Facts and figures about Barcelona
- 1.61 million inhabitants
- 2,784 hectares of green spaces
- 190 university centres
- 4 world class hospitals
- 174,209 businesses
- 2,513 hours of sunlight a year
The history of Barcelona
The first human settlements date back to Neolithic times. The city was founded by the Romans they set up a colony called Barcino.
For over 200 years, Barcelona was under Muslim rule, and, following the Christian reconquest, it became a county of the Carolingian Empire and one of the main residences of the court of the Crown of Aragon. The fruitful medieval period established Barcelona's position as the economic and political centre of the Western Mediterranean. The city's Gothic Quarter bears witness to the splendour enjoyed by the city from the 13th to the 15th centuries.
From the 15th to 18th centuries Barcelona struggled to maintain its economic and political independence. This ended in 1714, when the city fell to the Bourbon troops and Catalonia's and Catalans' rights and privileges were suppressed.
A period of cultural recovery began in the mid-19th century with the arrival of the development of the textile industry. During this period, which was known as the Renaixença, Catalan regained prominence as a literary language.
During the 20th century the Catalan Antoni Gaudí, one of the most eminent architects, designed buildings such as the Casa Milà, the Casa Batlló and the Sagrada Família church, which have become world-famous landmarks.
The freedoms achieved during this period were severely restricted during the Civil War in 1936 and the subsequent dictatorship. With the reinstatement of democracy in 1978, Barcelonasociety regained its economic strength and the Catalan language was restored. The city's hosting of the 1992 Olympic Games gave fresh impetus to Barcelona's potential and reaffirmed its status as a major metropolis.
In 2004, the Forum of Cultures reclaimed industrial zones to convert them into residential districts.
Most of the people who live in Barcelona speak Catalan and Spanish, which is also an official language. Street names and most road and transport signs are in Catalan.
More practical information on Barcelona can be found at the website from Barcelona Turisme
Things to-do in Barcelona
4. Catalan Gastronomy
5. The Coast
Please visit Barcelona Turisme for more information.
Public transport in the city
There are different types of travel cards that are valid throughout the public transport network (metro, buses, tram and suburban rail), including a T-10 card which is valid for 10 journeys, the T-Familiar, which is valid for 8 journeys or day passes (2, 3, 4 and 5 days), which you can buy here: Hola Barcelona. A single ticket for the tram is valid for a period of 30 minutes, you can find more information here. Information about a single ticket for the metro bus or funicular journey, you can find here.
Barcelona has eight metro lines that can be identified by the number and colour of the line: L1 (red), L2 (lilac), L3 (green), L4 (yellow), L5 (blue), L9 (orange), L10 (light blue), L11 (light green).
More information can be found at: www.tmb.cat or www.fgc.cat
Metro plan Barcelona
There are 2 Tram lines in Barcelona: the Trambaix (T1, T2, T3) which runs from Francesc Macià to the towns of Sant Just Desvern, Sant Joan Despí, Sant Feliu de Llobregat and Cornellà. The Trambesòs (T4, T5, T6) covers a route from the Olympic Village to Sant Adrià de Besòs via the Forum site and arriving to Badalona.
More information can be found at: www.tram.cat
Barcelona has over 100 bus routes connecting all districts in the city.
More information can be found at: www.tmb.cat
Barcelona taxi's are yellow and black.
More information can be found at: www.taxi.amb.cat