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History of Barcelona

History of Barcelona

EIn Neolithic times there was already a human presence in the territory of Barcelona. At the end of the 1st century BC it was founded as a Roman colony under the name of Barcino. It had around a thousand inhabitants and was surrounded by a defensive wall, the remains of which can still be seen in the downtown.

For more than 200 years, Barcelona was under Muslim rule, and with the Christian reconquest it became a county of the Carolingian Empire and a regular residence of the Crown of Aragon. The fruitful medieval period made Barcelona an economic and political centre of the western Mediterranean. The Barrio Gótico is one of the city's most important monuments are a precious witness to the splendour of Barcelona from the 13th to the 15th century.

From then until the 18th century, Barcelona experienced a certain decline as it struggled to maintain its economic and political independence. In 1714, this struggle culminated in the fall of the city into the hands of the Bourbon troops. That year marked the loss of the rights and privileges of Catalonia and the Catalans. In the mid-19th century, with the arrival of the Industrial Revolution and the development of the textile sector in particular, a period of cultural recovery began. This was the Renaixença, a period in which the Catalan language was renewed as a literary language.

The 20th century also ushered in a major urban transformation in the city of Barcelona, culminating in its characteristic Eixample district, where are located some of the city's most important buildings of the Catalan Modernism in Barcelona. One of the most outstanding architects of this period was the Catalan Antoni Gaudí, the author of such internationally renowned works as the Casa Milà (or Pedrera), the Casa Batlló or the Sagrada Familia Temple.

The freedoms achieved during this period were substantially curtailed during the Civil War in 1936 and the dictatorship. With the re-establishment of democracy in 1978, Barcelona regained its strength in the economy and the Catalan language. The holding of the Olympic Games in 1992 meant the revitalisation of Barcelona's full potential and the reaffirmation of its capital status.

In 2004, the organisation of the Forum of Cultures led to the recovery of industrial areas, which were converted into residential neighbourhoods. An example of the renewed spirit with which Barcelona is looking to the 21st century.

Museums in Barcelona

Some of the most famous museums in Barcelona:

- Museo de historia de Barcelona (Plaza del Rei. 1 (Barcelona))

- Museo de historia de Catalunya (Plaza de Pau Vila, 3 (Barcelona))

- Museo Nacional de Arte en Catalunya - MNAC The MNAC includes all the arts (sculpture, painting, objets d'art, drawing, engraving, posters, photography and numismatics) and aims to explain a global discourse of Catalan art from the Romanesque to the mid-20th century. In the case of the Romanesque and Gothic collections, this discourse is characterised by the Catalan origin of most of the pieces, although, especially in the Gothic style, comparisons are made with art from other origins. With regard to the Renaissance and Baroque collections, the works included lead to a more international discourse, with the work of great painters such as El Greco, Zurbarán, Velázquez, Cranach, Rubens… The MNAC's art collections from the end of the 19th century to the first decades of the 20th century are once again mostly composed of works by Catalan artists, forming a discourse that explains modernism, Noucentisme and avant-garde, always taking into account all the arts. Very interesting museum, although it is a very long visit.

- Centro de Cultura Contemporanea de Barcelona is a multidisciplinary institution that organises exhibitions, particularly in urbanism, music, dance, debates and readings. It organises and produces exhibitions, debates, festivals and concerts, film programme cycles, courses and conferences, and encourages the creation of new technologies and languages.

- El Born centre de cultura i memòria

- Museo de la ciencia We are talking about a very interactive museum, where children and adults can play with their senses while learning at the same time.

- Museo del Futbol Club Barcelona One of the most most visited museums in Barcelona.

The Modernist route in Barcelona

Behind the centuries-old Art Nouveau façades of the Eixample we find the names of the families of Barcelona's bourgeoisie as well as the names of the most prominent architects. A good example is the three houses in the so-called "manzana de la discordia" (block of discord), on Passeig de Gràcia, between Carrer Consell de Cent and Carrer Aragó. Here, three of the great architects of Modernisme, Lluís Domènech i Montaner, Josep Puig i Cadafalch and Antoni Gaudí, built a house for the families Lleó Morera, Amatller y Batlló respectively.

Although it is in the Eixample district, and more specifically in the area known as the "Quadrat d'Or" (golden square) where we find the greatest concentration of modernist buildings, this architectural style is also present in many other places in Barcelona.

Thus, in Ciutat Vella, we can appreciate the incomparable Palau de la Música , and inside the Parc de la Ciutadella , the building of the Museu de Ciències Naturals i Zoologia are two of a multiple examples. The Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau is one of the nine modernist masterpieces in Barcelona declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco. Barcelona is undoubtedly the European city where modernism has the greatest presence in the physiognomy and personality of the city.


How to get Barcelona

The best way to get Barcelona is by train.

Calella train station is a 10 minute walk from our properties. There you can take the train to Barcelona. It runs every 30 minutes. The journey to the centre of Barcelona takes 1 hour and 10 minutes.

We recommend getting off at Plaça Catalunya station where you can hire the tourist bus, walk towards Las Ramblas, Paseo de Gracia and the Barrio Gótico.

If you prefer to visit Barcelona by car, the journey takes about 40 to 45 minutes on the C-32 toll motorway..