Barselona (İspanyolca ve Katalanca: Barcelona), İspanya’nın Katalonya özerk bölgesinin başkentidir. Ayrıca Gaudi’nin başını çektiği modernizm akımıyla planlanmış, 1900’lerden kalma ızgara planlı modern bölümü ilgi çekmektedir. Yaygın dil Katalancadır.
Barselona’nın geçmişinin İspanya’dan daha eski olması ilginçtir. 9. yüzyılda Katalan bir asilzade aile tarafından kurulmuştur.
Kentin simgesi Sagrada Familia Kilisesinin yapımına 1882 yılında mimar Villar başlamıştır. Bir yıl sonra mimar Antoni Gaudi görevi devraldı. Gaudi’nin ömrü ancak kilisenin ön cephesi ve planlanan on sekiz kuleden sekizini tamamlamak için yetti. Gotik tarzın örneği olan ünlü kilise hala tamamlanamadığı için ‘Bitmeyen Kilise’ olarak da binilir.
İstanbul’da İstiklal Caddesi neyse Barselona’da 2 km’ye yaklaşan uzunluğu ile Las Ramblas caddesi odur. Kafeleri, müzeleri, alışveriş merkezleri, sokak müzisyenleri ve akrobatları ile çok hareketli bir caddedir.
Kente damgasını vuran yerlerden birisi de Akdeniz’in en hareketli limanı olan Barselona Limanıdır. Bu limana yılda 700.000’den fazla gemi uğradığı söylenir. Limana çıkan ana yollarından biri, ünlü kaşif Christopher Columbus’un heykeline gider.
Ünlü ressam Picasso da 1895-1900 yıllarında Barselona’da yaşamıştır ve 1900 yılında ayrıldığı Barselona’ya 1901 yılında dönen Picasso 1904 yılına kadar tekrar Barselona’da yaşamış ve Mavi Dönemim dediği ürünlerini yaratmış fakat 1904 yılından sonra Fransa’ya yerleşmiştir. 1973 yılında Fransa’da ölmüştür. Museo Picasso, 1981 yılında eşinin de Picasso’nun yaptığı seramik çalışmalarını bağışlamasıyla bugünkü halini almıştır. Ünlü ressamın 2.500’den fazla eserini bu şehirde özellikle de Museo Picasso’da görmek mümkündür.
Kent Meydanında yer alan arena, Katalanlar ve turistler için ilgi çekici bir yerdir. Flamenko dansının izlenebileceği gece klüpleri çok sayıdadır. Aslında Barselona daha çok bir eğlence şehridir; kentin her yanından eğlenebilecek yerler bulmak mümkündür.
Yemekler konusunda Akdeniz mutfağına yakın olan Türkler yabancılık çekmeyecektir. Zeytinyağlı yemekleri hafiftir. Barselona’da balık yemeden gitmek de olmaz. Tapas, zeytinyağı, peynir, patates, jambon, sosis, balık ve sebzelerle hazırlanan bir salata türüdür ve geleneksel bir mezedir. Patatesli omlet olan ‘tortilla’yı da tatmanız önerilir.
Barcelona (Catalan IPA: [bəɾsəˈlonə], Spanish IPA: [baɾθeˈlona]) is the capital and most populous city of the Autonomous Community of Catalonia and the second largest city in Spain, with a population of 1,605,602 in 2006, while the population of the Metropolitan Area was 3,161,081. It is the central nucleus of the Urban Region of Barcelona, which relies on a population of about 5.5 million. It is located on the Mediterranean coast (41°23′N 2°11′E / 41.383, 2.183) between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs and is limited to the west by the Serra de Collserola ridge (512 m/1,680 ft).
Barcelona is a major economic centre with one of Europe’s principal Mediterranean ports, and Barcelona International Airport is the second largest in Spain after Madrid-Barajas Airport. Founded as a Roman city, Barcelona became the capital of the Counts of Barcelona. After merging with the Kingdom of Aragon, it became one of the most important cities of the Crown of Aragon. Besieged several times during its history, Barcelona is today an important cultural centre and a major tourist destination and has a rich cultural heritage. Particularly renowned are architectural works of Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner that have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The city is well known in recent times for the 1992 Summer Olympics. The headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean are located in Barcelona.
As the capital of Catalonia, Barcelona houses the seat of the Catalan government, known as the Generalitat de Catalunya; of particular note are the executive branch, the parliament, and the Supreme Court of Catalonia. The city is also the capital of the county (comarca) of the Barcelonès.
The foundation of Barcelona is the subject of two different legends. The first attributes the founding of the city to Hercules 400 years before the building of Rome and that it was rebuilt by the Carthaginian Hamilcar Barca, father of Hannibal, who named the city Barcino after his family, in the 3rd century BC. The second legend attributes the foundation directly to Hamilcar Barca.
About 15 BC, the Romans redrew the town as a castrum (Roman military camp) centred on the “Mons Taber”, a little hill near the contemporary city hall (Plaça de Sant Jaume). Under the Romans, it was a colony with the surname of Faventia, or, in full, Colonia Faventia Julia Augusta Pia Barcino or Colonia Julia Augusta Faventia Paterna Barcino. Mela mentions it among the small towns of the district, probably as it was eclipsed by its neighbour Tarraco (modern Tarragona); but it may be gathered from later writers that it gradually grew in wealth and consequence, favoured as it was with a beautiful situation and an excellent harbour. It enjoyed immunity from imperial burdens. The city minted its own coins; some from the era of Galba survive.
Some important Roman ruins are exposed under the Plaça del Rei, entrance by the city museum (Museu d’Història de la Ciutat), and the typically Roman grid-planning is still visible today in the layout of the historical centre, the Barri Gòtic (“Gothic Quarter”). Some remaining fragments of the Roman walls have been incorporated into the cathedral. The cathedral, also known as basilica La Seu is said to have been founded in 343. The city was conquered by the Visigoths in the early fifth century, by the Moors in the early eighth century, reconquered from the emir in 801 by Charlemagne’s son Louis who made Barcelona the seat of Carolingian “Spanish Marches” (Marca Hispanica), a buffer zone ruled by the Count of Barcelona. Barcelona was still a Christian frontier territory when it was sacked by Al-Mansur in 985.
The Counts of Barcelona became increasingly independent and expanded their territory to include all of Catalonia. In 1137, Aragon and the County of Barcelona merged by dynastic union by the marriage of Ramon Berenguer IV and Petronilla of Aragon and their titles were finally borne by only one person when their son Alfonso II of Aragon ascended to the throne in 1162. His territories were later to be known as the Crown of Aragon which conquered many overseas possessions, ruling the western Mediterranean Sea with outlying territories in Naples and Sicily and as far as Athens in the thirteenth century. The forging of a dynastic link between the Crowns of Aragon and Castile marked the beginning of Barcelona’s decline.
Barcelona is located on the northeast coast of the Iberian Peninsula, facing the Mediterranean Sea, on a plateau approximately 5 km (3 mi) wide limited by the mountain range of Collserola, the Llobregat river to the south-west and the Besòs river to the north. This plateau has 170 km2 (66 sq mi), of which 101 km² (38.9 sq mi) are occupied by the city itself. It is 160 km (100 mi) south of the Pyrenees and the Catalonian border with France.
Collserola, part of the coastal mountain range, shelters the city to the north-west. Its highest point, the peak of Tibidabo, 512 m (1,680 ft) high, offers striking views over the city and is topped by the 288.4 m (946.2 ft) Torre de Collserola, a telecommunications tower that is visible from most of the city. Barcelona is peppered with small hills, most of them urbanized and that gave their name to the neighbourhoods built upon them, such as Carmel (267 m), Putxet (181 m) and Rovira (261 m). The escarpment of Montjuïc (173 m), situated to the southeast, overlooks the harbour and is topped by Montjuïc castle, a fortress built in the 17–18th centuries to control the city as a replacement for the Ciutadella. Today, the fortress is a museum and Montjuïc is home to several sporting and cultural venues, as well as Barcelona’s biggest park and gardens.
The city borders are the municipalities of Santa Coloma de Gramenet and Sant Adrià de Besòs to the north; L’Hospitalet de Llobregat and Esplugues de Llobregat to the south; the Mediterranean Sea to the east; and Montcada i Reixac and Sant Cugat del Vallès to the west.
Barcelona has a long-standing mercantile tradition. Less well known is that it was one of the earliest regions in continental Europe to begin industrialization, beginning with textile related works at the end of the eighteenth century but really gathering momentum in the mid nineteenth century, when it became a major center for the production of textiles and machinery. Since then, manufacturing has played a large role in its history. The traditional importance in textiles is still reflected in Barcelona’s importance as a major fashion center. In summer 2006, Barcelona became an host for the prestigious Bread & Butter urban fashion fair. The fair was so successful that, starting in 2007, Barcelona became the only host for Bread & Butter, that closed its original Berlin location.
As in other modern cities, the manufacturing sector has long since been overtaken by the services sector, though it remains important. The most important industries today are textile, chemistry, pharmaceutical, motor, electronic and printing. In the services sector, the most important are the logistics, publishing, telecommunications and computer sectors.
Drawing upon its tradition of creative art and craftsmanship, Barcelona is nowadays also known for its award-winning industrial design. Barcelona also has several congress halls, notably Fira de Barcelona (Trade Fair), that host a quickly growing number of national and international events each year, which had also meant the opening of new hotels each year. The Port of Barcelona is an important Mediterranean port, both for general containers cargo and for cruise ships.
Barcelona has one of the highest costs of living in Spain, and occupying the 31st position in the world rank according to a report by Mercer Human Resource.