Barcelona (in englisch)
I’m going to speak about Barcelona, because I went there during the Easter holidays and I think it’s a wonderful town with many things to do and to see.
Barcelona is a city of Catalonia and the second most visited town in Spain.
Some general information
Barcelona city is 91.4 km2 big. It’s the second largest town of Spain considering the population (the first is Madrid). There are about 1.600.000 (one billion six million) people who live in the town and more than 5.000.000 (five billion) people who live in the county of Barcelona.
The town is on the coast, at the seaside, between the Besos and llobregat rivers.
The relief of Barcelona consists of three parts: mountains, plains and deltas.
The town is situated at 180 km of the French border. At the other side from the Pyrenees, there is a French department with the same culture and language as Catalonia.
A little bit of history
According to the legend, Barcelona’s foundation is due to Hamilcar Barca, who came from Carthage.
Catalonia, and also Barcelona, became a region of Spain when Ferdinand II d’Aragon and Isabelle de Castille got married at the end of the 15 century. Before that, the region had its own law.
During the 19 century, some independence movements became stronger and Catalonia won a brief autonomy during the second republic. When Franco’s army won against the republicans, Franco prohibited the Catalan language, changed the street’s name to Spanish, and he governed of this region like the other regions in Spain. He wanted this region to be like the others and not independent. This situation lasted until Franco died in 1975.
Since that day, almost all Catalans are bilingual and the Catalan culture is very different from the Spanish culture.
In Barcelona, people speak two different languages: Spanish and Catalan. In Barcelona people speak Catalan at home, in the street with friends, and at work, but with the tourists they speak Spanish.