According to lots and lots of people, Barcelona is the most beautiful city in Europe. Even those who don’t put it in their top 5 recognise that there is something different and magical about the the city. You may have already discovered a few facts about Barcelona, especially if you’ve visited it in the past or if you’re planning a trip there and are doing some research.
The most important facts about Barcelona include, for instance, that it’s the city of Gaudí and Modernisme: you will find there the most important works of this unique architect, including the Sagrada Familia or the Park Güell. There are many facts about Barcelona related to this, since the so-called Modernisme is the main attraction of the city: Catalan is a unique cultural style that was especially expressed in architecture, and that gave preference to curbs over straight lines and found inspiration in nature. Other facts about Barcelona you probably already know are that it’s the home of the Barcelona Football Team or that it hosted the 1992 Olympic games.
But we’d like to tell you a few other facts about Barcelona that may be new to you. Keep reading to become an expert in Barcelona!
5 important but overlooked facts about Barcelona
- Barça is just a football team: Many foreigners abbreviate the name of the city of Barcelona to Barça… But that may confuse the locals, since when they say Barça they refer exclusively to FC Barcelona.
- The famous Ramblas are actually… 5 different ones! If you know a little Spanish, this is one of the facts about Barcelona that are easier to guess, since Ramblas is actually a noun in plural. Historically, the Ramblas are 5 separate streets, the Rambla de Canaletes (named after the fountain where the FC Barcelona supporters celebrate their victories), the Rambla dels Estudis (the ‘Study Rambla,’ where there used to be a Universirty), the Rambla de les Flors (where there used to be a flower market), Rambla dels Caputxins (where there was a Capuchin monastery) and Rambla de Santa Mònica (where there was the St. Monica convent, turned into an art centre).
- 10 different beaches: Barcelona has more than 5km of beaches, and even if the ones in the towns far from the city are usually nicer, the quality of the beaches in Barcelona is internationally praised.
- Diagonal avenue crosses the whole city: Probably one of the most useful facts about Barcelona! This unique avenue crosses the city from one corner to the other, so always check a map before going to some place located there. You could end up in the other part of the city!
- April might be the best month: The 23rd of April, Catalans celebrate Sant Jordi, their particular Valentine’s day. Women give their partner a book, and men give theirs a rose – but fortunately, nowadays many ladies demand a book as well!
5 fun facts about Barcelona
There are also some facts about Barcelona that aren’t so essential, but that are interesting and fun, like the following:
- Barcelona’s never-ending attraction: Yes, we are of course referring to the Sagrada Familia, which has been in construction since 1882. Some say that it being unfinished is part of the charm!
- The Gothic (?) Quarter: This is one of the facts about Barcelona that remains unknown for even the locals. There sure are many buildings that were built in the Gothic period, but many other and very important ones were built later on under the ‘brand’ of new-gothic style, like the Cathedral’s façade (built between 1882 and 1913) or the bridge that crosses Bisbe street (built in 1928!). This is why many experts question the authenticity of this quarter.
- The abandoned metro stations: The most phantasmagorical of these facts about Barcelona! There are 12 abandoned metro stations in the city: some stopped working as time went by, and some were never used. Of course, there are many ghost stories related to them!
- Barcelona after the walls: Barcelona, as we know it today, was only formed in the XIX century, when the walls that surrounded the city were demolished and the Eixample district was built. The towns that surrounded Barcelona started to become a part of the city little by little. Today, we know them as neighbourhoods or districts: Sarrià, Sants, Gràcia, Sant Martí…
- A Halloween of chestnuts: We finish this list of facts about Barcelona with a cultural one. Although Halloween is celebrated now as well, Barcelona and Catalonia have their own tradition: The Chestnut Holiday (called castanyada) is celebrated during the same days, and people eat roasted chestnuts, sweet potatoes, a pastry called panellets and drink a sweet wine called muscatel. Since it’s the day of the dead, chestnuts were the power food that helped the bell ringer ring the bell during the whole night. In Barcelona, during autumn and winter, you can buy roasted chestnuts and sweet potatoes from street carts.
What did you think about these facts about Barcelona? There are more to know, since this wonderful city is full of stories and surprises!