Historical Tour of Barcelona, Flickr: Carlose Torres

Port de Barcelona

With a rich history of over 2000 years, the city of Barcelona has seen it all. From Roman conquerors to its now prideful declaration as Catalonians, the city is designed based on every single influence. This second largest city of Spain is worth exploring through a historical time line seen through its architecture, art and vibe of the city.


The Roman Wall: We all know Rome once conquered much of the world during their Golden Age. Now, we are left with fascinating structures we respect as art. Ruins that date from the 12th century are visible near the Plaza Nueva Barcelona; the main entrance into the city at the time. The popular Barri Gothic also has pieces of Aqueducts and water lines which once ran through the city.


The Jewish Quarter: Did you know there was and still is Jewish heritage in Spain? In 1492, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella (The same couple that sent Columbus to explore) ordered all Spanish Jews to leave the country. Yet before this, they lived a happy life in Medieval Spain. Remnants of this time lie in the former Jewish quarter. For instance, Montjuic stands for Jewish mountain. This is a gorgeous hilltop with pristine views of the city.


Plaça Sant Jaume: Political squares are memorable places in history where people fight for their right. Plaça Sant Jaume is the location in Barcelona for exactly this. Since the Roman times, this area is central to vital events in Catalan history. Here you can capture a nice view of the Catalan flag, since the proclamation of the Catalan State was decided here in 1931. These Gothic buildings stand tall as the heart of the city where the government meets. (City Hall is on the other side) Note that on Sunday mornings, people gather to do the national dance: The Sardana to celebrate the start of a new week.


Sagrada Família: Any themed Barcelona vacation must include a stop at the Sagrada Família. This unfinished work of art by famous Catalan artist Gaudi is quite impressive. It is not only a tourist attraction; it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a minor basilica, as proclaimed by the Pope. The construction dates back to 1882 and continues to this very day. The structure represents the Catholic faith and the hard working Barcelonians that pay respect to this infrastructure. Finished or not, it will always be an impressive historical piece to Barcelona.


Parc de la Ciutadella: Looking for Barcelona's equivalence of Central Park? Parc de la Ciutadella is similar in idea, but historically profound dating back to the 19th century. It was recognized as being the only green area in the entire city. Besides getting a fresh dose of oxygen, it has become a main attraction for its zoo, lake and relaxing park space.

 

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Photo: Carlos Torres

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