11 curious facts about Barcelona

Barcelona is one of the most famous and visited cities in Europe and it is well known for some buildings or facts around its culture, history or current situation. But… there are some curiosities that perhaps you don’t know about the city and that would impress you! Continue reading this article and you will discover them!

1. Each year, 8 million tourists visit Barcelona, making it Europe’s third most-visited city after London and Paris. What’s more, with its key location on the Mediterranean Sea, the Port of Barcelona is Europe’s largest cruise port, with approximately 3.6 million cruisers passing through the port each year.

2. The most crowded street in Barcelona and also in Spain is Portal de l’Àngel, the main shopping street in the centre of Barcelona. You can find there the most famous multinational brands such as Zara, Massimo Dutti or many others. The surprising aspects is that on average, 3,500 people walk down this street every hour, this means 42,000 people per day.

3. There are rumours that the Eiffel Tower was initially planned for Barcelona. However, the local authorities rejected the proposal, as they believed that the Paris’s iconic tower would not fit with Barcelona’s architecture. Finally, it was built in Paris.

4. In April 23rd is Saint Georges Day (La Diada de Sant Jordi), the national festival day in Barcelona. The traditions are to exchange gifts between loved one or friends. Usually, the man gives a rose to the woman and she gives a book to him, as a sign of love. Saint George Day is kind of Valentine’s Day and it was also the inspiration to declare April 23rd as the World Book Day.

5. Barcelona beaches are artificial, as there were no beaches in Barcelona until 1992. The seaside of Barcelona was full of local industries until the city decided to host the Olympic Games. Nowadays, the beaches of Barcelona have more than 4.5 km of coastline, together with bars and restaurants are one of the most visited parts for the tourists. However, the majority of the citizens of Barcelona go to el Maresme or Garraf beaches to avoid the crowed city beaches.

6. The Sagrada Familia cathedral is known for his architect Antoni Gaudí. However, the initial architect was Francesc del Villar. After a year in the project Francesc resigned and Gaudí took the ownership of the project. Another curious fact about La Sagrada Familia is that it has been under construction since 1882. It only took 20 years to built the Great Pyramid but La Sagrada Familia is taking more than 200 years.

7. The Columbus monument, built in 1888 as honors of Christopher Columbus’s first trip to America. While some people argue that his arm is pointing towards America, he is actually pointing the opposite direction. Some believe that the meaning was to point out to the sea to show his achievements or that was pointing towards India, as it was the original destination of his trip.

8. FC Barcelona is one of the world’s largest ad richest football clubs. The Camp Nou stadium is one of the Europe’s largest, with a capacity of around 100,000 people. Moreover, more than 1.5 million people visit the FCB museum every year, making it the Barcelona’s most visited museum. If you walk around Barcelona it is impossible to not find an advert or someone with Barça’s T-shirt.

9. The shield of FC Barcelona is in one of the glass windows of the most famous basilica in Barcelona, Santa Maria del Mar. It is not due to the fanaticism about football, but it was due to the fire that destroyed the basilica during the Civil War, as FC Barcelona was one of the sponsors that helped Barcelona recover one of its emblematic buildings.

9. Park Güell is one of the most visited attractions in Barcelona for tourists. However, what it is not know is that it was initially a housing complex that Antoni Gaudí planned. The problem was he didn’t receive attention from investors and they abandoned the project so it remains as a failed housing project.

10. In addition, it is one of the cities in the world where more people sneak in the subway per minute. It is normal to see people jumping over the entrance barrier to the subway or entering the metro behind someone with the same ticket as him or her.

11. You can travel in a metro without a driver. One of every four trains of line 9 of the Barcelona metro, works without driver thanks to a centralized automatic control system. The new section, named L9 Sud, connects the University Zone and El Prat airport.

From now on, you will have more information about Barcelona to surprise your friends with your wide knowledge of the city and its history! And above all, enjoy the beautiful Barcelona!

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