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History of barcelona

Barcelona was founded on the Mediterranean coast between two rivers more than two thousand years ago. It is located in the North East of the Iberian Peninsula, just a short distance from France. Romans, Arabs and Christians all influenced Barcelona throughout the centuries. Traces of this diverse history with contrasting cultures can be found all over the city. From the Gothic Quarter built on Roman ruins to its Art Noveau Eixample district dominated by Gaudķ's exuberant architecture: Barcelona surely is a city of contrasts.

The emotional relationship of the Catalan people towards their golden age is very intense as for a long time they were deprived of their own state. During the 13th and 14th century the Catalonian empire was a great power in the Mediterranean area and Barcelonans dominated sea trade. The Gothic Area is a relic of the wealth of this expansive era. With all its magnificent medieval buildings it is unique in Europe.

In the middle of the 19th century Barcelona’s population slowly burst the medieval walls that surrounded the city. The extension of Barcelona (in Catalan Eixample, in Spanish ensanche) was planned according to the design of the engineer Idelfons Cerdą. The construction of Eixample began in 1860. The linear pattern can still be seen today. Cerdą’s plan divides the 9 km2 into 550 blocks, uniformly crossed by streets and three boulevards. All blocks should have included open and green spaces; some should have been left out and have become parks, unfortunately this remained a dream. On all of the blocks houses were built much higher than in Cerdą’s original plan. Still, Eixample is a good example for utopian civil engineering.

Spain is the only country in the world that widely accepted and supported anarchy as a model for society. In Andalusia it appealed to workers without property and in Catalonia industrial workers during the late 19th century.


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