del Villar was the first one who designed the church, and the construction began on March 19, 1882, following his vision. Only in 1883 Gaudí started working on the project, next to him, until March 18, 1883, when Villar retired from the project.

Although incomplete even nowadays (it is estimated that the completion of the project will happen around year 2026), the church is already part of UNESCO World Heritage Site, which attracts a large number of tourists, every year.

Casa Batlló

Another one of Gaudí’s masterpieces, Casa Batlló or Casa dels ossos (House of Bones as it’s known to the locals) is the result of a total restoration which took place in 1904 when a 1877 conventional house was transformed completely.

Gaudí used ceramics, stone and forged iron for the radical construction, which made the building be highly criticized for a design that broke all the laws of the city. In the in 1900s however, it was voted by the Barcelona City Council as one of the three best buildings of the year.

Casa Mila –  La Pedrera

La Pedrera (the stone quarry), the last civil work designed by Antoni Gaudí, built between the years 1906 and 1910, is also part of UNESCO World Heritage Site. With self-supporting stone facade and columns, twisting iron balconies and windows, this is another very controversial work of the famous architect.

Originally built for a married couple living in Barcelona, nowadays the building is the headquarters of Fundació Catalunya – La Pedrera which organizes a large range of cultural activities and exhibitions.

DSC_5871Cathedral of Santa Eulalia

La Seu, as it’s also called was constructed between the 13th and the 15th century, to honor Eulalia of Barcelona, a virgin martyr from during the Roman times in Barcelona. Nowadays, her body is still entombed in the cathedral’s crypt, and the building is the Gothic cathedral seat of the Archbishop of Barcelona.

The Beach

Even if the beach attracts so many tourists, it’s interesting to know there were no beaches in Barcelona until the year 1992, when the city hosted the Olympic Games, the main reason for transforming the city’s shoreline into a leisure area. According to both National Geographic and Discovery Channel, the beach was ranked number one in the list of the top ten city beaches in the world!

With a combination of perfect sand, luxurious yachts, bars and restaurants, the area is very inviting and full of life.

The Aquarium

Located in Port Vell harbor, the aquarium is home to 11,000 animals, representing 450 species, which live in 35 aquariums. All in all, during your visit, you are surrounded by 5,000,000 l of water. Pretty impressive, or what?

Among the tanks, the ocean tank for sharks is probably the most impressive, considering its size and capacity. However, the large number of beautiful species offer a wonderful experience, throughout the entire aquarium. 

All in all, Barcelona is a very colorful and happy city, combining perfectly various building styles, from medieval, to modern.

With a fresh cuisine, a positive vibe, a stunning architecture and a fascinating history, Barcelona makes you want to go back and experience more!


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42 thoughts on “Barcelona – City of Color, Life and Gaudí

    • Thank you for reading Judie! Barcelona is a city full of life, that’s for sure. All the buildings are unique and beautiful 🙂 I’m happy I could provide a short tour. Many hugs ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • It’s absolutely huge and it gives you the feeling like there are a few buildings combined! I can’t say I particularly liked all parts of the building, but the old part of it, it’s absolutely stunning. The amount of detail is very impressive.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. There are so many places to see in the world, but I am glad for the view of so many wonderful things that are so near to me. I loved the mountain road views that you posted! But they sure looked treacherous, and your descriptions gave me goosebumps!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your kind words 🙂 Those 2 roads are stunning. The view from up there, is absolutely amazing, and the first time I visited them, I also got goosebumps. It’s amazing to see the clouds below where you stand! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reading and for taking the time to leave a comment, Eddie! It was definitely beautiful to visit a city with such a wonderful atmosphere. Every building has a different color and design. This makes the city look so much alive.
      My pleasure for following your blog. It’s always nice to meet more talented bloggers from all over the world 🙂 Have a lovely weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh no…that’s a real pity 😦 I hope you’ll get there soon. it’s definitely beautiful. I had to choose between Paris and Barcelona, as I didn’t had time for both, so I went to visit Barcelona. No regrets so far 🙂 Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for reading and for taking the time to leave a comment. I must say, Barcelona is a very interesting city. Combining the beach, with colors, parks, gorgeous buildings, all unique and beautiful, gives it a totally different feel.
      I did had a lovely time there, and I’d love to visit it one day, again. You should make time to see it. I’m sure you will enjoy it very much 🙂

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      • Yes, I really should. Yesterday, I met a girl that had lived in Barcelona for 5 years, and she said the same as you! She loved it! When I am back in Europe I need to take a trip there! I am sure I will enjoy it as well 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Outstanding post dear Lucy… I hope I can visit Spain (and Italy) as I have italian and spanish roots… Barcelona is beautiful city indeed and I’d love to visit Parc Guell among many other beautiful places, some of which you have spotlighted on your great post!.
    All the best to you. Happy weekend! Aquileana ⭐

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you dear Aquileana! You feedback means a lot to me 🙂 I hope you will manage to visit both countries soon.
      Unfortunately I didn’t had time to see Parc Guell as well, but if I ever go back there, I’ll for sure check it out. I hear it’s absolutely amazing 🙂 My way of travel is kind of different. I don’t research too much before I go to a location, and I also don’t spend too much time in one spot. I just go where the road takes me, and it usually works wonderful, and I get to gorgeous places. Also, sometimes I skip seeing some important ones 🙂
      Have a lovely weekend! ❤

      Like

    • Johanna, thank you so much for your kind words! I feel humbled! I love to write, but most of all, I love to inspire people, and share my experiences with them. It’s a lovely way to meet very talented individuals!
      I hope you will visit Barcelona soon. Make sure you let me know how it went, when you get there 🙂 I’d love to see how you experienced it. For me, it was definitely a colorful and happy trip!
      Have a lovely weekend! xo

      Like

  3. Ahhhh….Barcelona..my favorite city in Europe! I love all the architecture (which you have great pictures of) and the atmosphere. Where else do you get beach life and all this amazing culture hand in hand? Have you been at up at Tibidabo? Amazing views over Barcelona, and after the visit there is a small cozy bar (also with a great view) on the way down.
    Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your lovely comment! I’m happy I provided a small virtual tour 🙂 I also loved it for the same thing. You don’t really expect such a large city, with so much history, to have such a wonderful beach!
      Unfortunately I didn’t go to Tibidabo. I’m sure the view must be amazing. Maybe next time 🙂
      Have a lovely weekend as well! x

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’m really happy to hear you enjoyed it so much! Yes, Gaudi’s work is pretty impressive. Not one building comes close in style to the other one. The city is so full of life. It gives you a very pleasant feeling. I’d love to visit again 🙂 Thank you for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. First time we visited Barcelona was at the end of the seventies. There was a little nursery school in its grounds. There were only three tourists visiting, hubby and another architect! Last time we visited it was “hoaching”! Loved our visit though and Gaudi’s work is amazing! Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reading! I guess this applies for all large cities. I don’t think I would like to live in city where a large number of tourists visit all year round. It can be a bit frustrating when it gets crowded 🙂 This is one thing I didn’t like about Venice. I had to wait in line to walk. Barcelona was a bit better, but again, I got there last year in April, so not full season. Still, as you also said, a beautiful city! Have a lovely day! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • In terms of architecture, it’s a must see. I was surprised to see every building so different and full of life. A very gorgeous city indeed. I hope you will get to see it soon.
      I was there last year in mid April, so the weather was pretty good 🙂 This was part of a tour around Europe, which I did by car, in only a few days. I will add more info from other cities as well, but it seems like I never have enough time to get to them 🙂
      I hope it all went well with the move and you had some time to relax.
      Have a lovely Sunday!

      Like

  5. My favorite city!!! I’ve visited twice and I can’t get enough of it, it has such a charming atmosphere, I could easily live there. I may go again this year, although I’m also considering Malta instead, it will depend on the prices of plane tickets, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, it always comes down to that. Personally, I try to not go in the same place more than once. The world if full of wonderful locations, and we don’t have time to see them all. Still, some places have that special something… 🙂 I hope you’ll visit it again soon. It’s quite a spot! Have a lovely new week!

      Liked by 1 person

    • That’s wonderful! I can’t wait to hear how the visit went 🙂 The aquarium is absolutely beautiful, and they have a lot of fish. Actually, I thought about you when I posted the pictures. I was sure you will enjoy them 🙂

      Like

    • Thank you so much, Amy! It’s great to know you enjoyed it. Have you ever been there before?
      Barcelona is definitely a beautiful city, so it was easy to capture some nice shots 🙂

      Like

    • Unfortunately such events make us avoid some places. I also have this with a few locations. Still, I think Barcelona is worth it. Beach, beautiful buildings, nice atmosphere overall 🙂 I hope you get to visit it soon! Thank you for reading. Have a lovely day!

      Like

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