Barcelona is a hip, young, university town. It’s easy to get around on foot, at least in the tourist areas. It is one of my very favorite European cities. It’s fun.
Like so many European cities, it got its start during medieval times. The original walled city is called the Barri Gotic (Gothic Quarter). A few parts of the wall still stand, but they are almost obliterated by the more modern, cosmopolitan city that surrounds the Gothic Quarter. It is a delight to walk through the narrow lanes that are full of funky shops, cafes, and tapas bars.
Today’s Barcelona is the city that the 1990 Olympics built. This was where the flame once burned, outside the stadium.
Before the Olympics, Barcelona was a dot on the map. But what they built for the Olympics made the city what it is today, so it is an important part of the history of this place, strange as that may seem. They built a marina, a beach, and a modern cruise ship terminal that can handle several monster ships.
Another thing that jumps out at you is the architecture. Barcelona beyond the old city was being built up during the Modernism era around the turn of the century, and several architects built houses for the nouveau riche at the time. One of them was Antoni Gaudi (“gowdee”), whose works are all over Barcelona.
It lanquished for several decades, but now they are working day and night to finish it by 2026, which will mark 100 years since Gaudi’s death. HERE is a short film if you’re interested.
Next up is Provence and Monte Carlo.