52 Facts About Barcelona


Barcelona has a rich cultural heritage and is today an important cultural centre and a major tourist destination.

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Barcelona is a major cultural, economic, and financial centre in southwestern Europe, as well as the main biotech hub in Spain.

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Name Barcelona comes from the ancient Iberian Barkeno, attested in an ancient coin inscription found on the right side of the coin in Iberian script as, in ancient Greek sources as, Barkinon; and in Latin as Barcino, Barcilonum and Barcenona.

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Internationally, Barcelona's name is abbreviated colloquially to 'Barca' in reference to the football club FC Barcelona, whose anthem is the Cant del Barca "Barca chant".

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The cathedral, known very formally by the long name of Catedral Basilica Metropolitana de Barcelona, is sometimes called La Seu, which simply means cathedral in Catalan.

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In 1137, Aragon and the County of Barcelona merged in dynastic union by the marriage of Ramon Berenguer IV and Petronilla of Aragon, their titles finally borne by only one person when their son Alfonso II of Aragon ascended to the throne in 1162.

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Barcelona's territories were later to be known as the Crown of Aragon, which conquered many overseas possessions and ruled the western Mediterranean Sea with outlying territories in Naples and Sicily and as far as Athens in the 13th century.

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Barcelona was the leading slave trade centre of the Crown of Aragon up until the 15th century, when it was eclipsed by Valencia.

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Barcelona was a centre of Catalan separatism, including the Catalan Revolt against Philip IV of Spain.

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Much of Barcelona was negatively affected by the Napoleonic wars, but the start of industrialisation saw the fortunes of the province improve.

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Barcelona remained the second largest city in Spain, at the heart of a region which was relatively industrialised and prosperous, despite the devastation of the civil war.

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Pressure for change was particularly strong in Barcelona, which considered that it had been punished during nearly forty years of Francoism for its support of the Republican government.

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Development of Barcelona was promoted by two events in 1986: Spanish accession to the European Community, and particularly Barcelona's designation as host city of the 1992 Summer Olympics.

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Barcelona is peppered with small hills, most of them urbanised, that gave their name to the neighbourhoods built upon them, such as Carmel, Putget (es) (181 metres or 594 feet) and Rovira (261 metres or 856 feet).

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Barcelona is densely populated, thus heavily influenced by the urban heat island effect.

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In 1900, Barcelona had a population of 533, 000, which grew steadily but slowly until 1950, when it started absorbing a high number of people from other less-industrialised parts of Spain.

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Barcelona's population peaked in 1979 at 1, 906, 998, and fell throughout the 1980s and 1990s as more people sought a higher quality of life in outlying cities in the Barcelona Metropolitan Area.

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Barcelona is one of the most densely populated cities in Europe.

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Barcelona city had a very high GDP of €80, 894 per head in 2004, according to Eurostat.

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Barcelona was the 24th most "livable city" in the world in 2015 according to lifestyle magazine Monocle.

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Similarly, according to Innovation Analysts 2thinknow, Barcelona occupies 13th place in the world on Innovation Cities™ Global Index.

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Borsa de Barcelona is the main stock exchange in the northeastern part of the Iberian Peninsula.

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Barcelona was the 20th-most-visited city in the world by international visitors and the fifth most visited city in Europe after London, Paris, Istanbul and Rome, with 5.

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Barcelona has long been an important European automobile manufacturing centre.

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Barcelona is governed by a city council formed by 41 city councillors, elected for a four-year term by universal suffrage.

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Since the coming of the Spanish democracy, Barcelona had been governed by the PSC, first with an absolute majority and later in coalition with ERC and ICV.

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Barcelona has a well-developed higher education system of public universities.

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Barcelona is home to the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, and in the private sector the EADA Business School, which became the first Barcelona institution to run manager training programmes for the business community.

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Barcelona is designated as a world-class city by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network.

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Barcelona has many venues for live music and theatre, including the world-renowned Gran Teatre del Liceu opera house, the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya, the Teatre Lliure and the Palau de la Musica Catalana concert hall.

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Barcelona is home to the Barcelona Symphony and Catalonia National Orchestra, the largest symphonic orchestra in Catalonia.

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Barcelona is an international hub of highly active and diverse nightlife with bars, dance bars and nightclubs staying open well past midnight.

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Barcelona has a long sporting tradition and hosted the highly successful 1992 Summer Olympics as well as several matches during the 1982 FIFA World Cup.

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FC Barcelona is a sports club best known worldwide for its football team, one of the largest and the second richest in the world.

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Barcelona has three UEFA elite stadiums: FC Barcelona's Camp Nou, the largest stadium in Europe with a capacity of 99, 354; the publicly owned Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys, with a capacity of 55, 926; used for the 1992 Olympics; and Estadi Cornella-El Prat, with a capacity of 40, 500.

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Barcelona was the host city for the 2013 World Aquatics Championships, which were held at the Palau San Jordi.

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Barcelona is home to numerous social centres and illegal squats that effectively form a shadow society mainly made up of the unemployed, immigrants, dropouts, anarchists, anti-authoritarians and autonomists.

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Barcelona argues that these squats embrace an anarcho-communist and anti-work philosophy, often freely fixing up new houses, cleaning, patching roofs, installing windows, toilets, showers, lights and kitchens.

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Port of Barcelona has a 2000-year-old history and a great contemporary commercial importance.

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Barcelona harbour is the leading European cruiser port and a very important Mediterranean turnaround base.

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Port Vell area houses the Maremagnum, a multiplex cinema, the IMAX Port Vell and one of Europe's largest aquariums – Aquarium Barcelona, containing 8, 000 fish and 11 sharks contained in 22 basins filled with 4 million litres of sea water.

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Barcelona is served by an extensive local public transport network that includes a metro system, a bus network, a regional railway system, trams, funiculars, rack railways, a Gondola lift and aerial cable cars.

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Buses in Barcelona are a major form of public transport, with extensive local, interurban and night bus networks.

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Barcelona has a metered taxi fleet governed by the Institut Metropolita del Taxi, composed of more than 10, 000 cars.

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Barcelona won the 1999 RIBA Royal Gold Medal for its architecture, the first time that the winner has been a city rather than an individual architect.

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Barcelona is the home of many points of interest declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO:.

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Barcelona has a great number of museums, which cover different areas and eras.

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The Erotic museum of Barcelona is among the most peculiar ones, while CosmoCaixa is a science museum that received the European Museum of the Year Award in 2006.

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Museum of Natural Sciences of Barcelona was founded in 1882 under the name of "Museo Martorell de Arqueologia y Ciencias Naturales".

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FC Barcelona Museum is the third most popular tourist attraction in Catalonia, with 1, 51 million visitors in 2013.

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Barcelona contains sixty municipal parks, twelve of which are historic, five of which are thematic, forty-five of which are urban, and six of which are forest.

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Barcelona beach was listed as number one in a list of the top ten city beaches in the world according to National Geographic and Discovery Channel.

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