Barcelona - Beatriz/Barcelona

Municipality and city of Spain

Flag of Barcelona.svg
Shield of Barcelona.svg

Panoramic of the Palau Nacional
Collserola Tower sacred Family Torre Glòries
Camp Nou
Milan House Parc Güell
Port Vell
From left to right and top to bottom: the National Palace , Collserola Tower , Sagrada Familia , Glòries Tower , Camp Nou , Casa Milà , Park Güell and Port Vell .
Barcelona located in Spain
Location of Barcelona in Spain.
Barcelona located in the Province of Barcelona
Location of Barcelona in the Province of Barcelona.
Interactive map
Nickname : Ciudad Condal, Cap i Casal [ 1 ] or Barna
Country Flag of Spain.svg Spain
Autonomous communication Flag of Catalonia.svg Catalonia
Province Flag of Barcelona (province).svg Barcelona
County Barcelonian
Judicial party Barcelona
Location 41°22′57″N 2°10′37″E / 41.3825, 2.1769444444444Coordenadas: 41°22′57″N 2°10′37″E / 41.3825, 2.1769444444444
Altitude 13 [ 2 ] m
(min: 0, max: 516 in Tibidabo [ 3 ] )
Surface 101,35 km²
Foundation Between 15 a. C. and 10 a. C. ( Roman Empire )
Population 1,664,182 (2020)
Density 15 992,2 hab./km²
Demonym barcelonian, -a
barcinonense [ 4 ] (poetic)
Postal Code 08001-08042
Phone Pref. (+34) 93
Mayor (2019) Ada Colau ( BeC )
Budget,81 €[5](2015)
Festivals Festivities of La Merced
Pattern Mary
Patroness Santa Eulalia
Virgen de la Merced [ 6 ]

Barcelona is a Spanish city , capital of the autonomous community of Catalonia , of the homonymous province and of the Barcelona region .

With a population of &&&&&&&&01664162.&&&&&01,664,162 inhabitants in 2020, [ 7 ] it is the second most populous city in Spain and the Iberian Peninsula after Madrid , and the tenth in the European Union . The metropolitan area of ​​Barcelona has &&&&&&&&03339279.&&&&&03 339 279 (2020), [ 8 ] and the metropolitan area of ​​Barcelona has 4 895 876 inhabitants (2019), making it the fifth largest city in the European Union with the largest population . [ 9 ] [ 10]

The city has a nominal GDP of USD 142,223 million and a nominal GDP per capita of USD 30,619, which represents a PPP GDP per capita of USD 36,240, [ 11 ] being the second largest Spanish metropolitan area in economic activity; and the seventeenth in Europe behind: London , Paris , Rhine-Ruhr , Amsterdam , Milan , Brussels , Moscow , Frankfurt am Main , Munich , Madrid , Berlin , Vienna , Rome , Copenhagen , Stockholm y Birmingham.

It is located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea , about 120 km south of the Pyrenees mountain range and the border with France , in a small coastal plain limited by the sea to the east, the Sierra de Collserola to the west, the river Llobregat to the south and the Besós river to the north. As it was the capital of the county of Barcelona , it is often referred to by the antonomastic name of Ciudad Condal.

The history of Barcelona spans 4000 years, from the end of the Neolithic Age , with the first remains found in the territory of the city, to the present day. The substratum of its inhabitants unites the Iberian , Roman , Jewish , Visigoth , Muslim and Christian peoples . As the capital of Catalonia and the second most important city in Spain, the Ciudad Condal has forged its relevance over time, from being a small Roman colony to becoming a city internationally valued for aspects such as its economy, its artistic heritage, its culture, its sport and their social life.

Barcelona has been the scene of various international events that have helped to consolidate, develop and give it a global projection. The most relevant have been the Universal Exhibition of 1888 , the International Exhibition of 1929 , the Olympic Games of 1992 and the Universal Forum of Cultures 2004 . It is also the headquarters of the secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean . [ 12 ]

Today, Barcelona is recognized as a global city for its cultural, financial, commercial and tourist importance. It has one of the most important ports in the Mediterranean and is also an important point of communication between Spain and France, due to motorway and high-speed rail connections . The Airport Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat , located 15 km from the city center, was used by more than 52.6 million passengers in 2019. [ 13 ]


Roman marble stele dating from 200-230 AD. C. in which you can read the name of the Barcino colony, origin of the city. Barcelona History Museum .

The origin of the name of Barcelona is unknown and there are various theories and legends that try to explain it. It is known that there was an original Iberian city, of the Layetan tribe . Later it was conquered by Cneo Cornelio Escipión Calvo , [ 14 ] and later it was converted into a Roman colony, placed under the protection of Cayo Julio César and Octavio Augusto , who received the name Colonia Iulia Augusta Paterna Faventia Barcino . [ 15 ] The name evolved during the Middle Ages, when the city was known with the names of Barchinona, Barcalona, ​​Barchelona, ​​and Barchenona.

One of the legends about the origin of Barcelona alludes to a hypothetical foundation by the Carthaginian general Amílcar Barca after conquering the Iberian enclave after his landing in Iberia , while another version is attributed to his son Aníbal , who occupied the territory during the Second Punic War in its advance to the Pyrenees . [ 16 ]However, there is no documentary evidence of this link between the names of the Carthaginian Barca family and the city known as Barcelona. There are other explanations for the name of the city, such as the one that argues that it comes from the Phoenician period, a theory supported by the inscription in Iberian writingBarkeno in Iberian scriptfound on a coin. [ 17 ]

There is also a legend that gives a mythological explanation to the name of the city. According to this legend, Hercules joined the Argonauts after finishing his fourth job to help them look for the Golden Fleece , but when passing near the current Catalan coast a storm dispersed the boats that made up the expedition, and at the end the ninth was missing. . Hercules searched for it and finally found the wreck of the Barca Nona (the ninth vessel) next to the current Montjuic . The crew had found the place so welcoming that, aided by Hermes(god of commerce and the arts) decided to found a city which they gave the name of Barcanona. [ 18 ]


The shield of Barcelona has its origin in the Middle Ages and appears for the first time, in the same arrangement as the current one, in 1329. [ 19 ] The shield is divided into four quarters where the cross appears, in the first and fourth of San Jorge in gules on silver, and in the second and third quarters with the condal / royal symbol of the four suits of gules on gold. Numerous variants have also been found with one, two, three, or even five vertical bars in each barracks. The shield is headed by a crown, symbol of the sovereignty of the monarchs of the Crown of Aragon over the city. [ 20 ]The flag derives directly from the shield, so it has the same composition, although without the crown.

During the Franco dictatorship , two sticks of gules were loaded in each barracks, following previous representations of some medieval versions and even of the 19th and early 20th centuries, and which were criticized by some sectors of the population for simplifying the royal signal and the attributed to an assimilating intention towards the flag of Spain. In 1996, a process that lasted several years began to properly make the symbols official, but without restoring the original, but instead a logo inspired by that shield was made official. The Catalan Society of Genealogy, Heraldry, Sigil·lografia, Vexil·lologia i Nobiliària initiated a dispute claiming that the process had not followed the procedure according to the law to make symbols official, which it won, and forced the City Council to make official the symbols according to heraldry and vexillology. It also uses an isotype derived directly from the historic shield.



Municipal district of Barcelona in the province .

The city of Barcelona is located on the Mediterranean coast of the Iberian Peninsula, right in the center of the river deltas of the Llobregat rivers , to the southwest, and Besós , to the northeast. Its municipal term limits, from south to northeast and in a clockwise direction, with the municipalities of: El Prat de Llobregat , Hospitalet de Llobregat , Esplugas de Llobregat , San Justo Desvern , San Feliú de Llobregat , Molins de Rey , San Cugat del Vallés , Sardañola del Vallés , Moncada and Reixach , Santa Coloma de Gramanet andSan Adrián de Besós . The first two and the last two are the municipalities with which the city maintains a closer contact, with a dense continuous urban mesh that unites them, on the contrary San Cugat del Vallés and Sardañola del Vallés are very separated from Barcelona, ​​since the Litoral mountain range and the Sierra de Collserola natural park act as natural barriers.

Barcelona has a small part of its municipal area on the Llobregat slope of the Collserola mountain range . These are Vallvidrera and Les Planes , which are located somewhat within the Collserola natural park. It is also part of its municipal term Santa Cruz de Olorde , riding between the Vallés Occidental and Bajo Llobregat .

In this way, Barcelona is the capital of the Barcelonés region , which is made up of the municipalities of Barcelona, ​​Hospitalet de Llobregat, Badalona , Santa Coloma de Gramanet and San Adrián de Besós. This region limits to the north with the Vallés Occidental , to the northeast with the regions of Vallés Oriental and Maresme , to the east and southeast with the Mediterranean Sea and to the west with the region of Bajo Llobregat .

Overview of Barcelona taken from Mount Tibidabo

Neighboring populations: [ 21 ]

Northwest: San Cugat del Vallés North: Sardañola del Vallés and Moncada and Reixach Northeast: Santa Coloma de Gramanet and San Adrián de Besós
West: Molins de Rey , San Feliú de Llobregat , San Justo Desvern and Esplugas de Llobregat Compass rose.svg East: Mediterranean Sea
Southwest: Hospitalet de Llobregat and El Prat de Llobregat South: Mediterranean Sea Southeast: Mediterranean Sea


Aerial view of Barcelona.

Located on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea , Barcelona sits on a gently sloping plain formed between the river deltas of the Llobregat rivers , to the southwest, and Besós , to the northeast. It limits to the southeast with the coast line, and in the northwest with the Collserola mountain range (with the summit of Tibidabo at 516 m asl [ 3 ] as the highest point), which continues parallel to the coast line, encircling the city ​​in a very delimited perimeter.

The line of the coast of Barcelona has changed with the passage of time to the point that in prehistoric times came where today is located Plaza Catalunya . The land on which Barceloneta was established did not exist a century and a half before the construction of this neighborhood. These lands are the result of the accumulation of sand sediments dragged by the marine currents coming from the north and that would be contained by the breakwater of the port built in 1640, and that ended up joining the old island of Maians (where the station of Francia ) with the mainland, forming the base land spit of Barceloneta .

The part of Barcelona closest to the coastal mountains is dotted with small peaks, some of which are urbanized, and others crowned by parks, such as Carmelo (265.6 meters), Monterols (127.3 meters), Putxet ( 182.7 meters), the Rovira (206.8 meters) and the Turó de la Peira (138 meters). But the best-known peak in Barcelona, ​​just above the coastline and separating the city from the Llobregat delta , is the Montjuic mountain (184.8 meters). [ 22 ] Finally, mention the promontory of only 16.9 m where the historical nucleus of the city is located, Mount Táber .


One of the attractions that Barcelona has incorporated since the last years of the 20th century is its beaches. Thanks to the regeneration of the coastline carried out in 1992 on the occasion of the Olympic Games , Barcelona today has nine beaches and a bathing area that occupy more than 4.2 linear kilometers of coastline. The beaches are fully central, are connected to the center and are located a few minutes from anywhere in the city. All are equipped with the most complete services: showers, surveillance, Red Cross and, in some cases, changing rooms, hammock rental, beach bars ... The beaches are cleaned every day throughout the year, and all have the blue flag of the European Union that certifies its excellence.

According to data from the Barcelona City Council, each year they receive more than seven million bathers. Although most are concentrated in the good weather months, between May and September, citizens and visitors can also enjoy the beaches the rest of the year, as they are equipped to play tennis, beach volleyball and other sports. On Barceloneta beach, next to the Hotel Arts , there is a modern municipal thalassotherapy center, the Polideportivo Marítimo, equipped with seawater pools, and which allows the enjoyment of sports and health services throughout the year. The ten beaches are, from south to north, the beach of San Sebastián , San Miguel, Barceloneta , Somorrostro , Nueva Icaria ,Bogatell , Mar Bella , Nueva Mar Bella , Levante and the Forum baths. On the beach of Mar Bella there is a space reserved for nudism.

Beaches of Barcelona


Climograma of Barcelona (Can Bruixa - Downtown) [ 23 ]
temperatures in ° Ctotal precipitation in mm

The city of Barcelona has a Mediterranean climate with maritime influences. [ 24 ] [ 25 ] [ 26 ] According to the criteria of classification of Köppen-Geiger city is close to a transition zone of the subtropical climate of hot dry summers Csa ( Mediterranean climate ) to a climate humid subtropical Cfa . [ 27 ] [ 28 ] [ 29 ]

Temperatures are mild during winter and very warm in summer, with little daily temperature fluctuation, which is around 8 ° C on average. The annual temperature range is around 15 ° C, being lower than in other areas of the interior of the peninsula due to the maritime condition of the city. The average temperature in Barcelona is around 18 ° C due to the heat island effect in urban areas, being warmer than in other neighboring areas that are not so densely urbanized and being lower in the mountainous areas of the municipality due to the altitude , which reaches more than 500 m aslon the Tibidabo. Winters are mild, averaging around 12 ° C in January, the coldest month. Frosts are exceptionally rare within the city and snowfall is very rare in urban areas, averaging about one snow day every 2-3 years on the outskirts of the city, although they are more frequent in the mountainous areas of the municipality due to the altitude, as occurs in the Fabra Observatory located at an altitude that exceeds 400 meters above sea level, which has an average of two days of snow per year. There was a heavy snowfall in the city in March 2010 [ 30 ] [ 31 ] and another in February 2015. [ 32 ]Another great snowstorm we remember in the city dating 1962. [ 33 ]

Summers are warm, averaging 26 ° C in August, the warmest month. The maximums are very warm in this month, standing between 28 and 29 ° C on average. However, the average minimums are around 23 ° C, with the feeling of embarrassment being frequent due to the high nighttime humidity. [ 28 ] [ 29 ]

The average annual rainfall is around 600 mm, with a maximum rainfall in late summer and early autumn (reaching over 90 mm on average in October), which is often caused by the phenomenon known as drop cold , which has exceeded 100 mm in one day on numerous occasions. On the contrary, the minimum occurs at the beginning of the summer, reaching the average somewhat above 20 mm in July. The average annual humidity is high due to the maritime conditions of the city, being between 69 and 70% and varying little throughout the year. [ 28 ] [ 29 ]

Below are three tables with the climatological values ​​of the meteorological observatories located in the center of the city (although it is true that this is not an official station of the AEMET, but rather that of the Generalitat of Catalonia ), the Josep Airport Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat and at the Fabra Observatory . The airport observatory does not belong to the municipality of Barcelona, ​​but to the municipality of El Prat de Llobregat , however it serves as a reference due to its proximity to the municipality of Barcelona and the altitude of 4 m above sea level similar to that of the urban area of ​​the city , although influenced by a strong thermal inversiondue to being close to a large industrial and urbanized area. The Fabra observatory does belong to the municipality of Barcelona, ​​however it is located on the outskirts of the city, at a considerable altitude, 412 m above sea level , and therefore registers significantly different climatological values ​​than those of the urban area. [ 28 ] [ 29 ]

Gnome-weather-few-clouds.svg Average climatic parameters of Barcelona Can Bruixa - Barcelona city (1987-2010) WPTC Meteo task force.svg
My One. Feb. Mar. Apr. May. Jun. Jul. Ago. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec. Annual
Temp. máx. abs. (°C) 22.4 24.8 28.8 27.7 31.6 35.8 36.8 38.2 33.4 32.6 26.1 23.1 38.2
Temp. max. media (° C) 14.8 15.6 17.4 19.1 22.5 26.1 28.6 29.0 26.0 22.5 17.9 15.1 21.2
Temp. media (°C) 11.8 12.4 14.2 15.8 19.3 23.0 25.7 26.1 23.0 19.5 14.9 12.3 18.2
Temp. min media (° C) 8.8 9.3 10.9 12.5 16.1 19.8 22.7 23.1 20.0 16.5 11.9 9.5 15.1
Temp. mín. abs. (°C) -1.0 0.6 0.4 6.2 6.3 12.4 15.5 15.2 12.5 5.4 1.7 0.7 -1.0
Total precipitation (mm) 43.7 31.4 33.0 47.7 47.4 25.5 25.1 40.8 81.9 96.5 45.1 46.8 565.0
Rainy days (≥ 1 mm) 6.0 5.0 6.2 7.9 7.5 5.5 3.1 5.8 8.0 8.0 6.6 7.0 76.6
Snowfall days (≥ 1 mm) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Source: City of Barcelona [ 34 ]

Here are some of the extreme climatological values ​​recorded at the Fabra Observatory meteorological station at 412 m asl located within the municipality of Barcelona, ​​taken from 1920 for precipitation, from 1926 for temperature and from 1976 for wind: the absolute maximum temperature of 39.8 ° C recorded on July 7, 1982 and the absolute minimum temperature of –10 ° C recorded on February 11, 1956, the maximum precipitation in a day of 196 mm recorded on February 6, December 1971 and the maximum wind gust of 144 km / h registered on 29 April 1984. [ 37 ]


Old age

Plan of Barcino superimposed on the current plan of the Gothic Quarter .
The Castle of Montjuic , the southernmost point in which measurements were taken to calculate the length of the meter from its geographic definition.

The first traces of population found in the area of ​​the city date back to the Neolithic ( 5500 BC ), as indicated by the sites found around the Raval neighborhood rich in burials. Neolithic remains have also been found in other parts of the Barcelona map, such as La Sagrera. However, the first prominent settlers do not appear until the 7th centuries BC. C. - VI a. C. These were the layetanos an Iberian people . After the First Punic War , to try to compensate for the consequences of the defeat, the Carthaginians began a policy of expansion in the Iberian Peninsula. According to a legend, the city was founded in 230 BC. C. by Amílcar Barca , father of Aníbal . According to it, the name of Barcelona derives from the Carthaginian lineage Barca. However, there is no evidence of the Carthaginian presence in the plain of Barcelona. During the beginning of the Second Punic War , Aníbal Barca occupied the town during his march towards the Pyrenees . However, the Romans managed to conquer the city in 218 BC. C. The city was renamed COLONIA IVLIA AVGVSTA FAVENTIA PATERNA BARCINO between 15 a. C. and 10 a. C.once the Romans were definitively established. In the world map of Claudio Ptolemy it appears with the name Barcino . Barcino took the form of a castrum or military fortification in its early days, although trade was reorienting the importance of the city; In the 1st century it was walled in by order of the Roman Emperor Claudius and already in the 2nd century it had a population of between 4,000 and 8,000 inhabitants.

Middle Ages

After its arrival in the 5th century, the Visigoths made it the capital of the Hispanic territories for a few years , later transferring power to Toledo. In the 8th century it was conquered by Al-Hurr , but returned to Christian territory by Ludovico Pío of the Carolingian Empire in 801, [ 38 ] incorporating it into the Hispanic Brand . The Muslim attacks did not stop, and in 985 Almanzor's troops destroyed practically the entire city. Borrell II began the reconstruction, giving way to the flourishing county period. During this period the city stood out among the Catalan region and the whole of the domain of the Crown of Aragon , and was, along with other ports of the Crown, as Tortosa , [ 39 ] Palma de Mallorca , [ 40 ] Naples or Valencia , [ 41 ] from where numerous troops and resources left for the company to take new possessions. The city flourished and would become one of the main cities in the western Mediterranean in the 13th and 14th centuries. The city stood out in the commercial plane, although below Genoa and Venice, which dominated trade in the Mediterranean and between Europe and Asia.

Modern age

1698 French plan of the city of Barcelona with indications for a siege plan

The decline began in the 15th century with ups and downs, and would continue throughout the following centuries . The tensions derived from the dynastic union with Castile , which began with the marriage between Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella of Castile , reached its peak with the War of the Reapers , between 1640 and 1651, and later, with the War of Succession ( from 1706 to 1714), which meant the disappearance of many of the institutions of Catalonia and the construction of the military fortress of the citadel , while the Catalan dialect was relegated to the countryside. [ 42 ]

Industrial Revolution

Certificate of Founder of the General Tobacco Company of the Philippines. [ 43 ]

The economic recovery that began at the end of the 18th century and the industrialization in the 19th century led to Barcelona once again becoming an important political, economic and cultural center, at the head of the so-called Renaixença (Renaissance). It should be noted in the industrialization process the monopoly of textile trade between Spain and Cuba, which was set in Barcelona at a time of crisis in the cotton textile industry, and which established industrialization in Catalonia; and the growth differential, while in other parts of the country the industry languished in the face of the crisis. Another consequence of this textile monopoly in the 19th century between Barcelona and Cuba, was the Cuban complaint about the "funnel theory", wide for Spain and narrow for Cuba, and which was the root of the Cuban unrest and which generated riots. and the independence movement in search of economic equality with the support of the United States. The city was able to tear down its walls and in 1897 it annexed six neighboring municipalities, which allowed it to grow and plan its urban and industrial development led by the innovative Ensanche deIldefonso Cerdá , who drew the streets on a grid and the corners on a chamfer. It was also the venue for two Universal Exhibitions in 1888 and 1929 .

Twentieth century

Bombardment of Barcelona in March 1938, during the Spanish Civil War

At the beginning of the 20th century, both economic growth (especially derived from the First World War ) and the proliferation of new ideologies embraced by broad sections of the population, especially the working class, stood out. The governmental impulse promoted the Metro and the Port . However, the crisis of 29 that hit Spain hard and later the start of the Spanish civil war paralyzed all growth for a decade. Despite defending the Second Republic , the city was the focus of internal rebellions and fights between parties that neither the city nor the government of the Republic could control, as seen in the May 1937 Conference.. During the war the city was bombed several times. Franco's troops occupied the city on January 26, 1939.

The Franco dictatorshipHe designated Barcelona as a development pole, promoting intense industrialization that led to a strong and prolonged immigration, mostly from the south of the Iberian Peninsula. The new social and economic conditions invigorated the city and radically transformed the urban layout, highlighting the appearance of populous working-class neighborhoods and important communication routes. The metro expanded and trolleybuses appeared (1940s) diversifying transport. The railway network became more dense and modern, while the airport also gained relevance. However, the great bet of Barcelona's transport, compared to other large and medium-sized cities, was the promotion of private vehicles, for which a dense network of underground car parks was built.

After the death of General Franco and the difficult beginnings of the democratic period, the city benefited, like the rest of Spain, from a new economic impulse highly influenced by integration into the European Union (January 1, 1986), which led to modern cultural and urban projects. Among them, the organization of the 1992 Olympic Games stands out . This event, which had the financial and organizational support of the whole of Spain, became a new engine of urban development.

XXI century

Aerial view of the Universal Forum of Cultures

The Barcelona of the 21st century is a prosperous city with international projection, committed to culture, quality of life, innovation, solidarity and sustainability. At the beginning of the century, the economy experienced a certain deindustrialization, while at the same time betting on new sectors, such as the new information and communication technologies , established in the so-called 22 @ district . [ 44 ] In 2004 the Universal Forum of Cultures was held , which led to various urban changes for the city: the entire Besós area was recovered, until then populated by old disused factories, which allowed the entire Pueblo Nuevo neighborhood to be regenerated and the new Diagonal Mar neighborhood to be built , as well as to bring Diagonal Avenue to the sea. [ 45 ]

Barcelona suffered from the international economic crisis that began in 2008: unemployment, poverty [ 46 ] and social precariousness increased considerably . [ 47 ] The crisis sparked a series of protests that took shape in the so - called 15-M Movement , which began with a series of demonstrations throughout Spain on 15 May 2011. [ 48 ]

Since the regional elections of 2010, the independence movement has grown , which resulted in demonstrations such as " Catalonia, the new state of Europe " (2012), [ 49 ] the Via Catalana towards Independence (2013), [ 50 ] or the day of 2014 . [ 51 ]

The non-independence Catalans also called two mutitudinarian demonstrations, in defense of the Spanish Constitution, on October 8 and 29, 2017.

In the municipal elections of 2015, the Barcelona en Comú platform was the winner , led by Ada Colau , who was appointed mayor on June 13, 2015. [ 52 ] The first two years of Colau's government evidenced the impossibility of facing in-depth reforms by the council, especially in relation to housing and tourism. However, it increased social investment: 221 million euros at the end of the previous term to 332 million in 2017. [ 53 ]

On August 17, 2017, Barcelona was the scene of an attack linked to jihadist terrorism , which left 15 dead and a hundred injured (there was another victim later in Cambrils ). [ 54 ]


According to the INE municipal register for 2017, the municipality, which has an area of ​​98.21 km², [ 55 ] has 1 620 809 inhabitants and a density of 16 503.5 inhabitants / km².

Graph of demographic evolution of Barcelona between 1842 and 2017

Right population according to the INE population censuses . [ 56 ] Population by municipal register 2017. [ 57 ]

Between 1842 and 1857 the term of the municipality decreased because it made Gracia independent.

Between 1887 and 1897 the term of the municipality grew because it incorporated Cortes, Gracia, San Andrés de Palomar, San Gervasio de Cassolas, Sans and San Martín de Provensals.

Between 1900 and 1910 the term of the municipality grew because it incorporated Horta, and between 1920 and 1930 it incorporated Sarriá.

Territorial organization and urban planning

Districts and neighborhoods

Barcelona is administratively divided into ten districts. Each district functions as a political entity with its own competencies, which help to decentralize the politics of the city and that the citizens feel the closest administration. [ 58 ] The territorial division of the districts responds to historical questions of the city. Most of the districts correspond to old independent municipalities that were annexed to the city during the 19th and 20th centuries, and which still retain their own personality.

The ten districts of Barcelona are:

The ten districts of Barcelona.
  1. Ciutat Vella . It is the historic city center. It corresponds to the territorial area of ​​old Barcelona, ​​until the gradual annexation of the adjacent municipalities during the 19th and 20th centuries. It brings together the neighborhoods of El Raval , Gótico , Antics Palaus (made up of the unofficial neighborhoods of Sant Pere, Santa Caterina, El Born and La Ribera) and Barceloneta . [ 59 ]
  2. The Ensanche . It occupies the plain existing in the 18th century between the old town (Ciudad Vieja) and the old independent villas of Sants, Gracia and San Andrés de Palomar. Its urbanism is characterized by a grid of perpendicular streets in sections of one hundred meters devised by the Catalan urban planner Ildefonso Cerdá . It brings together the neighborhoods of Sant Antoni , La Nueva Izquierda del Ensanche , La Antigua Izquierda del Ensanche (the last two form a unit known as Izquierda del Ensanche), Right of Ensanche, Sagrada Familia and Fort Pienc . [ 60 ]
  3. Sants-Montjuïc . It brings together the neighborhoods of La Marina del Prat Vermell , La Marina del Port , La Font de la Guatlla , El Pueblo Seco , Hostafrancs , La Bordeta , Sants and Sants-Badal (better known as Badal). Montjuic and the Zona Franca , do not constitute neighborhoods by themselves, but are special territories of the district. [ 61 ]
  4. Les Corts . It brings together the neighborhoods of Las Corts, Pedralbes and La Maternidad and San Ramón (better known as San Ramón). [ 62 ]
  5. Sarriá-San Gervasio . It brings together the neighborhoods of Sarriá , Sant Gervasi - Galvany (simply Galvany), Sant Gervasi - La Bonanova (or simply La Bonanova), Putxet i Farró (better known as El Putxet), Las Tres Torres and Vallvidrera - Tibidabo - Les Planes. The neighborhoods of Sant Gervasi - Galvany and Sant Gervasi - La Bonanova, constitute the old nucleus of San Gervasio de Cassolas . [ 63 ]
  6. Gracia . It brings together the old independent town of Gracia, and the neighborhoods of Camp de Grassot i Gràcia Nova, La Salut , El Coll , Vallcarca and los Penitentes (which includes the two neighborhoods of the same name). [ 64 ]
  7. Horta-Guinardó . It brings together the neighborhoods of Horta , La Clota , El Valle de Hebrón , Montbau , Sant Genís dels Agudells , La Teixonera , El Carmelo , Font d'en Fargas , Can Baró , El Guinardó and Baix Guinardó . [ 65 ]
  8. Nou Barris . It brings together the neighborhoods of Vallbona , Ciudad Meridiana , Torre Baró , Canyelles , Les Roquetes , La Trinitat Nova , Can Peguera , La Guineueta , El Verdún , La Prosperitat , Turó de la Peira , Porta y Vilapicina and La Torre Llobeta (which, in reality, includes the neighborhoods of Vilapicina and La Torre Llobeta). [ 66 ]
  9. Saint Andrew . It brings together the neighborhoods of San Andrés de Palomar , La Sagrera , La Trinitat Vella , Baró de Viver , Congrés i els Indians (better known as Congrés), Navas and El Buen Pastor . [ 67 ]
  10. San Martín . It brings together the neighborhoods of San Martín de Provensals, El Clot , El Campo del Arpa del Clot , La Verneda y la Paz , El Poblenou , the Parc i Llacuna del Poblenou, the Vila Olímpica del Poblenou , the Provençals del Poblenou , El Besós and the Maresme , Diagonal Mar and Poblenou Maritime Front (which includes the Diagonal Mar district). [ 68 ]
View from the Mirador de Torre Baró , the poorest neighborhood in Barcelona

The current division of the official neighborhoods was proposed by the Barcelona City Council at the end of 2006 and ratified and approved by the Barcelona City Council in early 2007. Even after its approval, there are complaints from residents about the names of some neighborhoods (such as , for example, Antics Palaus) as well as their limits.

Urban structure

Plan of the Eixample of Barcelona , by Ildefonso Cerdá (1859). Paradigm of the nineteenth century extensions in Spain.

The urbanism of the city has evolved and superimposed layers from the Roman city to the present day, and all this urban history is still visible today. In the old town you can see the cardo maximus and the decumanus that converged on the old Roman forum , today called Plaza de San Jaime , the center of the political life of the city; or you can follow the outline of the walls through the street “Banys nous” or through Avignon. The following growths of the medieval city, and the corresponding walls of the Borne or the Raval also remain more or less visible up to the limits of the old town.

This was the limit of Barcelona until in 1859 the city decided to dispense with the obsolete walls and grow along the plane of Barcelona until engulfing the surrounding towns, today converted into city neighborhoods, such as Gracia , Poblenou , Horta or Sants . This growth was done following the expansion plan designed by Ildefonso Cerdá , known as Plan Cerdá , with the now famous orthogonal mesh with chamfered crosses.


The city has a long and rich architectural history, starting with the ancient remains of the Roman settlement that Barcelona founded, of which only archaeological remains remain, or scattered fragments, such as the columns of the temple of Augustus inside the building of the Centro Excursionista de Catalonia , [ 69 ] the remains of Barcino under the subsoil (integrated into the Barcelona History Museum ) or the old walls. [ 70 ] There are also witnesses of Romanesque-style constructions, much later, such as the Monastery of San Pablo del Campo or the Chapel of Marcús[71]

From the medieval period, many buildings have been preserved, some of them very outstanding, especially the Gothic works that proliferate in its historic center called the Gothic Quarter precisely for this reason, such as the Cathedral of Santa Cruz and Santa Eulalia in Barcelona , [ 72 ] The basilica of Santa María del Mar , [ 73 ] outside the Gothic Quarter, characterized by its austerity and harmony in measurements, which is why many consider it the most outstanding work of Catalan Gothic ; also the church of Santa María del Pino , with a wide nave and monumental bell tower, or theRoyal Shipyards , [ 74 ] one of the few examples of Gothic ships for civil use in Europe . Also from the medieval period include buildings such as the Tinell room , the Lloctinent palace or the Palace of the Generalitat of Catalonia . Also noteworthy are the palaces built by wealthy families in the city, structured around a courtyard, such as those that currently house the Picasso Museum .

After a period of little architectural relevance in the city, due to the fact that the walls prevented new growth, the lack of intramural soil, and the economic hardships caused by the War of Succession , some important actions were carried out thanks to the land obtained from the Church through the confiscation . These lands allowed, for example, the construction of the Plaza Real , or notable iron constructions, such as the La Boquería market . Years later a new architectural movement took hold in Barcelona, ​​accompanied by a moment of great economic boom, and by the expansion of the city beyond the walls, Modernism.

The Palace of Catalan Music , designed in the modernist style by Lluís Domènech i Montaner and inaugurated in 1908.

Barcelona is known as the capital of modernism due to the large quantity and quality of its works, with jewels such as the Hospital de la Santa Cruz y San Pablo or the Palacio de la Música Catalana by Lluís Domènech i Montaner , or the Casa Macaya by Josep Puig i Cadafalch ; but undoubtedly the best known and best-known modernist architect is Antoni Gaudí . His most relevant work, which attracts millions of visitors from around the world every year, is the Expiatory Temple of the Sagrada Familia, which Gaudí left unfinished and which is still being built with donations and contributions from individuals and visitors, and which is scheduled to be finished by the year 2020. Other of Gaudí's best-known works are Park Güell , Casa Milà , also known as La Pedrera , and Casa Batlló .

Palau Sant Jordi.

The city also has different samples of contemporary architecture. Highlights the German Pavilion of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe , which was built for the International Exposition in Barcelona in 1929 , or Joan Miró Foundation of the Catalan architect Josep Lluis Sert . After the civil war, the city came under the control of the regime and its developmental vision, in addition to preventing any popular movement, which are those that have historically produced the most notable works in Barcelona. It was not until years after the recovery of democracy, on the occasion of the 1992 Olympic Games, that the city underwent a period of great transformations that gave rise to works such as the Palau Sant Jordi by Arata Isozaki , the Torre de Collserola by Norman Foster and the Telecommunications Tower of Montjuïc by Santiago Calatrava . Before the Games, the remodeling and expansion of the Barcelona Airport was also carried out , led by Ricardo Bofill . In the post-Olympic stage, the city has continued to maintain a notable architectural development, building buildings such as the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona ( MACBA ) by Richard Meier, the Torre Glòries by Jean Nouvel , and the projects for a new station in La Sagrera , or the Torre La Sagrera by Frank Gehry . Other actions have been carried out on the occasion of the Universal Forum of Cultures , as the Forum Building of Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron .

In 1999, the city of Barcelona was awarded by the Royal Institute of British Architects with the RIBA Gold Medal , an award that is given to architects for their work as a whole, and that for the first and only time, has been awarded to a city and not to an individual architect. [ 75 ]

Parks and gardens

Barcelona has many parks. The best known are the Park Güell , designed by Antoni Gaudí in the district of Gracia, the Montjuic park , located on the mountain of the same name, and the Ciudadela Park ( Parc de la Ciutadella ), located in the center of the city. city, where you can find the Parliament of Catalonia and the Barcelona Zoo , famous for having housed the albino gorilla Snowflake until his death . The Diagonal Mar Park , designed by Enric Miralles , has recently been inauguratedAnd the Park of the Forum, where the enclosure placed hosted the Universal Forum of Cultures in 2004 . Near Collserola , to the north of the city, are the Parque Central de Nou Barris , one of the largest in Barcelona, ​​and the Parque del laberinto de Horta , where the hedges are planted and trimmed in a way that creates a labyrinth where small and Older people have fun times. Other smaller parks are the Parque de la España Industrial, in the Sants neighborhood , the Parque del Clot, near the Plaza de las Glorias, and the Turó Park, next to the Plaza Francesc Macià.

In addition to this, in the city there are two mountains that dominate the views, so they have been converted into viewpoints. Montjuic is a small hill located next to the port, at the top of which is an old military castle that served to guard the entrance to Barcelona from the sea. At the foot of this mountain are the Olympic facilities, such as the Lluis Companys Olympic Stadium , the Sant Jordi Palace designed by the Japanese architect Arata Isozaki , and the Picornell Swimming Pools . Also located in Montjuic is the botanical garden , which has a unique collection of cacti .

The Tibidabo , in the upper part of the city, is the other mountain of Barcelona. You can get on by car , bus , or with a tram and a funicular . On Tibidabo you will find the Expiatory Temple of the Sacred Heart , visible from all over the city, the Tibidabo Amusement Park , and the Collserola Tower , a telecommunications antenna designed by Norman Foster that has a viewpoint.

Politic and government

Public administrations

La Casa Serra , headquarters of the Barcelona Provincial Council.

In Barcelona there are four political administrations present, with different levels of responsibility and competences:

  • The General State Administration deals with issues such as security (National Police Corps, Civil Guard and Army), Justice, port and airport management, Renfe trains , and coasts, among the most prominent competences. [ 76 ] These powers are coordinated by the Government Delegate in Catalonia and the sub-delegate of the Government of Barcelona, ​​who are appointed by the Government of Spain, and whose headquarters are in the Government Delegation. [ 77 ] Currently the National Police Corps only has some powers, such as issuing the DNI or the fight against terrorism.since the rest of competitions have been transferred to the Mozos de Escuadra , autonomic police of the Generalitat.
  • The Generalitat of Catalonia is the autonomous government of Catalonia, and has the headquarters of its institutions in Barcelona, ​​such as the Parliament of Catalonia , located in the Parque de la Ciudadela , or the Palace of the Generalitat , seat of the Presidency of the Generalitat , located in the Plaza de San Jaime . The Parliament is chosen by universal suffrage, in elections held every four years throughout Catalonia, and has broad powers over the management of the city, from education, social affairs, traffic, economic policies, trade, etc. It is also responsible for the construction of facilities such as hospitals, schools, universities, residences for the elderly.
  • The Barcelona Provincial Council is the public body with the fewest powers in the city. He currently chairs the board of trustees that takes care of the maintenance of the Sierra de Collserola park, and some other parks and public buildings in the city. It also manages some museums and is the owner of a wide network of public libraries managed jointly with city councils.
  • The Barcelona City Council is the body with the greatest powers and public officials in the city, since it regulates the daily life of citizens, and important matters such as urban planning, transport, the collection of municipal taxes, emergency bodies such as the Guardia Urbana and the Barcelona Fire Brigade , maintenance of public roads (asphalt, cleaning ...) and gardens. He is also responsible for the construction of municipal facilities such as nurseries, sports centers, libraries, residences for the elderly, public housing, among others.

municipal government

The Barcelona City Council is chosen by universal suffrage in elections held every four years. It is made up of 41 members, who elect the mayor of the city.

The municipal administration is structured in two levels, since the city council divided the city administratively in ten districts . There is a level of general municipal powers, directed directly by the mayor of Barcelona and his government team, and which deals with the most important issues that apply to the entire city.

The other level of competencies are those delegated to the Districts. Thus, each District has its own political and administrative center, which functions as a political entity with its own powers, which help to decentralize the politics of the city and that the citizens feel the closest administration. Each district, like a small territorial council, has its own plenary room where political issues are debated, and its own government team, with a manager (councilor) at the head. The district management is formed based on the number of votes that each party receives, in each district, in the municipal elections of Barcelona. Thus, it happens that, although the government of the city falls to a certain party, one or more districts may be governed by another political formation.

Current distribution of the City Council after the 2019 elections

Political parties in the Barcelona City Council
Political party Councilors
Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC-NOVA-AM)
Barcelona en Comú (BeC-ECG)
Party of the Socialists of Catalonia (PSC-CP)
Together for Catalonia (JxCat)
Citizens (Cs)
Popular Party (PP)
Barcelona for change (Bcn for change)


The Barcelona City Council obtained the highest score (100%) in transparency in the report of the NGO Transparency International carried out in 2014 . [ 78 ] In the six areas analyzed: information on the municipal corporation; relations with citizens and society; economic-financial transparency; hiring of services; urban planning and public works matters; it is located in the first position of the ranking tied with other municipalities. [ 79 ]

Town hall

Ada Colau , current mayor of Barcelona.

Since the restoration of democracy in Spain, in all municipal elections prior to those of 2011, the political party with the most votes in Barcelona had been the Socialist Party of Catalonia , but after the municipal elections of May 22, 2011 the party with the most votes and with the greatest representation was Convergència i Unió , with Xavier Trias at the head. In the 2015 municipal elections, CiU was defeated by the Barcelona en Comú candidacy , which won the support of ERC , PSC and CUP .

List of mayors since the democratic elections of 1979

Mayor Start of mandate End of the mandate Match
Narcís Serra 1979 1982 PSC
Pasqual Maragall 1982 1997 PSC
Joan Clos 1997 2006 PSC
Jordi Hereu 2006 2011 PSC
Xavier Trias 2011 2015 CiU
Ada Colau 2015 - BeC

Investiture agreements and / or government coalitions

Mandate Parties involved Councilors
1979-1983 PSC - PSUC - CiU - ERC / FNC
1983-1987 PSC - PSUC
1987-1991 PSC - ICV
1991-1995 PSC - ICV
1995-1999 PSC - ICV - ERC
1999-2003 PSC - ICV - ERC
2003-2007 PSC - ICV - ERC
2007-2011 PSC - ICV
2011-2015 CiU - PP
2015-2019 BComú - PSC
2019-2023 BComú - PSC


Productive structure

Facade of the Barcelona Stock Exchange building .

Historically, Barcelona's economy has been based on trade, which thanks to its strategic geographic location has always allowed intense commercial activity with France and the rest of Spain, as well as with all the Mediterranean territories, especially through its port. . This activity was the main engine of the city until the industrial revolution . It is little known that this was one of the first territories to initiate industrialization in continental Europe, starting with the textile industry from the mid-1780s, but actually gaining momentum in the mid-19th century, when it became an important center for the production of textiles and machinery.

Since then, manufacturing has played an important role in its history, especially in the textile sector in the first period, with a great stoppage due to the great crisis and destruction caused by the civil war, and to the autarky imposed later by the Franco regime. But when the regime began to open up to European markets, the automotive, publishing, chemical, pharmaceutical, logistics and electronics industries recovered strongly, until the province of Barcelona was convertedin the main industrial zone of the country. But the growth and prosperity of the city of Barcelona was pushing the industrial zones out of its limits due to the increase in the price of industrial land. Due to this fact, the city's economy has gradually focused on services, which currently employ 85.7% of the city's workers. Some of these workers are dedicated to commerce, restaurants, and also tourism, which since the 1990s has grown enormously in the city, receiving up to 6.5 million visitors in 2009, thus becoming one of the economic mainstays. from Barcelona.

With the current economic crisis of 2008-2015 , aggravated by the bursting of the real estate bubble, which has plummeted consumption, and with it industrial production, has come to add to a stagnation of the Catalan economy that, despite the uninterrupted economic growth of the Barcelona metropolis, have made it lose in the last quarter of the 20th century the economic capital of Spain in favor of Madrid, especially in the financial field. This has been due to the traditional atomization of the Catalan entrepreneurial fabric that reduces its competitiveness, the saturation of infrastructures, the greater foreign investment made in Madrid compared to Barcelona, ​​and the transfer of decision centers, tax and social headquarters in Barcelona and also from other parts of Spain to Madrid. In the industrial field, Barcelona has had serious relocation problems, basically the transfer of industries to countries with cheaper labor, this is the case, among others, of Braun , Philips and Samsung . Problem increased by the scarce and expensive industrial land in its metropolitan area, [ 80 ]The second most expensive in Europe only behind London . Even so, there have also been mobilizations of totally or partially public companies to Barcelona (such as Repsol ), as well as foreign investments and locations, far exceeding relocations, so that Barcelona continues to be an industrial capital of Spain, generating in some subsectors 25% of total Spanish exports. [ 81 ]


Factory SEAT in Zona Franca de Barcelona.
New industry

Faced with the scenario of loss of competitiveness due to the economic crisis of 2008-2015 , both the Barcelona City Council and the Generalitat of Catalonia almost ten years ago began a program to develop a new productive economy based on knowledge, creating large parks research, especially in the field of biomedicine and biotechnology , [ 82 ] [ 83 ] [ 84 ] giving aid technology companies to expand into new fields such as aerospace, or nanotechnology, and in the case of Barcelona, ​​transforming an entire neighborhood into a new commercial district focused on new technologies, with state-of-the-art communication infrastructures, to attract companies from all over the world to the city, the so-called 22 @ district . [ 85 ] These policies are beginning to bear fruit, and prestigious scientists are beginning to come to Barcelona to develop high-level research. [ 86 ] Due to its participation in aerospace technology research and development, Barcelona is part of the Community of Ariane Cities , an association of European cities related to the space industry and Ariane which the neighboring Tarrasa is also located . [ 87 ]

Editorial industry

Barcelona is one of the main centers of publishing diffusion, both in Catalan and also in Spanish, for the entire peninsula and even for Latin America. It has also been the leading comic production center in Spain, ahead of Valencia and Madrid . [ 88 ]


In 2018, a municipal energy company, Barcelona Energía , was created which began its activity in July 2018 with the aim of offering an affordable supply of energy from renewable energies to the municipalities of the Barcelona Metropolitan Area . The company began its activity by serving the City Council and various public bodies, in addition to public lighting and traffic lights, while in a second phase, which began on January 1, 2019, some 20,000 homes were served. With its commissioning, Barcelona Energía became the largest public electricity marketer in Spain. [ 89 ]


Flower stand on Las Ramblas.

The most important subsector of the services sector in Barcelona is commerce. The most commercial area of ​​the city is in its historic center: Portaferrisa, Pelayo , Rambla, Portal del Ángel and Plaza Cataluña streets , where small shops coexist with department stores and large clothing chain franchises.

A little further north of Plaça Catalunya, on Passeig de Gracia , Rambla de Catalunya and Avinguda Diagonal, are the shops of the most international fashion , leather goods and jewelery brands . Design items have their place in the alleys of the Borne neighborhood, which has been gaining popularity since the late 1990s. Of the rest of the city, the commercial areas of Gran de Gràcia street, Sants street or the Fabra i Puig walk , and shopping malls like the Machinist , Illa Diagonal , Glories or Diagonal Mar .

Second-hand or second-hand items have their place in the Encantes market, in the Plaza de las Glorias, which is open every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and the San Antonio Market , where every Sunday morning Stalls are set up where books, records, video films, stamps, and collectors' items are bought and sold.


For Barcelona, ​​leisure tourism is as important, or even more so, as business tourism. For the development of business tourism, the city has the Fira , Barcelona's trade fair , which organizes numerous exhibitions, shows, congresses and fairs for professionals, some of which are among the first in the world, such as the Mobile World Congress which is the most important in the world in its sector, the urban fashion fair The Brandery , or the biannual Construmat construction fair . These and other fairs make it one of the most relevant fairs in Europe and the first in Spain with more than 3.5 million annual visitors, [ 90 ]Which also generate great activity for the hotel and restaurant sector with the incentive of being distributed evenly throughout the year. There are services for guided tours of the most emblematic places.

Public sector

Historically, the public sector has had relatively little weight within the Catalan economy, although since the transition and the recovery of self-government, it has been gaining weight. The main contribution to the economy that the public sector has made has been the construction of large infrastructures, which have allowed commercial and industrial development. Unfortunately, these infrastructures have often proven insufficient, and their extensions have often been delayed for decades, [ citation needed ]or they have directly had to be built with private capital, thus becoming payment infrastructures. This has been due to the capital transfers that the autonomous system requires from the richest and most dynamic communities to the most economically stagnant communities, with the notable exception of the Basque Country and Navarra, which despite having a dynamic economy, and one of the most Highest per capita incomes in the country do not provide solidarity funds. This transfer process has allowed the development of the most depressed areas, but it has also ended up weighing down the most dynamic ones due to the saturation of their infrastructures, which have not been duly expanded due to the lack of funds, and the low priority given to these actions. [citation required ]It has also ended up deteriorating public services, since the economic transfer system, having been very opaque[ citation required ]and not being governed by assessable parameters, has ended up allocating in many cases less funds per inhabitant in the richer areas, thus producing a deterioration of their services and an injury to their citizens. A recent study by theInstitute of Fiscal Studiesassesses the net contribution of the autonomous communities throughfiscal balancesto the territorial compensation funds. According to this study, the publication of fiscal balances is a"singular phenomenon"in the international context. [91 ] The estimate uses six different methods to make the calculation, and according to this report, the Balearic communities(with between 14.2% and 7.47% of their GDP )stand out as the main net carriers of resources. Madrid (with between 9.13% and 5.57%), Catalonia (with between 8.7% and 6.38%) and Valencia (between 6.4% and 3.22%). [ 91 ]

This mechanism has recently been revised as a result of the approval of the new autonomy statute of Catalonia , which provides that in a community, after being in solidarity with the others, the per capita investment cannot be less than one that receives these money. This new system of distribution of funds uses assessable and comparable scales, such as the adjusted population criterion, to allocate funds, although this system affects only services, the infrastructures will continue to be the discretion of the development ministry.

Regarding the distribution of institutions, the traditional accumulation of the headquarters of public entities, even those theoretically independent from the government, in Madrid, which have benefited both economically and politically, [ citation needed ] began a distribution process with the transfer of the entity. telecommunications regulator to Barcelona, [ 92 ] not without great reluctance from its workers and the government of the Community of Madrid , [ 93 ] or the most recent installation of the new automated complaints center in León. The location of the national computing center in Barcelona also stands out, with the purchase of the largest supercomputer in Spain, the MareNostrum .


The metropolitan area of ​​Barcelona concentrates approximately 66% of the population of Catalonia, one of the richest regions in southern Europe. Catalonia has a GDP per capita of 126.4% of the average GDP of the EU of 27 in 2009 (in PPP, purchasing power parity. Average GDP of the EU of 27 = 100%), while the GDP of Spain, Catalonia included, is 103.1%. [ 94 ]

In 2006 , the city's GDP reached 57,237,000,000euros, with a GDP per inhabitant of 35,800 euros. Dividing by sectors, the weight of services to companies and real estate stands out, which represent 24.3% of total GDP, followed by collective services, with 20.7%, the industry that provides 12.4% of GDP It is the third most important sector, followed by commerce and repairs that contribute 11.5% of the total, finally the transportation sector closes the ranking, which represents 9.6% of the city's GDP. These data show that Barcelona has a highly diversified economy, and a significant weight of the industry, especially in the automobile, pharmaceutical and chemical, and food products. This allows the city to generate a fifth of Spanish exports, worth 32,262,000,000euros even in the context of crisis in 2009. [ 95 ]

Stock market

Main entrance to the Barcelona Stock Exchange , located on Passeig de Gracia .

Barcelona has its own stock exchange , the Bolsa de Barcelona , which is a stock exchange Spanish for secondary market officer , for the exclusive trading of shares and convertible securities or conferring the right to acquire or subscribe. The Barcelona Stock Exchange is a subsidiary company of Spanish Stock Exchanges and Markets .

According to the Securities Market Law (LMV), "Official secondary securities markets are those that operate regularly, in accordance with the provisions of this Law and its implementing regulations, and, especially, with regard to access conditions , admission to negotiation, operating procedures, information and publicity. "

In practice, equity issuers also go to the Stock Exchange as the primary market in which to formalize their offers for the sale of shares or capital increases. Likewise, fixed income is also traded on the Stock Exchange , both public and private debt .

Evolution of outstanding debt

The concept of outstanding debt contemplates only the debts with savings banks and banks related to financial credits, fixed income securities and loans or credits transferred to third parties, excluding, therefore, commercial debt.

Graph of the evolution of the outstanding debt of the city council between 2008 and 2014

Outstanding debt of the city council in thousands of Euros according to data from the Ministry of Finance and Ad. Public . [ 96 ]

The outstanding municipal debt per inhabitant in 2014 amounted to € 610.15. [ 97 ]

Local currency

In 2018 the City Council created the Citizen Economic Resource or REC a digital currency of locally launched in May 2018 in pilot testing phase with various businesses in the city. Its symbol is Ɍ. [ 98 ] Its objective was to promote neighborhood economy and local commerce, as well as to strengthen associative networks. The REC is parity with the euro and allows payments to be made between the customer's card or mobile phone and the merchant's mobile phone using blockchain technology , through a mobile application or a card with a QR code . [ 99 ]

Public services


Historical building of the University of Barcelona , in the Plaza de la Universidad.

The city of Barcelona had a total of 423,790 students in the 2008-2009 academic year, this raises the proportion of students out of the resident population in Barcelona to approximately 25%. All these students are distributed among the different educational levels as follows: 57,027 students in early childhood education, 76,923 in primary, 2,097 students in special education, 100,564 students in secondary and, finally, 187,179 students studying at university. [ 100 ]

These figures show the power of educational institutions, especially universities, in the city. Some of them are among the best in the country, [ 101 ] and others even enjoy international prestige, and appear well positioned in some international rankings. [ 102 ]

The city has the following universities:

All these institutions offer a multitude of degrees, in addition to postgraduate, master and doctorate degrees, in addition to the fact that many of them also manage research and development centers.

Citizen security

Coordination between the security forces of the State ( National Police , Civil Guard , Guardia Urbana de Barcelona , Mossos d'Esquadra ) and the City of Barcelona , is carried out by the Local Security Board. [ 103 ] This body allows the correct communication of the security forces in matters of security, falling within its powers the prevention of crime, road safety and the correct development of events.

This depends on the State and local Security Forces and Bodies , trying to act in a coordinated and collaborative manner in the prosecution and resolution of all types of crimes that citizens produce and / or harm them.

The Local Security Board of the Barcelona City Council consists of:


Mobility with a private vehicle within Barcelona, ​​as in any large European city, is complicated despite the good urban organization, with its Ensanche and the ring roads, and the large avenues that cross the city ( Diagonal , Meridiana , Aragón , Gran Vía ). This structure makes a priorivery easy orientation and circulation in a private vehicle. However, the great demographic density and number of vehicles do not make it advisable to drive. In addition, the city council inaugurated the green parking areas in May 2005, and expanded the blue areas, which require paying to park on public roads in the most central districts of the city. Among citizens who move by motorized vehicle, a large number do so on motorcycles. Barcelona is the European city with the largest number of motorcycles, in proportion to its number of inhabitants.

On the other hand, Barcelona is installing fifty sockets to recharge electric vehicles , [ 104 ] since it wants its name to be linked to urban cars: electric cars. Within the framework of the Barcelona International Motor Show , the city council has signed a manifesto together with Endesa , UPC , RACC , SEAT and Nissan to turn the city into a test bed, where purely electric cars are not hybrids - gradually gain ground to internal combustion. It's the LIVE project, whose initials correspond to Logistics for the Implementation of the Electric Vehicle. [ 105 ] [ 106 ]

Red vial

As far as road transport is concerned, Barcelona has a dense network of motorways and expressways , and the main ones are the AP-7 , which begins in Vera (Almería) , passes Cartagena , Alicante , Valencia , Barcelona and continues to Perpignan , the A-2 that starts in Madrid , passes through Zaragoza , Barcelona and also continues towards the French border, the AP-2 , which runs parallel to the A-2 between Zaragoza and Barcelona, ​​and the C-16 Barcelona Manresa, Puigcerdá to Toulouse and Paris Both the AP-2 and the AP-7 are toll roads managed by concession companies.

Urban transport


The network of city buses is composed of the Red Orthogonal Bus Barcelona of rapid transit and network of regular lines . A total of 150 bus lines circulate through Barcelona (133 daytime and 17 nighttime , called Nitbus ) operated by 9 different operators, of which Transportes Metropolitanos de Barcelona , Tusgsal and Mohn stand out.

Metro and tram

The metro network has 12 lines and a length of 166 km , it is the second largest metro network in Spain after Madrid [ note 1 ] and, since December 2009, the first Spanish metropolitan railway network to It has fully automated lines. The first line was inaugurated on December 30, 1924, a section that went from Plaza Cataluña to Lesseps. In 2012, the Barcelona metro network was used by 411.7 million passengers ( 1,127,945 passengers / day ), [ 107 ] [ note 2 ]Which were transported by the two operators that operate the network, Transportes Metropolitanos de Barcelona and Ferrocarriles de la Generalitat de Catalunya .

In 2004 several administrations, local, metropolitan and regional, promoted the reintroduction of the tram as a means of mass transport, especially to communicate with the cities of the metropolitan area. For this purpose, two networks were created, Trambaix and Trambesós, and it is currently still in the implementation and expansion phase of its networks.


Barcelona taxi, with its characteristic black and yellow colors.

The Barcelona taxi service is very characteristic and unmistakable due to its characteristic colors. The vehicles are black with yellow doors and boot lid . It is worth noting the increasing incorporation of hybrid vehicles in this service.

Lovers of the environment and physical activity can opt for the use of the bicycle to move around Barcelona. The orography of the city and the good weather that usually does most of the year facilitate the use of the bicycle. To do this, Barcelona has a wide network of bike lanes throughout the city, as well as the public bicycle system bicing , a network of automatic rental stations distributed throughout the city. This means of transport, although a very minority, has still been increasing users every year.

Interurban transportation


The city has a bus station, Barcelona-Fabra i Puig , also called Barcelona-Sant Andreu , located on Avinguda Meridiana with Passeig de Fabra i Puig , it has 15 docks for bus stops. Currently, 53 bus lines stop at the station: 2 urban bus lines, 48 interurban bus lines and 3 national lines. The Barcelona de Serveis Municipals SA company has managed the bus station since mid-2011. Station users have a public telephone, a bar, toilets adapted for people with reduced mobility, 24-hour video surveillance and 3/24 news channel monitors. The station's hours are from 04:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. every day of the week. At night, the station is used to park the buses. [ 108 ]

BSicon BUS2.svg Intercity bus Expré
Source Line Destination Source Line Destination
Barcelona- La Sagrera E1 Sabadell Barcelona- La Sagrera E2 Tarrasa
Barcelona- La Sagrera E3 Sardañola del Vallés -> UAB Barcelona- La Sagrera E4 Ripollet
Barcelona E5 Igualada Barcelona E6 Villafranca del Panadés
Barcelona E7 Rice Barcelona E8 Corbera de Llobregat
Barcelona E9 Caldas de Montbui Barcelona E10 Senmanat
Barcelona E11 Mataró Barcelona E12 Vich


To move between the different cities of the province of Barcelona there are two rail transport networks. One is the service Cercanías Barcelona of RENFE , with a network of 8 lines, and about 123 million annual trips. This medium has had an increase in demand since the first years of the 21st century, and numerous problems have arisen due to the lack of investment and poor planning of the works of the arrival of the AVE to the city. The other option, which serves different populations, is the Ferrocarriles de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC), a commuter train service operated and built by the Generalitat de Catalunya. Its stations are located in the center of Barcelona and travel to Tarrasa or Sabadell with the Metro del Vallés , or even to Manresa or to various points in the northwest with the Llobregat-Anoia Line .

FGC terminals:

Station name Lines Correspondence to Structure
Catalonia Square Station FGC.svg L6 FGC.svg L7 barcelona.svg S1 FGC.png S2 FGC.png S5 FGC.png S6 barcelona.svg S7 barcelona.svg Barcelona Metro Logo.svg L1 barcelona.svg L3 barcelona.svg - Rodalies de Catalunya simbol.svg R1 barcelona.svg R3 barcelona.svg R4 barcelona.svg Underground
Plaza España Station FGC.svg L8 barcelona.svg S3 barcelona.svg S4 barcelona.svg S8 barcelona.svg S9 barcelona.svg R5 barcelona.svg R50 barcelona.svg R6 barcelona.svg R60 barcelona.svg Barcelona Metro Logo.svg L1 barcelona.svg L3 barcelona.svg Underground

The railway network has its center in Barcelona's Sants station , from where long-distance trains leave that connect the city with the entire continent. The current Spanish network has the peculiarity of being all based on the so-called Iberian track gauge , incompatible with the international track gauge, which makes communication with France difficult , for this reason the new high-speed rail network that is being implemented in Spain uses the European standard.

At the beginning of 2008, the high-speed railway line between Madrid and Barcelona was also inaugurated . [ 109 ] This high - speed line was extended to the French border, where he continues to connect with the current French network. This line has been built to allow mixed use for passengers and freight, which will establish a fast rail connection for passengers, and will allow freight traffic with Europe by train from the port and its logistics activities area .

List of Cercanías Barcelona stations in Barcelona capital Operated by Renfe :

Station name Commuter Lines Ways Structure
Arc de Triomphe Rodalies de Catalunya simbol.svg R1 barcelona.svg R3 barcelona.svg R4 barcelona.svg 2 Underground
Clot-Aragon Rodalies de Catalunya simbol.svg R1 barcelona.svg R2 barcelona.svg 4 Underground
France station Rodalies de Catalunya simbol.svg R2 barcelona.svg 14 Exterior covered
Paseo de Gracia Rodalies de Catalunya simbol.svg R2 barcelona.svg 2 Underground
Catalonia Square Rodalies de Catalunya simbol.svg R1 barcelona.svg R3 barcelona.svg R4 barcelona.svg 2 Underground
Sagrera - AVE Spain traffic signal tp18.svg Rodalies de Catalunya simbol.svg R1 barcelona.svg R2 barcelona.svg 18 Underground
La Sagrera - Meridiana Rodalies de Catalunya simbol.svg R3 barcelona.svg R4 barcelona.svg 2 Underground
San Andrés Arenal Rodalies de Catalunya simbol.svg R3 barcelona.svg R4 barcelona.svg R7 barcelona.svg 4 Underground
San Andrés Condal Rodalies de Catalunya simbol.svg R2 barcelona.svg 7 Exterior covered
Saints Rodalies de Catalunya simbol.svg R1 barcelona.svg R2 barcelona.svg R3 barcelona.svg R4 barcelona.svg 14 Underground
Baron's Tower Rodalies de Catalunya simbol.svg R3 barcelona.svg R4 barcelona.svg R7 barcelona.svg 2 Semi-covered exterior

Public transport statistics

According to the report made by Moovit in July 2017, the average time that people spend on public transport in Barcelona, ​​for example to and from work, on a weekday is 50 minutes, while on 8 % of people spend more than 2 hours every day. The average time that people wait at a stop or station is 10 minutes, while 9% of people wait more than 20 minutes each day. The average distance that people usually travel in a single trip is 7.2 km, while 15% travel more than 12 km in one direction. [ 110 ]

Air Transport

Interior of terminal 1 of the airport.

The main gateway to Barcelona for international travelers, and many national ones, is the Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat airport , located ten kilometers southwest of the city, and the second for traffic in all of Spain, with more than 52.6 million passengers in 2019. [ 13 ] in the Airport Josep Tarradellas Barcelona-El Prat operate the major airlines of the world, with direct flights to all major cities in Europe , and numerous connections to cities in five continents. At the airport there is an area for the so-called " air bridge", which connects Barcelona and Madrid with flights every twenty minutes at rush hour. Other airports used to reach Barcelona, ​​especially by low cost flight companies are Gerona and Reus airports , just over one Barcelona time.

This infrastructure has allowed the development of a powerful tourist industry that generates great benefits for the city, although recently the need to orient the airport's policy to attract international flights, and fewer “low cost” flights, has been debated recently, which would make it easier to attract to a profile with greater purchasing power, and at the same time, it would allow the location of headquarters of large companies in the city.

Marine transport

Another important city gate, especially for goods, is the port of Barcelona . The port was born at the same time as the city of Barcelona as a natural port located on a beach that was between a small peninsula that formed the Montjuic mountain , and the old mouth of the Llobregat river . This was the only minimally protected point that ancient navigators could use on many kilometers of coastline. Over the centuries, the city and its port grew in importance, until it became the maritime capital of the kings of Aragon. Despite this, the port remained south of the Montjuic mountain.until in 1378 the city authorities asked Pedro IV of Aragon to continue the port works started by Pedro III of Aragon, who had ordered the construction of the Barcelona Shipyards, which still stand today. the Naval Museum of Barcelona, ​​and the construction of a port to the north of the Montjuic mountain, due to the fact that the old site had lost its depth due to the accumulation of sand. The permission to build the new artificial port in front of the city arrived on December 8, 1438, by order of Alfonso V the Magnanimous. Unfortunately, a decade later, the storms had destroyed all the works carried out, and it was not until 1477, under the reign of Juan II of Aragon, that what would be the first stone of the definitive port was laid. The ancient island of Maians was connected to the mainland by a breakwater. With the successive extensions of the port, and the accumulation of sand, the island has been linked to the land forming the land where today the neighborhood ofLa Barceloneta .

Today the port of Barcelona is one of the economic engines of the city. Since the beginning of the 21st century, it has become one of the largest ports in the Mediterranean in terms of tonnage of goods and number of containers, [ 111 ] as well as fishing, where canning companies from all over Spain are based, such as USISA (based in more of a thousand kilometers, in Isla Cristina ), and allowing the export of industrial production and import of raw or semi-finished materials. It is also the first Mediterranean port and fifth in the world for cruise ships, transporting up to two million passengers annually. [ 112 ]


El Periódico de Catalunya (which is published in both Catalan and Spanish) and La Vanguardia (which is also published in both languages) are the two main newspapers in Barcelona, ​​and they also publish Sport and El Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish), which they are the two main sports newspapers. There are also a large number of smaller publications that have a strong presence in the city, such as El Punt Avui and Ara (in Catalan). Other national newspapers such as El País and El Mundo (in Spanish) make special editions in Barcelona. The main FM stations are Catalunya Ràdio ,RAC 1 , RAC 105 , Cadena SER , Flaix FM , Ràdio Flaixbac and LOS40 . [ citation needed ] Barcelona also has several local television stations, among them Betevé (owned by the City Council ) and 8tv (owned by Grupo Godó , which also owns La Vanguardia ); The headquarters of Televisió de Catalunya , the public regional television of Catalonia, is located in San Juan Despí , in the metropolitan area of ​​Barcelona .

Historical-artistic heritage

Barcelona offers the visitor the possibility of walking from the Roman ruins and the medieval city to the neighborhoods of Catalan modernism , with its characteristic buildings, its square blocks with sectioned edges, its tree-lined streets and its wide avenues. The old city is practically flat, while the new neighborhoods, as they get closer to the coastal mountain range, acquire more slope.

The historic center and Las Ramblas

The Plaza Catalunya , the link between the old town and the district of El Eixample .

One of the most attractive and popular places is Las Ramblas , a promenade located between Plaza Catalunya , the city center, and the old port. There you will find newsagents, flower stands, street actors, cafes, restaurants and shops. Near the port, markets are used to to settle, as well as painters and cartoonists of all kinds, highlighting the area for its artistic and cosmopolitan nature. Strolling along Las Ramblas, you can admire several buildings of interest, such as the Palacio de la Virreina , the La Boquería market and the famous Gran Teatro del Liceo theater , in which operas and ballets are performed. A side street a few meters long, leads to thePlaza Real , an open public space surrounded by buildings with porches that house beer gardens and restaurants, and where stamp and coin collectors gather on weekends.

The Las Ramblas promenade ends next to the old port, where the statue of Christopher Columbus points towards the sea. A stone's throw away is the Maritime Museum , dedicated above all to naval history in the Mediterranean, and in which the full-scale reproduction of an old combat galley is exhibited. The museum is located in the shipyards of the Middle Ages, where the ships that sailed throughout the Mediterranean were built. The old port offers other attractions, such as a leisure center, with shops, restaurants, and as a documentary center, with an aquarium of Mediterranean marine fauna.

In the historic center, very close to Las Ramblas, stands out the Barcelona Cathedral , the Plaza de San Jaime, which houses the buildings of the Generalitat de Catalunya and the Barcelona City Council , and the narrow streets of both the Gothic Quarter and the Arrabal and the Terminal.

It also stands out the possibility of appreciating the medieval walls next to the Atarazanas, in the Parallel, the Roman walls and the entrance of the aqueduct in Subteniente Navarro street, next to Layetana road, or the old door next to the cathedral; being "Barcino", Barcelona, ​​one of the best walled provincial cities of the Roman Empire. The medieval fortresses of the Fortí castle or the Montjuic castle also stand out; although the old citadel and defensive walls built in 1714 and that surrounded the city were demolished in the 19th century to allow urban expansion. Even so, there are still the church buildings and the arsenal, which houses the Parliament of Catalonia.

Public art

Columbus Monument (1888), Portal de la Paz square, one of the most emblematic monuments of Barcelona.

The set of monuments and sculptures in the open air of Barcelona constitutes an excellent sample of public art that gives the Catalan capital, in conjunction with other elements such as its architecture , its network of museums or its set of parks and gardens , an unmistakable artistic stamp , since the city of Barcelona has always opted for art and culture as one of its main identity characteristics.

The collection of public art in the city is extensive, although most of the monuments and statuary located in public places come from the 19th century onwards. The first monument to be preserved expressly and by municipal order is the Monument to Santa Eulalia , in Plaza del Pedró, originally from 1673. However, until the 19th century there were no major signs of relevance, in Partly because the city was corseted by its walls of medieval origin, as the city was considered a military plaza, so there was not much space available for large monuments. [ 113 ] The situation changed with the demolition of the walls and the donation to the city of the Fortress of the Citadel, which led to the expansion of the city through the contiguous plain, a fact that was reflected in the Ensanche project prepared by Ildefonso Cerdá , which represented the largest territorial expansion of the city.

Dragon of the Park Güell (1900-1903), by Antoni Gaudí , another of the symbols of the city.

At the end of the 19th century, an event was held that had a great economic and social, urban, artistic and cultural impact for the city, the Universal Exhibition of 1888 . The statuary made for the Exhibition was the most important contribution to public art in the city in all its history, and was the test bed of a new artistic style, modernism , which until the beginning of the 20th century was the one that prevailed at the architectural level. and artistic in the city, and turned modernist Barcelona, ​​together with Gothic , into the most defining style of the city. [ 114 ] Thanks to the Exhibition, monuments such as the Arc de Triomphe , theWaterfall of the Ciudadela Park or the Columbus Monument .

The 20th century was the one that saw the greatest number of works placed on the city's public roads. The prevailing artistic style in the first decades of the century was the Noucentisme , until in the 1920s and 1930s the international avant-garde currents were introduced . During the first years of the Franco dictatorship there was a return to academic styles, but later on there was a new commitment to innovation and, especially with the arrival of democracy, the artistic environment was fully introduced into fashionable styles at the level. international. [ 115 ] Among the first works of the century are: Desconsuelo (1903), by Josep Llimona, in the Parque de la Ciudadela; the sculptural group The popular song (1909), in the Palace of Catalan Music ; the Monument to Doctor Robert (1910), by Josep Llimona , in the Plaza de Tetuán ; and the Monument to Mosén Jacint Verdaguer (1924), in the homonymous square, by Joan Borrell i Nicolau .

In 1929 another International Exhibition was held in Montjuic , which left numerous buildings and facilities, some of which have become emblems of the city, such as the National Palace , the Magic Fountain , the Greek Theater , the Spanish Village and the Olympic Stadium. , as well as the monumental fountain in the Plaza de España , the four columns by Josep Puig i Cadafalch and various sculptures placed all over the Montjuic mountain. Various actions were also carried out throughout the city, the most important of which was in Plaça de Catalunya., where a total of 28 statues of various authors were placed.

During the years of the Second Republic and the Civil War, no excessive monuments were made, due to political instability and the troubled situation in the country, but there were works such as La República (Tribute to Pi i Margall) (1934), by Josep Viladomat ; or the tribute to Francesc Layret , by Frederic Marès .

During the Franco era there was a great proliferation of monuments, since the dictatorship used art as a means of propaganda for its ideology. [ 116 ] Works were created such as the Monument to the Fallen on Avenida Diagonal, by Josep Clarà ; the equestrian statue of General Franco , in the Montjuic Castle , the work of Josep Viladomat ; or the Monument to José Antonio Primo de Rivera , on Calle Infanta Carlota - now Avenida Josep Tarradellas. A change in direction occurred in 1957, when he settled in the stroll of the Vall d'Hebron a work entitledForma 212 , by Josep Maria Subirachs , which was the first abstract work to be located in a public space in the city. That year coincided with the arrival to the mayoralty of José María de Porcioles , who remained in office until 1973, and whose mandate was characterized by greater openness, in a stage known as "porciolism." [ 117 ] This stage was characterized by a great profusion of public statuary, although generally based on private initiatives, and trying to avoid any political connotation. They were works of a different stylistic stamp, without any general planning, which arose spontaneously and with some improvisation. [ 118 ]

With the arrival of democracy, a new period began in the city's public statuary. On a stylistic level, a clear commitment was made to contemporary art and the incorporation of works by renowned artists from around the world. In those years, works were installed such as: the Monument to Pau Casals (1982), by Josep Viladomat and Apel·les Fenosa ; the Tribute to Picasso (1983), by Antoni Tàpies ; Woman and Bird (1983), by Joan Miró ; Elogio del agua (1987), by Eduardo Chillida ; the Montjuic Sculpture Garden (1990); and theMonument to Francesc Macià (1991), by Josep Maria Subirachs .

In 1992 the XXV Olympic Games were held , which also left numerous works in the city, mainly on the Montjuic mountain , where the Olympic Stadium was remodeled and the Palau Sant Jordi was built , but also in the Olympic villages of Pueblo Nuevo and the Hebron Valley. In the following years, the placement of works of art in public spaces continued apace, with works such as: Cabeza de Barcelona (1992), by Roy Lichtenstein ; Barcino (1994), by Joan Brossa ; Character (1997), by Joan Miró ; and La ola (1998), byJorge Oteiza .

Finally, in the 21st century, a certain eclecticism derived from the postmodern tendencies that began in the 1980s continued, which has produced works of different signs and styles for the city. One of the most outstanding events of the new millennium was the celebration of the 2004 Universal Forum of Cultures , which allowed new urban changes in the city, especially in the Besós and Diagonal Mar areas . [ 45 ] Some of the works incorporated into the public collection in the new century were: Twin Trees (2001), by Arata Isozaki ; Tall Irregular Progression. To the victims of terrorism (2003), bySol LeWitt ; The Suez Canal (2009), by Albert Viaplana ; A los castellers (2012), by Antoni Llena .

World Heritage

In Barcelona there are several points of interest declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco . The seventh element of the World Heritage Site «Works of Antoni Gaudí » is the Crypt of Colonia Güell , which is located in Santa Coloma de Cervelló .

The Monumental of Barcelona

Exterior of the Monumental bullring

The Monumental bullring in Barcelona was inaugurated in 1914 under the name of «El Sport» and renamed in 1916 with the name of «Monumental». It is located at the confluence of Gran Vía and Calle Marina, in the Ensanche district of Barcelona. With a capacity of 19,582 localities, after the closing of the Plaza del Torín and Las Arenas, it was the only one where bullfighting festivals were held in Barcelona, ​​until the ban approved in the Parliament of Catalonia. Inside it is the Bullfighting Museum of Barcelona , where suits are exposed famous bullfighters, heads of famous bulls , historical documents and other objects related to bullfighting .



Currently in the metropolitan area of ​​Barcelona , due to the great immigration received during the last 20 years from all parts of the world, a large number of languages ​​are spoken. Some studies speak more than 200 different languages, but the vast majority of the population speaks Spanish and Catalan . According to surveys, in Catalonia 99.7% of residents speak Spanish correctly and 78.3% in Catalan. As for writing, in Spanish it is 95.6% and in Catalan 61.8%. [ 119 ]

The dialect or variant of Catalan spoken in this area is central Catalan , which is characterized by the use of:

  • Definite articles: el , la , els , les . Personal: en , na, el , la .
  • Incoative verbs with increase in - axis .
  • Own words: duck , sand , bird , etc.
  • Tonic vowel system of seven sounds and unstressed three.
  • Iodization.
  • Plurals in -s .
  • Accents: à, è, é, í, ò, ó, ú.


There are numerous museums and foundations, both public and private, such as the Barcelona Center for Contemporary Culture , the Music Museum or the Chocolate Museum .

The most important have been those dedicated to specific artists, such as the Joan Miró Foundation , the Antoni Tàpies Foundation , or the Picasso Museum , thanks to their own funds raised through donations and purchases of the works of these authors, although the most popular is undoubtedly is the Barcelona Football Club museum , located in the Camp Nou . We also find the Can Framis Museum, the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Painting, the Vila Casas Foundation museum [ 120 ] There are also important museums created by the administrations, such as the MACBA and the Barcelona History Museum, or by civil society, such as the CosmoCaixa , the CaixaForum , the Museo de la Pedrera , paid for by the social work of the savings banks .

With the arrival of the 21st century, the three levels of the administration have begun a policy of uniting small museums and collections to create larger museums, with greater funds and more attractiveness. The clearest example of this policy to date is the National Museum of Art of Catalonia (MNAC), the result of the merger between the Museum of Modern Art , the Museum of Art of Catalonia and other collections of the General Library of Art History , as well as collections of numismatics, engravings and photography, giving the museum the best collection of Romanesque art in Europe.

The next fruit museum of this policy is the Museum of Natural Sciences in Barcelona which had been founded in 1882 [ 121 ] [ 122 ] but was reorganized in 2011 with the unification of five institutions: four institutions previously existing well a new museum, since 2011 the main permanent exhibition space of the institution. This permanent exhibition museum is installed in the Forum Building , at the eastern end of Diagonal . As a new space for the Natural History Museum, the Forum Building was first called the Museu Blau(literally "Blue Museum") but since 2017 the term Museu Blau was withdrawn to make it adopt the name of the institution as a whole ("Museum of Natural Sciences of Barcelona"). The other four Museum venues are the original headquarters, that is, the Martorell Museum , which housed the Geology Museum from 1924 to 2010, the old Zoology Museum (opened from 1920 to 2010 in the Castle of the Three Dragons and since 2011 transformed in the Laboratori de Natura , literally the "Nature Laboratory"), the Historical Botanical Garden of Barcelona (founded in 1930), and the Botanical Garden of Barcelona (founded in 1999).

Another project is the Disseny Hub Barcelona , known by the acronym DHUB, it is a new center of the Institute of Culture of Barcelona (ICUB) dedicated to promoting knowledge, understanding and good use of the world of design, and the result of bringing together the exhibitions permanent collections of the Textile and Clothing Museum and the Museum of Decorative Arts , as well as other collections of industrial design . While the construction of its definitive headquarters in the Plaza de las Glorias Catalanas is being completed , it can be visited in its two temporary venues, the Palacio del Marqués de Lió , where temporary activities and exhibitions take place, andPedralbes Palace , where there is a permanent exhibition of its collections.

The latest project consists of unifying the Museum of History of Catalonia , the Ethnological Museum and the Museum of Archeology of Catalonia , creating the so-called National Museum of Society , but this project still lacks a definitive agreement and headquarters.

Theaters and cinemas

Avenida del Parallel stands out for the great concentration of theaters it has, although today, after the closure of El Molino and other venues, its appeal is less than a couple of decades ago. The most prestigious theaters in the city are currently the Gran Teatro del Liceo , specialized in operas, the National Theater of Catalonia , with three rooms in which the great classics are represented, and the Teatre Lliure , with more avant-garde proposals. In the districts of Eixample and Ciutat Vella are a lot of venues such as the Teatro Condal , Poliorama , Romea Theater , theVictoria Theater or the Mercat de les Flors , which offer musical shows, comedies and more experimental proposals.

The city also offers different theaters and multiplexes that offer film screenings of different styles: commercials, original version films, auteur cinema, European cinema ... In this sense, the Catalonia Film Library and cinemas such as Verdi , in Gracia, stand out .

Live music

By increasing the quantity and variety of its proposals in regards to the repertoire of concerts and shows, the Barcelona of the 21st century has manifested a clear desire to reach the level of musical activity of the most prestigious European cities. The symphonic music has its place in the Palacio de la Música Catalana , located next to the Via Laietana , which also features performances by singer - songwriters, and the Auditorium , official headquarters of the Barcelona Symphony and Catalonia National Orchestra (OBC) . The opera is located in the Gran Teatro del Liceo , located in the lower part of Las Ramblas .

In the Ensanche districts and, above all, Ciutat Vella, there are a large number of venues where jazz ensembles are offered to a small audience. There are also medium-capacity venues, such as the Luz de Gas, the Razzmatazz , the Jamboree in Plaza Real or the Sala Bikini, which each week schedule performances by groups and pop and rock artists. With regard to Spanish hip hop , Barcelona has a solid scene of this genre with artists such as Mucho Muchacho , Sr. Zambrana , Falsalarma , ZPU or Masstone among others, in addition to having given fruit to the groups already disappeared Magnatizzand 7 Notes 7 Colors . Finally, with regard to electronic music , Barcelona is the Spanish nerve center of this genre after Ibiza along with Andalusia and Gijón , standing out especially in house , dance , trance , progressive , mákina (giving rise to the reference Pont Aeri , and together with her in Mataró a Chasis ) and the chill out scene taking shape from the Café del Mar residence .

Interior of the Gran Teatro del Liceo

The old Palacio de los Deportes has been converted into the Barcelona Teatre Musical, a large performance hall where performances by artists are usually scheduled. The summer months usually take place big concerts. Artists such as Green Day , Bruce Springsteen , the Rolling Stones or U2 perform their concerts at the Sant Jordi Palace , with a capacity for 18,000 spectators. The large stadiums, the Camp Nou (with capacity for 100,000 spectators) and the Lluís Companys Olympic Stadium (60,000), are also open to music on the occasion of major events.

Barcelona is the scene of important festivals in the world of music. Of particular note are the Primavera Sound Festival of pop-rock, which is held in May for three days, the Sónar festival , in June, which brings together the best world proposals of electronic and multimedia music, and the Grec Festival , much more eclectic, which during the month of July offers varied proposals in different scenarios of the city. Finally, at the end of September, on the occasion of the Fiestas de la Merced , Barcelona's biggest festival, the city offers different free concerts for three days, and outdoors, in various public spaces in Barcelona. [ 123 ]It is the most massive party of all those held in Barcelona. [ 124 ]

Religious traditions

Barcelona has maintained a good part of its religious traditions, all inherited from popular festivals. Like all western Mediterranean cities, the festivals followed the agricultural calendar and were linked to images, representations and Catholic celebrations. Only a couple of decades ago a process of secularism of popular festivals has begun. A list of the best known and that still maintain their religious validity are:

  • The procession to Sant Measure. This procession takes place every year in the Barrio de Gracia , on March 3, Saint Measure.