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The Capital of Catalunya

Almost five million people live in the urban areas of Barcelona, and it's not hard to see why it is the Capital of Catalunya.

Originally founded as a Roman city in the middle ages, Barcelona has grown and changed over the centuries as various influences have taken hold of its culture and its architecture.

One of the oldest buildings in the city is the Gothic cathedral dating back to around 1058 - Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia and what an amazing sight it is as you approach the steps to climb to its front door.

The Cathedral of the Holy Cross and Saint Eulalia in Barcelona

The Gothic Quarter of the city is old and full of wonderful buildings.

The stonemasons and city planners were masters of their art back in those days, crafting, creating, and just producing jaw-dropping buildings.

This building on the Via Laietana just a few hundred metres down the hill towards the sea from the Cathedral is a prime example.

The stone building on Via Laietana in Barcelona

The old and ancient buildings always have their history and their heritage and they have the charm and craftsmanship for all to admire, but I really like the more modern amazing architecture that Barcelona has to offer.

Almost on every corner, and there are lots of corners in the city, you can see structures like the one below. Incredible.

The architecture of Barcelona

The sheer variety of buildings with contrasting architecture always pleases the eye, this row of buildings on La Rambla is a great example of how different styles can come together and work.

Quite incredible stuff going on on this little terrace.

A row of buildings on La Rambla in Barcelona

But of course, the city has lots of landmarks and famous sites, and whilst I visited them all, some deserve a little more attention than others.

One that I was blown away with was the Arc de Triomf which served as the main access gate to the World Fair of 1888. The detail on the reddish brown brick and stone work must have taken such a long time to perfect.

The wide open public spaces along with the ironwork of the lights that flank it prove such a great contrast, I thought it was simply amazing.

The Arc de Triomf in Barcelona

Barcelona isn't just the Capital of Catalunya because of its expansive city area, it is also the gateway to the oceans and seas, with its commercial and leisure port, opening up travel to and across the Mediterranean Sea.

The Port of Barcelona

And naturally, where there is the sea and ports, there are also beaches and Barcelona has some fine beaches, nestled along the coast of Barceloneta, where the land meets the water's edge.

The area is a fairly recent addition to the city, growing up in the 18th century as the area developed - hard to imagine that the whole area was once underwater!

I visited in October, so whilst still warm in the air, the sun was hidden behind clouds, but that didn't deter the bathers from enjoying the sand and sea.

The beach at Barceloneta in Barcelona

I love the architecture of the city of Barcelona, I love its culture and its history, but above all else I love its food.

You cannot go wrong in Barcelona for food and drink, and for a fantastic variety, the El Nacional restaurant was a spectacular place to visit, probably because not only did it offer an array of brilliant food, but it was also all housed in an amazing structure.

The inside of El Nacional restaurant in Barcelona

Barcelona has earned its title as the Capital of Catalunya and there are so many things to see, so many places to visit, and lots of incredible experiences to enjoy.


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