Sights of Barcelona

In Barcelona, there are many sights related to the historical past and present of the city. They are located mostly in three areas: the old city Ciutat Vella, Eixample and Sants-Montjuïc.

Facts About Barcelona

Country
Spain
Currency
Euro (€) (EUR)
Language
Spanish
Population
City: 1,620,943 | Metro: 5,375,774 (2011)
Timezone
UTC+1 | Summer: UTC+2

Map of Barcelona Attractions

Top 12 Sights in Barcelona

Cathedral of Santa Eulalia

Cathedral of Santa Eulalia is the main cathedral of Barcelona and, as a result, the residence of the archbishop. Constructing of the building (the purest example of Gothic architecture) was began in the last years of the XIII century, but was finished only in the middle of the XV century.

Exterior of the Cathedral is decorated with a variety of images of saints' lives, and the facade is decorated with an unmatched lace carving. There are gargoyles and a variety of other animals located on the roof, including the mythical, and those that you can meet in the interior of the territory that belongs to the Cathedral.

Inside the building you can also find lots of great frescoes, carvings and works of art placed at the altar. Each of them deserves your special exclusive attention.

Cathedral of Santa Eulalia is dedicated to one of patronesses of Barcelona - a young girl who was martyred. One legend says that Eulalia was naked in a crowded square, and a wonderful snow that went in the midst of spring, covered her nakedness.

There is a fee for entrance to the Cathedral, but this fee will seem very small when you can see with your own eyes all the beauty of the cathedral.

Guell Park

Photo: Funky Tee

Guell Park was created in the early XX century by Antoni Gaudí, the famous architect in Spain, after the idea of Güell as a residential park area for the aristocracy that lived in Barcelona. There are beautiful and unusual buildings in the park as well as other building made of natural stone and with mosaic ornaments.

Park entrance begins with two bizarre-shaped houses. The decor of these little houses gives the right to call them not so much architecture as sculptural works. Along the main staircase there are fountains placed. It leads to the Hall of a Hundred columns. At the bottom of the staircase there is Salamander, Gaudi’s favorite character that is made of mosaic.

In fact, there are 86 Doric columns located in the "Hall of a Hundred columns". The ceiling is also decorated with ornate mosaic patterns and has an intricate shape. There is a very good acoustics in the hall that is successfully used by many musicians.

There many footpaths as well as stone alleys around the park that start from its main square, Gaudí paved them from a local bizarre-shaped stone called "Bird's Nest".

There Gaudi House Museum is located in the depths of the park, that was opened in his former palace in 1963.

Barri Gotic

If you are a lover of slow walks to historical sites, then you should definitely visit the Gothic Quarter. This place is located in the center of Barcelona's Old Town. The quarter starts from Catalunya Square and stretches along La Rambla until the Via Laietana.

Such a name, as you may guess, the Quarter obtained thanks to the enormous number of preserved medieval buildings that were built back in the days when Aragon was considered one of the most powerful countries of the Mediterranean.

In the Gothic Quarter, there is a chaotic layout that is typical for medieval cities. It consists of a large number of curve and narrow streets, many of which are closed for traffic. Most of the buildings in the Gothic Quarter are dated of XIV-XV centuries, but you can also find Roman buildings.

The central point of Barri Gotic is the Cathedral of Santa Eulalia. In 1920, the Gothic Quarter was restored. Now there is a large number of museums and cozy shops in its territory. There you can also find the Government of Catalonia and the Town Hall.

Las Ramblas

Las Ramblas street can be called the soul of Barcelona. The length of this pedestrian street is about 1.2 km. It is located along a large number of green spaces, which adds special amenities for walking people. Lorca expressed the wish that the street never ended, and Maugham thought it’s the most beautiful in the world.

The street is located in the center of Barcelona, on the border with the Raval and the Gothic Quarter. The structure of Las Ramblas consists of five different, changing one by other avenues: Rambla de Canaletes, Rambla dels Estudis, Rambla de Sant Josep,  Rambla dels Caputxins and Rambla de Santa Mònica.

Las Ramblas stretches up to the old port of the Catalan Square. After the construction of a shopping center Maremagnum in the port located right on the water, curved wooden pier leading to it, was also added to the Las Rambla and named Rambla de Mar.

Las Ramblas is a very cozy street with unique buildings, beautiful trees, live music and small cafes that at all times has attracted a lot of tourists.

Casa Batllo

Casa Batllo is one of the key elements that characterize the architecture of the beautiful city of Barcelona. Casa Batllo was built, as well as many other prominent architectural structures in Barcelona, by Gaudi, a world-known Spanish architect, in the early years of the XX century (particularly in the period from 1904 to 1906). Antonio Gaudi dealt with the reconstruction of an existing dwelling house belonging to the textile industry magnate Josep Batllo.

Most researchers of Gaudi’s works have the same opinion that from a reconstruction of the house the architect had a new creative stage to begin: from that time, most taken by Gaudi architectural decisions were based not on the existing conventional architectural styles, but only on personal vision of the author.

As with all other works of Gaudi, during building of Casa Batlló scenery and design details were thought through to the smallest nuances. It was a very interesting decision to use an unusual game of lights and shades. In the creation of Casa Batlló’s decor was engaged a large number of famous artists (smiths brothers Badia, glassblower Pelegri and others).

Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria

Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria is almost the most famous market in Barcelona, located in an excellent location - close to Las Ramblas. You just have to visit the market, regardless of whether you are just having a walk or come to make purchases for the meal.

Here you can enjoy a splash of various flavors. You will also enjoy the abundance of colors in each of the trade stalls. In the Boqueria Market you can buy everything from a variety of fruits and vegetables (even the most exotic) to fish and meat products.

The most colorful in the market is - without a doubt - the middle row, extending from the entrance. There are tropical fruits sold that can be tasted right away. In addition, there you can find nuts, dried fruits and spices gathered from all parts of the world. This is the place where even the most experienced gastronomes can satisfy their needs.

If you want to taste something specific only to local places, you should stop at the stalls where they sell traditional ham, olive oil, Spanish wine and cheese.

La Sagrada Familia

La Sagrada Familia is one of the most famous in the whole world of late completion of projects. Constructing of the church was began in 1882 and to date it has not been managed to fully complete. One reason for such a long-term construction is the fact that its funding is derived solely from the parish donations.

However, every year many thousands of tourists happily go to the northern region of Barcelona's Old Town, in order to witness firsthand the true masterpiece of architectural thought.

The main architect, who worked under the creation of La Sagrada Familia, was Antoni Gaudi. He knew that during his life he unlikely would be able to complete the construction of the cathedral, so planned ahead of time many internal elements. Desiring to simplify the construction and at the same time avoid the use of direct components led to the use of the geometric figures with linear surface: hyperboloid, conoid, ellipsoid and helix.

Everything in the interior complies with the strict laws of geometry, making cathedral to be exceptional and attracting.

Museu Picasso

The Museum Picasso in Barcelona is one of the most visited places. Every year, this art gallery is visited by a total of more than a million visitors.

The Museum's collection includes early work of the great Spanish painter, graphic artist, sculptor, ceramist and designer, the brightest representative of the cubism - Pablo Picasso, which was created in the period from 1895 to 1904. But there also are more recent creations, for example, a series of works titled "Las Meninas" based upon the beautiful works of Velazquez, creation of which is dated back to 1954 year.

Exhibition of Picasso’ works in the museum is compiled in chronological order, which allows visitors to personally keep track of how over time thinking and creative vision of the artist transformed, and understand how Pablo Picasso developed his unique style, thanks to which the number of fans of his work over the years keeps growing.

It was possible to create the Museum thanks to a generous gift from a friend and secretary of Picasso named Jaime Sabartes which he presented to the capital of Catalonia. For visitors Museu Picasso was opened in 1963.

Casa Mila (La Pedrera)

Many of us have found out about the mansion Casa Mila from the pictures in history books. However, most of us do not even realize that this bizarre sculpture is a dwelling house. La Pedrera was built in the period from 1906 to 1910 by the greatest Spanish architect Antonio Gaudi on order of the Mila’s family.

This object is the last work completed during the Gaudi's life, where the author was able to apply all knowledge accumulated during his creative path and to give freedom to flight of thought.

The project La Pedrera (also referred to as "the stone quarry") was innovative for its time. There is an underground garage, interior partitions can be moved based on preferences, and the ventilation system designed to details, which allows completely abandon the use of air conditioners.

There are unusual courtyards that are adjacent to the Casa Mila. One of them has a rounded shape, and the other two - the elliptical. Because of the coarse outer contours and uneven lines La Pedrera initially was not accepted and understood by the public. However, later on things changed dramatically. Today, UNESCO has put it into a Lists of World Heritage Sites.

Montjuic Castle

Montjuïc castle is a living testimony to the many historical vicissitudes that Barcelona remembers. This castle was built to provide a protective barrier that would not allow penetrating the predatory forces of Habsburgs to the area of the city. Construction of the Montjuic castle dates back to 1640. It was built on the mountain of the same name, located at an altitude of 173 meters, where originally a watchtower was located.

Montjuïc castle was fully renovated in the middle of the XVIII century, which was managed by Juan Martín Cermeño. In the last years the XVIII century in the castle were made the fortification works, after which it got its modern look.

Montjuic Castle has a sad fame. There, during the Frankish regime were shot many Catalan politicians and sociologists, including former president of Lewis Companies, who was put to death in October 1940. Up until 1960, the fort was used as a military prison. Then there was opened the Military Armor Museum.

Today, many tourists visit the Montjuïc castle, because spectacular views of the port and the city open from its sightseeing platform.

Palace of Catalan Music

Photo: kkmarais

Palau de la Musica Catalana, located in the Born distinct, is another symbol of the Catalan capital, created in a Modernist style. The author of the project of the Palace of Catalan Music was a famous Spanish architect Luis Domenech Montaner.

Opening of the Theater took place in1908, at end of the winter. Palace of Catalan Music is perhaps the only one hall with natural light in Europe. As in other buildings of Barcelona, made in the Modernist style, in the contours of Palace of Catalan Music predominate curves and curved contours over the straight lines.

The building's facade organically combines several styles, from traditional Spanish to exotic Arabic. In addition, there you will be able to enjoy the look of figures of many brilliant composers such as Richard Wagner, Ludwig van Beethoven, Johann Sebastian Bach and others.

However, the main feature of the Palace is its concert hall, the ceiling of which is presented in the form of a glass dome, made of colored mosaic, thanks to which during the day hall is lighted by natural light.

La Barceloneta and Port Olimpic

Photo: prilfish

If in Barcelona you want to enjoy the first class paella or just walk along the beach, then for these purposes Barceloneta fits the best (distinct, which stretches from the main port to the Olympic Village and the most famous beach of Barcelona).

Modern Barceloneta has lots of narrow streets that are pretty picturesque. On each of them you can find a variety of restaurants offering a wide variety of delicious seafood dishes. And it's hard to believe that not so long ago, before the preparations for Olympics 1992, in this very place was rather industrial than residential zone.

Almost the same new for the capital of Catalonia is the Port Olimpic, who in 1992 became the venue for Olympic competitions of boaters. To make it proper, some old industrial buildings were knocked down. On their place there is now park New Icaria and a residential complex. However, the construction of the area was not carried out randomly. It was decided to create some sea gates of Barcelona, which were made of two high buildings, one of which was the hotel "Arts" and the other - Torre Mapfre.

About Barcelona

Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia (one of the regions of Spain). Being a port on the Mediterranean, Barcelona is crucial in terms of trade. This city is the second largest in Spain. It is also a major industrial and tourist center of the country.

Barcelona population exceeds 1.6 million people. The official language, spoken by the locals, is Catalan and Spanish. The city has an international airport, which is connected to the railroad tracks and highways.

Where to go, what to see in Barcelona?

In Barcelona, there are many sights related to the historical past and present of the city. They are located mostly in three areas: the old city Ciutat Vella, Eixample and Sants-Montjuïc.

What can you see in Barcelona? Definitely, it is the Old Town, which is also known as the Gothic Quarter. It is the heart of the historical Catalonia. Most of the buildings located here were built in the 14th and 15th centuries. In the old town there is also the Cathedral Saint Eulalia.

From the Gothic Quarter you can easily go to Plaça Catalunya or La Rambla Street. But before you go there, it is necessary to look at the chapel of St. Lucia, the Palace of the Catalan government and the House of the Canons, walk along the Piazza San Jaume... The Gothic Quarter is full of squares, churches, historic buildings. Therefore, it is better to walk slowly here.

What to see in Barcelona's Eixample district? Of course, the amazing Sagrada Familia, remarkable Palace of Catalan Music, and many of the original buildings designed by renowned architects, including Antoni Gaudí. Many of the buildings appeared here in the 19-20 centuries, including Casa Mila, Casa Batlló, Casa Calvet, and Park Guell.

Finally, Sants-Montjuïc is known, above all, the fact that there is a fortress of Montjuic, built in the 17th century. There is also a botanical garden and Cactus Park, the National Art Museum of Catalonia, the Olympic Village. The whole area is located on a hill, so it offers a magnificent view of Barcelona and the sea.

But if you are in town for a couple days only, then another question arises: what to see in Barcelona first of all? Perhaps, in the list of "must" sights should be Sagrada Familia, Picasso Museum, Las Ramblas, the Cathedral and the castle of Montjuic.