Barcelona is one of the great cities of both Europe and the world. In the past two millennia, it has been the site of historic events, stunning architecture, and several revitalization projects. The city itself was almost entirely torn down and rebuilt in the 19th century. In the early years of the 20th century, it became the home of Gaudi, Montener, and several other pioneers of modern architecture. Later on, great artists and writers such as Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, and Joan Miro called the city home. With its beautiful beaches and remarkable food scene, Barcelona also attracts millions of visitors each year who are fans of fun facts about Barcelona and not particularly history buffs. Here are some fun facts about Barcelona that you may not have known.
#1 Barcelona’s 2000-year old Roman gate is still partially standing. It is located in the Gothic Quarter.
#2 Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain and the largest on Spain’s coast. Only the capital of Madrid is larger.
#3 Barcelona is the heart of the state of Catalonia and the state’s burgeoning independence movement.
#4 The statue of Christopher Columbus on Las Ramblas is a testament to Columbus’ disputed origins. Some historians believe he was actually born in Catalonia.
#5. The bar that Ernest Hemingway used to frequent in the city, Bar Marsella, is still open and serving locals and tourists.
#6 Barcelona was revitalized in the mid-19th century. Large new avenues were laid out and new plazas were constructed. The city’s medieval wall was torn down around the same time as Paris was renovated by Baron Haussmann.
#7. Palau Nacional, built for the 1929 International Exhibition on top of Montjuic, is now the city’s art museum.
#8. The Barcelona Pavilion, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, was a staple of modern architecture when it debuted in 1929. It has been rebuilt on Montjuic.
#9. La Rambla, the most famous tourist street in the city, was originally located outside of the city’s walls.
#10 La Rambla contains one of ten Hard Rock Cafes in Spain. This restaurant provides American comfort food to both tourists and locals.
#11. Sagrada Familia, the cathedral originally planned by Antoni Gaudi, is still under construction. It is set to be completed in the late 2020s.
#12. Famous musicians, queens, and even an NBA All-Star (Pao Gasol) were all born in Barcelona.
#13. Pont del Bisbe, a majestic Gothic-looking bridge in the Gothic Quarter of the city, was actually built not in the 1300s but in the 1920s.
#14. One of the oldest synagogues in Europe is believed to be located in the center of the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona.
#15. Barcelona is a cultural center with numerous theaters, sports complexes, and street performers on La Rambla in particular.