Known for its rich cultural heritage, the city of Barcelona is one of the major tourist destinations of the world. Not only that, it is also the second largest city in Spain. However, few know that Barcelona was originally founded as a Roman city. There are two stories regarding the founding of the city. According to one legend, Barcelona was founded by Hercules about 400 years before he built the city of Rome. It goes on to say that this city was finally rebuilt by Hamilcar Barca, father of Hannibal. The legend says that Hamilcar Barca named the city Barcino after his family.
Today, Barcelona is growing at a rapid rate. The headquarters of the Union of Mediterranean is based in Barcelona. It also hosted the 1992 Olympics. The city’s cultural history dates back about 2000 years. It has numerous museums and architectural sites that tell its story. Some of the architectural wonders in Barcelona belong to the days of Roman settlement in the city. Some of these buildings have been declared as World Heritage Sites. One of the architects, Antoni Gaudi is fairly visible all throughout the city through his works. The unfinished Sagrada Familia, under construction since 1882, perhaps is his best work. It is said that work on this monolith will finish only by the year 2026. Barcelona’s architecture has another feather in its cap. It was the first city in the world to have received the RIBA Royal Gold Medal. This coveted medal is normally awarded to individual architects only.
The city also has various interesting museums and they are all sure to interest you, especially if you are a lover of art. Some of the prominent museums in Barcelona are The National Museum of Art of Catalonia; it has a great collection of Romanesque Art. The Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art prides itself on its collection of post-1945 Catalan and Spanish Art. Be sure to devote enough time for both these museums. The Picasso Museum is also worth a visit. Take some time out to visit the Cosmocaixa. It is a science museum and also a recipient of the European Museum of the Year Award. If you are looking for something out of the ordinary, check out the Erotic Museum of Barcelona. The vibrant art and creative scene here is confirmed by the number of new designs which famous architects and brands have put their name to in recent years.
In all this, do not forget to stop by the famous beaches of Barcelona. Sant Sebastia and Barceloneta are few of the most frequented beaches of the city. If not the beach, then you can come and relax in Barcelona’s parks. Park Guell, designed by Antoni Gaudi is a must-visit, since it is also a world-heritage site. The city also has a famous sporting history. It is home to FC Barcelona, a famous football club. The team has two UEFA championships to its credit. The city organizes several running competitions all around the year. These competitions see as many as 60,000 participants annually. You can also book your seats at Montmelo for Formula One Spanish Grand Prix as well Catalan Motorcycle Prix.