Barcelona is on a plateau on the northeast coast of the Spain on coast of the Mediterranean sea.
It the second largest city in Spain in size and population with 1.6 million people living in the city.
The city is the capital of Catalonia which is one of the regional communities of Spain.
There are two official languages
spoken in Barcelona. The regional language is Catalan with Castillian Spanish being spoken throughout Spain. About 75% of the population understand Catalan and the signs in most of the shops, bars, restaurants and other establishments are in both languages
This capital of Catalonia developed as a Mediterranean port but the history, tradition and particularly the cultural influences have now made it one of the top tourist destinations in Europe.
Being on the shores of the Mediterranean gives it a more pleasant climate than most of Spain, Winters are mild with average temperatures of around 10 degrees C, while the hotter dry summers have an average temperature of 25 degrees C.
The city was founded by the Romans in the second century BC. Barcelona was one of the first areas in Europe to industrialise at the end of the 18th. century and got the nickname "la petita Manchester".
Machinery and textiles were particularly important during this period and the city is still a major fashion centre.
Barcelona has had a difficult history. Following the war of the Spanish Succession in 1714 the King destroyed much of the merchants quarter as punishment.
In 1939 during the Spanish Civil war, the city was taken by General franco's forces which was followed by many years of repression.
The 1922 Olympic Games were hosted by the city and were responsible for the emergence from the 'Drab' period to the present new artistic modernist Barcelona,
The city is now known for the capacity for hard work as well as the culture which has also spread throughout Catalonia.
Tourism to Barcelona has increased spectacularly since the 1960's boosted by the renewal of the city with modernist architecture and creation of beaches.
Of the many museums in Barcelona. the Museu Picasso is the most visited and contains many lesser known early works of the artist.
Barcelona is well known for the buildings designed by Antoni Gaudi and now seven are classified as World Heritage Sites. The construction of his unfinished church of 'La Sagrada Familia' was started in 1882 and is schedules for completion in 2026
La Ramblas is the most famous street, It is a pedestrianised tree-lined avenue with many shops and artists.