Barcelona - the city of talents, the city of masterpieces, the city of the future

November 22, 2009


Barcelona is located on the Mediterranean coast, and it is a second largest city in Spain and, simultaneously, the capital of the most independent one of its autonomous communities - Catalonia. The city has preserved cultural relics of many times and peoples. There the architecture of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and modern styles got mixed . The sunny Barcelona wins the hearts of its visitors with the fragrance of flowers at the La Rambla avenue, Gaudi's architectural structures and the narrow streets of the Gothic Quarter.



Barcelona is a city for intellectuals and those that are thirsty for historical monuments, a city for the romantic and the melancholic, the city for people with a sense of humor and ossified pessimists. This is perhaps one of the few cities which one can not go without a guide - here, every house, every street, every temple has its own  fascinating history. Here everyone will find something of himself. And neither gingerbread houses in the pictures, nor modernist architecture in the photographs are able to transfer all the beauty and atmosphere of the city. Barcelona must be seen with your own eyes!



In the heart of the city

The La Rambla avenue is the soul and the heart of the city. As the English writer Somerset Maugham, "This is the most beautiful street in the world." La Rambla being the most famous pedestrian zone in Spain stretches for 2 kilometers from Plaza Catalunya all the way to Square Porta de la Pau in the port town. The street has been planted with plane trees, surrounded with small cafe tables and souvenir stalls, flower stalls alternate with the book stalls, musicians are playing always, there are a lot of street performers, clowns, circuses and mimes, cages with birds and domestic animals are put out for sale.




The Porta de la Pau Square is surrounded with the the XIX century buildings. Here is a column of Christopher Columbus in memory of the fact that it was to Barcelona that the discoverer of America returned from the main navigation of his life. The column is made of cast iron and is more than 50 meters heigh. This monument became the symbol of Barcelona. It was created in 1888 by the time of the World Exhibitions opening in the city. Inside the columns there is an elevator, where you can go up to an eight-foot sculpture of the Admiral. Both the residents of the cith and the visitors make appointments near the column of Christopher Columbus. As the saying goes "the meeting place can not be changed."


A genius' creativity  became part of the urban fabric

The work of a world-famous architect Antonio Gaudi (1852-1926) gave a new and original face to Barcelona. He introduced multi-colored, wavy architectural forms into the shape of streets and squares. The best part of his oddly-fiction works are as if sculpted by hands. Many of the architectural sites of Barcelona, including Casa Batlle in the "quarter of strife"; Casa Mila, better known as La Pedrera (translated as "quarry"); Park Güell and others bear the stamp of the architect's genius. However, a special place here is still occupied by one of the most impressive buildings of the architect - Sagrada Familia (El Templo Expiatorio de la Sagrada Familia or Cathedral of the Holy Family).


UNESCO declared the 2002 to be the year of Antonio Gaudi, a few works of the architect entered the world heritage of this esteemed organization. This event was timed to 150 anniversary of the birth of the Catalonian genius. As the specialists acknowledged, over the 48 years of work, Gaudi created the architectural appearance of one of the most beautiful cities in the world - Barcelona, which long has not been thought of without its Cathedral of the Holy Family, "as Paris - without the Eiffel Tower or New York without the Statue of Liberty."



Market, which will soon be 800 years old

Market Bokeria- the city market with the entrance from the La Rambla avenue. It was first mentioned as early as 1217, when near the former city gate Bokeria, they set tables for meat sales. The market building occupies an area of more than 2 500 square meters and is constructed of glass and steel, and decorated with mosaics.




Bokeria resembles a living organism, like an anthill. The whole of the market is one big cocktail of gastronomic odors, human screams and a large number of tourists. This is not the cheapest market in the city, yet it is the most beautiful one, and all the products here are the best in Barcelona, especially fish and other seafood, which they start to bring around six at night from the Rozas port. Of course, the market is full of places where you can eat delicious food, and even drink something.

The Gothic Quarter

This medieval quarter has most outstanding urban monuments, it is also called "The Temple Quarter", and it has a funnier name "Rovelli de l`ou "(egg yolk). The quarter, located between the Cathedral and City Hall and partially surrounded by the ramparts of the ancient Roma walls, is probably the most attractive part of the city. At the beginning of XX century. it became known as "Gothic", although the Gothic buildings have survived in other parts of the city as well.



The city where the history is being made

Due to its importance as a political, economic and tourist center, Barcelona had Summer Olympic Games in 1992. In 2004, the World Cultural Forum 2004 took place there. In November 2008, Barcelona became the capital of Mediterranean Union that replaced the "Barcelona process" - a Mediterranean regional initiative of the European Union, proclaimed in 1992. Today the Mediterranean Union includes 43 States.

The Office of the European Parliament and the European Commission in Barcelona plays an important role in the events that take place here in the fields of the career and public diplomacy. Attention is paid to the international Roma movement as well. So on November 16-17 this year the Office together with the Federation of Catalonia Roma Associations and the Department of Public Administration of the Government of Catalonia held a conference on the experience of cooperation with Roma organizations, the media and public organizations of the countries of  residence. The conference was attended by representatives of OSCE, Council of Europe, Amnesty International, European Roma media and the political parties of Spain. This conference was not the first one of the events held in Barcelona designed to support the social integration of the Roma population in EU countries.




Despite the fact that Barcelona is still only the second largest city of the Iberian peninsula, its unique atmosphere makes it unique and attractive to many. Thanks to Olympics 1992, the city opened a new page in its "golden" history, showing the world the extraordinary beauty of its magical fountains, palaces, streets and parks. Like no other city in the country, Barcelona deserves to be the capital of Spain. After all, the city gave the world the architect Antonio Gaudi, a sculptor and painter Juan Miro, an opera singer Jose Carreras, an opera singer Montserrat Caballe and the artist Pablo Picasso. The tourists that visitedSpain admire Barcelona and wonder why Madrid has not lost her palm of superiority.



The PHOTOS shared by Valery Novoselsky, the Editor of the Gypsy virtual network

Skype: valery_novoselsky

First published in Russian:

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