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Barcelona Wikipedia



This article is about the city in Spain. For other uses, see Barcelona (disambiguation).
Barcelona
City (Municipality)
Central business district, Sagrada Família, Camp Nou stadium, The Castle of the Three Dragons, Palau Nacional, W Barcelona hotel and beach


Central business district, Sagrada Família, Camp Nou stadium, The Castle of the Three Dragons, Palau Nacional, W Barcelona hotel and beach
Flag of Barcelona


Flag
Coat of arms of Barcelona


Coat of arms
Nickname(s): Ciutat Comtal (ca) / Ciudad Condal (es)


"City of Counts"



Abbreviation(s):


Barna, BCN


Barcelona is located in Spain
Barcelona
Barcelona
Location of Barcelona within Spain


Barcelona is located in Catalonia
Barcelona
Barcelona
Location of Barcelona within Catalonia
Coordinates: 41°23′N 2°11′E / 41.383°N 2.183°E / 41.383; 2.183Coordinates: 41°23′N 2°11′E / 41.383°N 2.183°E / 41.383; 2.183
CountrySpain Spain
Autonomous communityCatalonia Catalonia
ProvinceBarcelona
ComarcaBarcelonès
Districts
Government
 • TypeMayor-council
 • BodyAjuntament de Barcelona
 • MayorXavier Trias (CiU)
Area
 • City101.9 km2 (39.3 sq mi)
 • Urban803 km2 (310 sq mi)
Elevation (AMSL)12 m (39 ft)
Population (2011)
 • City1,620,943
 • Rank2nd
 • Density15,991/km2 (41,420/sq mi)
 • Urban4,604,000
 • Metro5,375,774
DemonymBarcelonan, Barcelonian


barceloní, -ina (ca)


barcelonés, -esa (es)
Time zoneCET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST)CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code080xx
Area code+34 93
Official language(s)Catalan and Spanish
Patron Saint(s)Virgin of Mercy
Main festitivityLa Mercè
Websitewww.barcelona.cat
Barcelona (English /bɑrsɨˈloʊnə/, Catalan: [bərsəˈɫonə], Spanish: [barθeˈlona]) is the capital city of the autonomous community of Catalonia in Spain and the country's 2nd largest city, with a population of 1.6 million within its administrative limits. Its urban area extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of around 4.5 million people, being the sixth-most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, London, Madrid, the Ruhr area and Milan. About five million people live in the Barcelona metropolitan area. It is the largest metropolis on the Mediterranean Sea, located on the coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs, and bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola mountain range, the tallest peak of which is 512 metres (1,680 ft) high.

Founded as a Roman city, in the Middle Ages Barcelona became the capital of the County of Barcelona. After merging with the Kingdom of Aragon, Barcelona continued to be an important city in the Crown of Aragon. Besieged several times during its history, Barcelona has a rich cultural heritage and is today an important cultural centre and a major tourist destination. Particularly renowned are the architectural works of Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner, which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean is located in Barcelona. The city is known for hosting the 1992 Summer Olympics as well as world-class conferences and expositions and also many international sport tournaments.

Barcelona is one of the world's leading tourist, economic, trade fair/exhibitions and cultural-sports centres, and its influence in commerce, education, entertainment, media, fashion, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities. It is a major cultural and economic centre in southwestern Europe, 24th in the world (before Zürich, after Frankfurt) and a financial centre. In 2008 it was the fourth most economically powerful city by GDP in the European Union and 35th in the world with GDP amounting to €177 billion. In 2012 Barcelona had a GDP of $170 billion; it is lagging Spain on both employment and GDP per capita change. In 2009 the city was ranked Europe's third and one of the world's most successful as a city brand. In the same year the city was ranked Europe's fourth best city for business and fastest improving European city, with growth improved by 17% per year, but it has since been in a full recession with declines in both employment and GDP per capita, with some recent signs of the beginning of an economic recovery. Barcelona is a transport hub with the Port of Barcelona being one of Europe's principal seaports and busiest European passenger port, an international airport, Barcelona–El Prat Airport, which handles above 35 million passengers per year, an extensive motorway network and a high-speed rail line with a link to France and the rest of Europe.

Contents

                    Names

                    The name Barcelona comes from the ancient Iberian Phoenician Barkeno, attested in an ancient coin inscription in Iberian script as Barkeno in Levantine Iberian script, in ancient Greek sources as Βαρκινών, Barkinṓn; and in Latin as Barcino, Barcilonum and Barcenona.

                    During the Middle Ages, the city was variously known as Barchinona, Barçalona, Barchelonaa, and Barchenona.

                    Some sources say that the city may have been named after the Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca, who was supposed to have founded the city in the 3rd century BC.

                    Barcelona's name is sometimes abbreviated as 'Barna'. Nowadays, foreign people sometimes mistakenly refer to Barcelona as 'Barça', the popular name of the F.C. Barcelona sports club. Some people (mainly in Catalan and Spanish) also use 'BCN', often written 'Bcn' or 'bcn', which actually corresponds to the IATA airport code of the Barcelona-El Prat Airport. The city is also referred to as the Ciutat Comtal in Catalan, and Ciudad Condal in Spanish, owing to its past as the seat of the Count of Barcelona.

                    History

                    Main article: History of Barcelona



                    A marble plaque in the Museu d'Història de la Ciutat de Barcelona, dated from around 110-130 AD and dedicated to the Roman colony of Barcino
                    The founding of Barcelona is the subject of two different legends. The first attributes the founding of the city to the mythological Hercules. The second legend attributes the foundation of the city directly to the historical Carthaginian Hamilcar Barca, father of Hannibal, who named the city Barcino after his family in the 3rd century BC.

                    In about 15 BC, the Romans redrew the town as a castrum (Roman military camp) centred on the "Mons Taber", a little hill near the contemporary city hall (Plaça de Sant Jaume). Under the Romans, it was a colony with the surname of Faventia, or, in full, Colonia Faventia Julia Augusta Pia Barcino or Colonia Julia Augusta Faventia Paterna Barcino. Pomponius Mela mentions it among the small towns of the district, probably as it was eclipsed by its neighbour Tarraco (modern Tarragona), but it may be gathered from later writers that it gradually grew in wealth and consequence, favoured as it was with a beautiful situation and an excellent harbour. It enjoyed immunity from imperial burdens. The city minted its own coins; some from the era of Galba survive.



                    Basilica of La Mercè (Mare de Déu de la Mercè)
                    Important Roman vestiges are displayed in Plaça del Rei underground, as a part of the Barcelona City History Museum MUHBA; the typically Roman grid plan is still visible today in the layout of the historical centre, the Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter). Some remaining fragments of the Roman walls have been incorporated into the cathedral. The cathedral, also known as the Basilica La Seu, is said to have been founded in 343. The city was conquered by the Visigoths in the early 5th century, becoming for a few years the capital of all Hispania. After being conquered by the Arabs in the early 8th century, it was conquered in 801 by Charlemagne's son Louis, who made Barcelona the seat of the Carolingian "Hispanic March" (Marca Hispanica), a buffer zone ruled by the Count of Barcelona.

                    The Counts of Barcelona became increasingly independent and expanded their territory to include all of Catalonia. In 1137, Aragon and the County of Barcelona merged in dynastic union by the marriage of Ramon Berenguer IV and Petronilla of Aragon, their titles finally borne by only one person when their son Alfonso II of Aragon ascended to the throne in 1162. His territories were later to be known as the Crown of Aragon, which conquered many overseas possessions and ruled the western Mediterranean Sea with outlying territories in Naples and Sicily and as far as Athens in the 13th century. The forging of a dynastic link between the Crowns of Aragon and Castile marked the beginning of Barcelona's decline. The Bank of Barcelona, probably the oldest public bank in Europe, was established by the city magistrates in 1401. It originated from necessities of the state, as did the Bank of Venice (1402) and the Bank of Genoa (1407).



                    Barcelona in 1563
                    The marriage of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile in 1469 united the two royal lines. Madrid became the centre of political power whilst the colonisation of the Americas reduced the financial importance (at least in relative terms) of Mediterranean trade. Barcelona had always been the stronghold of Catalan separatism and was the center of the Catalan Revolt (1640–52) against Philip IV of Spain. The great plague of 1650–1654 halved the city's population.



                    The fortress at Montjuïc, most southerly point from which measurements were made when calculating the meridional definition of the metre
                    In the 18th century, a fortress was built at Montjuïc that overlooked the harbour. In 1794, this fortress was used by the French astronomer Pierre François André Méchain for observations relating to a survey stretching to Dunkirk that provided the official basis of the measurement of a metre. The definitive metre bar, manufactured from platinum, was presented to the French legislative assembly on 22 June 1799. The Napoleonic wars left the province ravaged, but the postwar period saw the start of industrialization.

                    During the Spanish Civil War, the city, and Catalonia in general, were resolutely Republican. Many enterprises and public services were "collectivised" by the CNT and UGT unions. As the power of the Republican government and the Generalitat diminished, much of the city was under the effective control of anarchist groups. The anarchists lost control of the city to their own allies, the Communists and official government troops, after the street fighting of the Barcelona May Days. The fall of the city on 26 January 1939 caused a mass exodus of civilians who fled to the French border. The resistance of Barcelona to Franco's coup d'état was to have lasting effects after the defeat of the Republican government. The autonomous institutions of Catalonia were abolished, and the use of the Catalan language in public life was suppressed. Barcelona remained the second largest city in Spain, at the heart of a region which was relatively industrialised and prosperous, despite the devastation of the civil war. The result was a large-scale immigration from poorer regions of Spain (particularly Andalusia, Murcia and Galicia), which in turn led to rapid urbanisation. Barcelona hosted the Olympic Games in 1992, which helped revitalise the city.

                    Geography

                    A panoramic view of Barcelona

                    Location




                    Barcelona from high altitude
                    Barcelona is located on the northeast coast of the Iberian Peninsula, facing the Mediterranean Sea, on a plain approximately 5 km (3 mi) wide limited by the mountain range of Collserola, the Llobregat river to the southwest and the Besòs river to the north. This plain covers an area of 170 km2 (66 sq mi), of which 101 km2 (39.0 sq mi) are occupied by the city itself. It is 120 kilometres (75 miles) south of the Pyrenees and the Catalan border with France.

                    Tibidabo, 512 m (1,680 ft) high, offers striking views over the city and is topped by the 288.4 m (946.2 ft) Torre de Collserola, a telecommunications tower that is visible from most of the city. Barcelona is peppered with small hills, most of them urbanised, that gave their name to the neighbourhoods built upon them, such as Carmel (267 m), Putxet (181 m) and Rovira (261 m). The escarpment of Montjuïc (173 m), situated to the southeast, overlooks the harbour and is topped by Montjuïc castle, a fortress built in the 17–18th centuries to control the city as a replacement for the Ciutadella. Today, the fortress is a museum and Montjuïc is home to several sporting and cultural venues, as well as Barcelona's biggest park and gardens.

                    The city borders on the municipalities of Santa Coloma de Gramenet and Sant Adrià de Besòs to the north; the Mediterranean Sea to the east; El Prat de Llobregat and L'Hospitalet de Llobregat to the south; and Sant Feliu de Llobregat, Sant Just Desvern, Esplugues de Llobregat, Sant Cugat del Vallès, and Montcada i Reixac to the west.

                    Climate

                    Main article: Climate of Barcelona
                    Barcelona has a Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification: Csa), with mild, humid winters and warm, dry summers.

                    Its average annual temperature is 20 °C (68 °F) during the day and 11 °C (52 °F) at night. The average annual temperature of the sea is about 18 °C (64 °F). In the coldest month – January, the temperature typically ranges from 7 to 17 °C (45 to 63 °F) during the day, 2 to 10 °C (36 to 50 °F) at night and the average sea temperature is 13 °C (55 °F). In the warmest month – August, the typical temperature ranges from 25 to 31 °C (77 to 88 °F) during the day, about 20 °C (68 °F) at night and the average sea temperature is 25 °C (77 °F). Generally – the summer / "holiday" season lasts about six months, from May to October. Two months – April and November – are transitional; sometimes the temperature exceeds 20 °C (68 °F), with an average temperature of 17–18 °C (63–64 °F) during the day and 8–9 °C (46–48 °F) at night. December, January and February are the coldest months, with average temperatures around 14 °C (57 °F) during the day and 5 °C (41 °F) at night. Large fluctuations in temperature are rare, particularly in the summer months.

                    Barcelona averages several rainy days per month (≥ 1 mm), and annual average relative humidity is 72%, ranging from 69% in July to 75% in October. Sunshine duration is 2,524 hours per year, from 138 (average 4.5 hours of sunshine a day) in December to 310 (average 10 hours of sunshine a day) in July.
                    Climate data for Barcelona
                    MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
                    Average high °C (°F)13.6

                    (56.5)
                    14.2

                    (57.6)
                    15.8

                    (60.4)
                    18.6

                    (65.5)
                    21.7

                    (71.1)
                    25.9

                    (78.6)
                    28.2

                    (82.8)
                    29.0

                    (84.2)
                    26.1

                    (79)
                    22.7

                    (72.9)
                    17.6

                    (63.7)
                    14.0

                    (57.2)
                    20.6

                    (69.1)
                    Daily mean °C (°F)9.4

                    (48.9)
                    10.0

                    (50)
                    12.0

                    (53.6)
                    14.1

                    (57.4)
                    17.8

                    (64)
                    22.1

                    (71.8)
                    24.6

                    (76.3)
                    25.1

                    (77.2)
                    22.1

                    (71.8)
                    18.4

                    (65.1)
                    12.9

                    (55.2)
                    9.8

                    (49.6)
                    16.7

                    (62.1)
                    Average low °C (°F)5.2

                    (41.4)
                    5.8

                    (42.4)
                    7.9

                    (46.2)
                    10.8

                    (51.4)
                    14.1

                    (57.4)
                    18.3

                    (64.9)
                    21.0

                    (69.8)
                    21.2

                    (70.2)
                    18.3

                    (64.9)
                    14.8

                    (58.6)
                    9.3

                    (48.7)
                    5.8

                    (42.4)
                    12.7

                    (54.9)
                    Precipitation mm (inches)41

                    (1.61)
                    39

                    (1.54)
                    42

                    (1.65)
                    49

                    (1.93)
                    59

                    (2.32)
                    42

                    (1.65)
                    20

                    (0.79)
                    61

                    (2.4)
                    85

                    (3.35)
                    91

                    (3.58)
                    58

                    (2.28)
                    51

                    (2.01)
                    640

                    (25.2)
                    Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1 mm)56567334575762
                    Mean monthly sunshine hours1491632002202442623102822191801461382,524
                    Source: World Meteorological Organization Agencia Estatal de Meteorología, Climatebase.ru

                    Main sights




                    Sagrada Família church, Gaudi's masterpiece
                    The Barri Gòtic (Catalan for "Gothic Quarter") is the centre of the old city of Barcelona. Many of the buildings date from medieval times, some from as far back as the Roman settlement of Barcelona. Catalan modernista architecture (related to the movement known as Art Nouveau in the rest of Europe), developed between 1885 and 1950 and left an important legacy in Barcelona. Several of these buildings are World Heritage Sites. Especially remarkable is the work of architect Antoni Gaudí, which can be seen throughout the city. His best-known work is the immense but still unfinished church of the Sagrada Família, which has been under construction since 1882, and is still financed by private donations. As of 2007, completion is planned for 2026.

                    Barcelona was also home to Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona Pavilion. Designed in 1929 for the International Exposition for Germany, it is an iconic building that came to symbolize modern architecture as the embodiment of van der Rohe's aphorisms "less is more" and "God is in the details." The Barcelona pavilion was intended as a temporary structure, and was torn down in 1930 less than a year after it was constructed. A modern re-creation by Spanish architects now stands in Barcelona, however, constructed in 1986.

                    Barcelona won the 1999 RIBA Royal Gold Medal for its architecture, the first (and as of 2012, only) time that the winner has been a city, and not an individual architect.



                    Plaça Reial

                    World Heritage Sites

                    Barcelona is the home of many points of interest declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO:
                    Colonnadeparkguell.jpgPalau Güell (2).jpgCasa Milà - Barcelona, Spain - Jan 2007.jpgCasa Vicens (Barcelona) - 3.jpg
                    NamePark GüellPalau GüellCasa MilàCasa Vicens
                    Code, year320-001, 1984320-002, 1984320-003, 1984320-004, 2005
                    Coordinates41°24′59.6″N 2°09′07.9″E / 41.416556°N 2.152194°E / 41.416556; 2.15219441°22′45″N 2°10′28″E / 41.379183°N 2.174445°E / 41.379183; 2.17444541°23′51.3″N 2°09′46.9″E / 41.397583°N 2.163028°E / 41.397583; 2.163028 (Casa Milà)41°22′50.5″N 2°10′30.6″E / 41.380694°N 2.175167°E / 41.380694; 2.175167
                    Sagradafamilia-overview.jpgCasaBatllo 0170.JPGPalau de la Música - Interior general.JPGStPau-Administracio-façana-7179sh.jpg
                    NameFaçade of the Nativity and


                    crypt of the Sagrada Familia
                    Casa BatllóPalau de la Música CatalanaHospital de Sant Pau
                    Code, year320-005, 2005320-006, 2005804-001, 1997804-002, 1997
                    Coordinates41°24′19.8″N 2°10′30.2″E / 41.405500°N 2.175056°E / 41.405500; 2.175056 (Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia)41°22′00.3″N 2°09′59.0″E / 41.366750°N 2.166389°E / 41.366750; 2.16638941°23′16″N 2°10′30″E / 41.38778°N 2.17500°E / 41.38778; 2.1750041°24′50″N 2°10′30″E / 41.41389°N 2.17500°E / 41.41389; 2.17500

                    Historic buildings and monuments

                    Further information: List of Modernista buildings in Barcelona



                    Barcelona Cathedral
                    • Minor basilica of Sagrada Família, the international symbol of Barcelona
                    • Palau de la Música Catalana and Hospital de Sant Pau, designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner, included in the UNESCO Heritage List in 1997.
                    • Works by Antoni Gaudí, including Park Güell, Palau Güell, Casa Milà (La Pedrera), Casa Vicens, Sagrada Família (Nativity façade and crypt), Casa Batlló, Crypt in Colonia Güell. The first three works were inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1984. The other four were added as extensions to the site in 2005.
                    • The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and St. Eulalia (Gothic)
                    • Gothic basilica of Santa Maria del Mar
                    • Gothic basilica of Santa Maria del Pi
                    • Romanesque church of Sant Pau del Camp
                    • Palau Reial Major, medieval residence of the sovereign Counts of Barcelona, later Kings of Aragon
                    • The Royal Shipyard (gothic)
                    • Monastery of Pedralbes (gothic)
                    • The Columbus Monument
                    • The Arc de Triomf, a triumphal arch built for entrance to 1888 Barcelona Universal Exposition.
                    • Expiatory church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the summit of Tibidabo.

                    Museums

                    Main article: List of museums in Barcelona



                    The National Museum of Art of Catalonia.
                    Barcelona has a great number of museums, which cover different areas and eras. The National Museum of Art of Catalonia possesses a well-known collection of Romanesque art while the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art focuses on post-1945 Catalan and Spanish art. The Fundació Joan Miró, Picasso Museum and Fundació Antoni Tàpies hold important collections of these world-renowned artists, as well as Can Framis Museum, focused on post 1960 Catalan Art owned by Fundació Vila Casas. Several museums cover the fields of history and archeology, like the Barcelona City History Museum (MUHBA), the Museum of the History of Catalonia, the Archeology Museum of Catalonia, the Barcelona Maritime Museum and the private-owned Egyptian Museum. The Erotic museum of Barcelona is among the most peculiar ones, while Cosmocaixa is a science museum that received the European Museum of the Year Award in 2006.

                    Parks




                    Park Güell (Parc Güell)
                    Barcelona contains sixty-eight municipal parks, of which twelve are historic parks, five are thematic (botanical) parks, forty-five are urban parks and six are forest parks. They range from vest-pocket parks to large recreation areas. The urban parks alone cover 10% of the city (549.7 ha or 1,358.3 acres). The total park surface grows about 10 ha (25 acres) per year, with a proportion of 18.1 square metres (195 sq ft) of park area per inhabitant.

                    Of Barcelona's parks, Montjuïc is the largest, with 203 ha located on the mountain of the same name. It is followed by Parc de la Ciutadella (which occupies the site of the old military citadel and which houses the Parliament building, the Barcelona Zoo and several museums); 31 ha or 76.6 acres including the zoo), the Guinardó Park (19 ha or 47.0 acres), Park Güell (designed by Antoni Gaudí; 17.2 ha or 42.5 acres), Oreneta Castle Park (also 17.2 ha or 42.5 acres), Diagonal Mar Park (13.3 ha or 32.9 acres, inaugurated in 2002), Nou Barris Central Park (13.2 ha or 32.6 acres), Can Dragó Sports Park and Poblenou Park (both 11.9 ha or 29.4 acres), the Labyrinth Park (9.10 ha or 22.5 acres), named after the garden maze it contains. There are also several smaller parks, for example, the Parc de les Aigües (2 ha or 4.9 acres). A part of the Collserolla Park is also within the city limits. PortAventura, one of the largest amusement parks in Europe with 3,000,000 visitors per year, is located one hour's drive from Barcelona. Also, within the city lies Tibidabo Amusement Park, a smaller amusement park, with the Muntanya Russa amusement ride.

                    Beaches




                    The Barceloneta beach
                    Barcelona beach was listed as number one in a list of the top ten city beaches in the world according to National Geographic and Discovery Channel. Barcelona contains seven beaches, totalling 4.5 kilometres (3 miles) (2.8 mi) of coastline. Sant Sebastià, Barceloneta and Somorrostro beaches, both 1,100 m (3,610 ft) in length, are the largest, oldest and the most-frequented beaches in Barcelona. The Olympic Harbour separates them from the other city beaches: Nova Icària, Bogatell, Mar Bella, Nova Mar Bella and Llevant. These beaches (ranging from 400 to 640 m/1,300 to 2,100 ft) were opened as a result of the city restructuring to host the 1992 Summer Olympics, when a great number of industrial buildings were demolished. At present, the beach sand is artificially replenished given that storms regularly remove large quantities of material. The 2004 Universal Forum of Cultures left the city a large concrete bathing zone on the eastmost part of the city's coastline.



                    Beaches of Barcelona

                    Demographics




                    Demographic evolution, 1900–2007, according to the Spanish Instituto Nacional de Estadística
                    According to Barcelona's City Council, Barcelona's population as of 1 June 2006 was 1,673,075 people, on a land area of 101.4 km2 (39 sq mi). It is the main component of an administrative area of Greater Barcelona, with a population of 3,218,071 in an area of 636 square kilometres (246 square miles) (density 5,060 hab/km²). The population of the urban area was 4,223,000. It is the central nucleus of the Barcelona metropolitan area, which relies on a population of 5,083,000.

                    The population density of Barcelona was 15,779 inhabitants per square kilometre (40,870 /sq mi), with Eixample being the most populated district. 62% of the inhabitants were born in Catalonia, with a 23.5% coming from the rest of Spain. Of the 17.4% from other countries, a proportion which has more than quadrupled since 2001 when it was 3.9%, the majority come from (in order) Pakistan, Italy, China, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Morocco. The city also has the largest Jewish community in Spain, with an estimated 3,500 Jews living in the city.

                    As an official language, Spanish is understood almost universally in Barcelona. In addition, 95% of the population understand Catalonia's own native Catalan language, while 74.6% can speak it, 75% can read it, and 47.1% can write it, thanks to the language immersion educational system. While most of the population state they are Roman Catholic (208 churches), there are also a number of other groups, including Evangelical (71 locations, mostly professed by Roma), Jehovah's Witnesses (21 Kingdom Halls) and Buddhists (13 locations), a number of Muslims due to immigration, and Eastern Orthodox.



                    Forum Park in Barcelona
                    In 1900, Barcelona had a population of 533,000 people, which grew steadily but slowly until 1950, when it started absorbing a high number of people from other less-industrialized parts of Spain. Barcelona's population peaked in 1979 with 1,906,998 people, and fell throughout the 1980s and 1990s as more people sought a higher quality of life in outlying cities in the Barcelona Metropolitan Area. After bottoming out in 2000 with 1,496,266 people, the city's population began to rise again as younger people started to return, causing a great increase in housing prices.

                    Population density

                    Note: This text is entirely based on the municipal statistical database provided by the city council.

                    Barcelona is one of the most densely populated cities in Europe. For the year 2008 the city council calculated the population to 1,628,090 living in the 102.2 km2 sized municipality, giving the city an average population density of 15,926 inhabitants per square kilometre.

                    In the case of Barcelona though, the land distribution is extremely uneven. Half of the municipality or 50.2 km2, all of it located on the municipal edge is made up of the ten least densely populated neighbourhoods containing less than 10% of the city's population, the uninhabited Zona Franca industrial area and Montjuïc forest park. Leaving the remaining 90% or slightly below 1.5 million inhabitants living on the remaining 52 km2 at an average density close to 28,500 inhabitants per square kilometre.

                    Of the 73 neighbourhoods in the city, 45 had a population density above 20,000 inhabitants per square kilometre with a combined population of 1,313,424 inhabitants living on 38.6 km2 at an average density of 33,987 inhabitants per square km. The 30 most densely populated neighbourhoods accounted for 57.5% of the city population occupying only 22,7% of the municipality, or in other words, 936,406 people living at an average density of 40,322 inhabitants per square kilometre. The city's highest density is found at and around the neighbourhood of la Sagrada Família where four of the city's most densely populated neighbourhoods are located side by side, all with a population density above 50,000 inhabitants per square kilometre.

                    Economy

                    General information

                    Forum Convention Center and Barcelona Stock Exchange
                    The Barcelona metropolitan area comprises over 66% of the people in one of the richest regions in Europe – Catalonia, with a GDP per capita amounting to €28,400 (16% more than the EU average). The Barcelona metropolitan area had a GDP amounting to $177 billion, equivalent to $34,821 in per capita terms (44% more than the EU average) making it the 4th economically powerful city by GDP in the European Union and 35th in the world in 2009. Barcelona city had a very high GDP of €80,894 per head in 2004, according to Eurostat. Furthermore, Barcelona was Europe's fourth best business city and fastest improving European city, with growth improved by 17% per year as of 2009.

                    Barcelona is the 14th most "livable city" in the world according to lifestyle magazine Monocle. Similarly, according to Innovation Analysts 2thinknow, Barcelona occupies 13th place in the world on Innovation Cities™ Global Index.

                    Barcelona has a long-standing mercantile tradition. Less well known is that the region was one of the earliest to begin industrialization in continental Europe, beginning with textile-related works from the mid-1780s but really gathering momentum in the mid-19th century, when it became a major centre for the production of textiles and machinery. Since then, manufacturing has played a large role in its history.

                    Borsa de Barcelona (Barcelona Stock Exchange) is the main stock exchange in the northeastern part of the Iberian Peninsula.

                    Barcelona was recognised as the Southern European City of the Future for 2014/15, based on its economic potential, by FDi Magazine in their bi-annual rankings.

                    Trade fair and exhibitions




                    World Trade Center Barcelona
                    Drawing upon its tradition of creative art and craftsmanship, Barcelona is known for its award-winning industrial design. It also has several congress halls, notably Fira de Barcelona – the second largest trade fair and exhibition centre in Europe, that host a quickly growing number of national and international events each year (at present above 50). The total exhibition floor space of Fira de Barcelona venues is 405,000 m2 (41 ha), not counting Gran Via center on the Plaza de Europa. However, the Eurozone crisis and deep cuts in business travel affected the Council's positioning of the city as a convention centre.

                    An important business centre, the World Trade Center Barcelona, is located in Barcelona's Port Vell harbour.

                    The city is known for hosting well as world-class conferences and expositions, including the 1888 Exposición Universal de Barcelona, the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition (Expo 1929), the 2004 Universal Forum of Cultures and the 2004 World Urban Forum.

                    Tourism

                    Barcelona is the 10th-most-visited city in the world and the third most visited in Europe after London and Paris, with several million tourists every year. With its Rambles, Barcelona is ranked the most popular city to visit in Spain.

                    Barcelona as internationally renowned a tourist destination, with numerous recreational areas, one of the best beaches in the world, mild and warm climate, historical monuments, including eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, many good-quality hotels, and developed tourist infrastructure.

                    Manufacturing sector

                    The SEAT and Nissan factories and headquarters are in the city and suburbs
                    Industry generates 21% of the total gross domestic product (GDP) of Catalonia, with the energy, chemical and metallurgy industries accounting for 47% of industrial production. The Barcelona metropolitan area had 67% of the total number of industrial establishments in Catalonia as of 1997.

                    Barcelona has long been an important European automobile manufacturing centre. Formerly there were automobile factories of AFA, Abadal, Actividades Industriales, Alvarez, America, Artés de Arcos, Balandrás, Baradat-Esteve, Biscúter, J. Castro, Clúa, David, Delfín, Díaz y Grilló, Ebro trucks, Edis, Elizalde, Automóviles España, Eucort, Fenix, Fábrica Hispano, Auto Academia Garriga, Fábrica Española de Automóviles Hebe, Hispano-Suiza, Huracán Motors, Talleres Hereter, Junior SL, Kapi, La Cuadra, M.A., Automóviles Matas, Motores y Motos, Nacional Custals, National Pescara, Nacional RG, Nacional Rubi, Nacional Sitjes, Automóviles Nike, Orix, Otro Ford, Partia, Pegaso, PTV, Ricart, Ricart-España, Industrias Salvador, Siata Española, Stevenson, Romagosa y Compañía, Garaje Storm, Talleres Hereter, Trimak, Automóviles Victoria, Manufacturas Mecánicas Aleu.

                    Today, the headquarters and a large factory of SEAT (the largest Spanish automobile manufacturer) are in one of its suburbs. There is also a Nissan factory in the logistics and industrial area of the city. The factory of Derbi, a large manufacturer of motorcycles, scooters and mopeds, also lies near the city.

                    As in other modern cities, the manufacturing sector has long since been overtaken by the services sector, though it remains very important. The region's leading industries are textiles, chemical, pharmaceutical, motor, electronic, printing, logistics, publishing, telecommunications and information technology services.

                    Fashion




                    The Brandery fashion show
                    The traditional importance of textiles is reflected in Barcelona's drive to become a major fashion centre. There have been many attempts to launch Barcelona as a fashion capital, notably Gaudi Home.[citation needed]

                    Beginning in the summer of 2000, the city hosted the prestigious Bread & Butter urban fashion fair until 2009, when its organisers announced that it would be returning to Berlin. This was a hard blow for the city as the fair brought €100 m to the city in just three days.

                    Since 2009, The Brandery, an urban fashion show, has been held in Barcelona twice a year. In 2012, Barcelona was named as the third most important fashion capital according to the Global Language Monitor’s annual ranking of the world's top fifty fashion capitals.

                    Government and administrative divisions

                    See also: Municipal elections in Barcelona and List of mayors of Barcelona



                    Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya
                    As the capital of the autonomous community of Catalonia, Barcelona is the seat of the Catalan government, known as the Generalitat de Catalunya; of particular note are the executive branch, the parliament, and the Supreme Court of Catalonia. The city is also the capital of the Province of Barcelona and the Barcelonès comarca (district).

                    Barcelona is governed by a city council formed by 41 city councillors, elected for a four-year term by universal suffrage. As one of the two biggest cities in Spain, Barcelona is subject to a special law articulated through the Carta Municipal (Municipal Law). A first version of this law was passed in 1960 and amended later, but the current version was approved in March 2006. According to this law, Barcelona's city council is organized in two levels: a political one, with elected city councillors, and one executive, which administrates the programs and executes the decisions taken on the political level. This law also gives the local government a special relationship with the central government and it also gives the mayor wider prerogatives by the means of municipal executive commissions. It expands the powers of the city council in areas like telecommunications, city traffic, road safety and public safety. It also gives a special economic regime to the city's treasury and it gives the council a veto in matters that will be decided by the central government, but that will need a favourable report from the council.



                    The City Hall of Barcelona
                    The Comissió de Govern (Government Commission) is the executive branch, formed by 24 councillors, led by the Mayor, with 5 lieutenant-mayors and 17 city councillors, each in charge of an area of government, and 5 non-elected councillors. The plenary, formed by the 41 city councillors, has advisory, planning, regulatory, and fiscal executive functions. The six Commissions del Consell Municipal (City council commissions) have executive and controlling functions in the field of their jurisdiction. They are composed by a number of councillors proportional to the number of councillors each political party has in the plenary. The city council has jurisdiction in the fields of city planning, transportation, municipal taxes, public highways security through the Guàrdia Urbana (the municipal police), city maintenance, gardens, parks and environment, facilities (like schools, nurseries, sports centres, libraries, and so on), culture, sports, youth and social welfare. Some of these competencies are not exclusive, but shared with the Generalitat de Catalunya or the central Spanish government.



                    Gothic Gallery in the Palau de la Generalitat
                    The executive branch is led by a Chief Municipal Executive Officer which answers to the Mayor. It is made up of departments which are legally part of the city council and by separate legal entities of two tipes: autonomous public departments and public enterprises.

                    The seat of the city council is on the Plaça de Sant Jaume, opposite the seat of Generalitat de Catalunya. Since the coming of the Spanish democracy, Barcelona had been governed by the PSC, first with an absolute majority and later in coalition with ERC and ICV. After the May 2007 election, the ERC did not renew the coalition agreement and the PSC governed in a minority coalition with ICV as the junior partner.

                    After 32 years, on 22 May 2011, CiU gained a plurality of seats at the municipal election, gaining 15 seats to the PSC's 11. The PP hold 8 seats, ICV 5 and ERC 2.



                    The Saló de Cent, in the city hall of Barcelona.

                    Districts




                    Districts of Barcelona
                    Main article: Districts of Barcelona
                    Since 1987, the city has been divided into 10 administrative districts (districtes in Catalan, distritos in Spanish):
                    • Ciutat Vella
                    • Eixample
                    • Sants-Montjuïc
                    • Les Corts
                    • Sarrià-Sant Gervasi
                    • Gràcia
                    • Horta-Guinardó
                    • Nou Barris
                    • Sant Andreu
                    • Sant Martí


                    The districts are based mostly on historical divisions, and several are former towns annexed by the city of Barcelona in the 18th and 19th centuries that still maintain their own distinct character. Each district has its own council led by a city councillor. The composition of each district council depends on the number of votes each political party had in that district, so a district can be led by a councillor from a different party than the executive council.

                    Education

                    Main article: Education in Spain



                    Main hall of the University of Barcelona
                    Barcelona has a well-developed higher education system of public universities. Most prominent among these is the University of Barcelona (established in 1450), a world-renowned research and teaching institution with campuses around the city. Barcelona is also home to the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, and the newer Pompeu Fabra University, and, in the private sector the EADA Business School founded in 1957, became the first Barcelona institution to run manager training programmes for the business community. IESE Business School, as well as the largest private educational institution, the Ramon Llull University, which encompasses internationally prestigious schools and institutes such as the ESADE Business School. The Autonomous University of Barcelona, another public university, is located in Bellaterra, a town in the Metropolitan Area. The Open University of Catalonia, a private Internet-centered open university, is also based in Barcelona.



                    Historic building of the University of Barcelona, entrance vestibule
                    The city has a network of public schools, from nurseries to high schools, under the responsibility of a consortium led by city council (though the curriculum is the responsibility of the Generalitat de Catalunya). There are also many private schools, some of them Roman Catholic. Most such schools receive a public subsidy on a per-student basis, are subject to inspection by the public authorities, and are required to follow the same curricular guidelines as public schools, though they charge tuition. Known as escoles concertades, they are distinct from schools whose funding is entirely private (escoles privades).

                    The language of instruction at public schools and escoles concertades is Catalan, as stipulated by the 2009 Catalan Education Act. Spanish may be used as a language of instruction by teachers of Spanish literature or language, and foreign languages by teachers of those languages. An experimental partial immersion programme adopted by some schools allows for the teaching of a foreign language (English, generally) across the curriculum, though this is limited to a maximum of 30% of the school day. No public school or escola concertada in Barcelona may offer 50% or full immersion programmes in a foreign language, nor does any public school or escola concertada offer International Baccalaureate programmes.

                    Culture

                    Main article: Culture of Barcelona



                    Palau de la Música Catalana
                    Barcelona's cultural roots go back 2000 years. To a greater extent than the rest of Catalonia, where Catalonia's native Catalan is more dominant, Barcelona is a bilingual city: Catalan and Spanish are both official languages and widely spoken. The Catalan spoken in Barcelona, Central Catalan, is the one closest to standard Catalan. Since the arrival of democracy, the Catalan culture (very much repressed during the dictatorship of Franco) has been promoted, both by recovering works from the past and by stimulating the creation of new works. Barcelona is designated as a world-class city by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network.

                    Entertainment and performing arts

                    Main article: List of theatres and concert halls in Barcelona



                    The Liceu opera house
                    Barcelona has many venues for live music and theatre, including the world-renowned Gran Teatre del Liceu opera house, the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya, the Teatre Lliure and the Palau de la Música Catalana concert hall. Barcelona also is home to the Barcelona and Catalonia National Symphonic Orchestra (Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya, usually known as OBC), the largest symphonic orchestra in Catalonia. In 1999, the OBC inaugurated its new venue in the brand-new Auditorium (l'Auditori). It performs around 75 concerts per season and its current director is Eiji Oue. The major thoroughfare of Las Ramblas is home to mime artists and street performers. Yearly two major pop music festivals take place in the city, the Sónar Festival and the Primavera Sound Festival. The city also has a thriving alternative music scene, with groups such as The Pinker Tones receiving international attention.

                    Media

                    El Periódico de Catalunya, La Vanguardia and Ara are Barcelona's three major daily newspapers (the first two with Catalan and Spanish editions, Ara only in Catalan) while Sport and El Mundo Deportivo (both in Spanish) are the city's two major sports daily newspapers, published by the same companies. The city is also served by a number of s
                    Source: Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barcelona )
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