The population of the city of Barcelona proper is 1,621,537 (2009), but Barcelona does not end with just the urban part. In the Barcelona metropolitan area, the so-called Greater Barcelona, on an area of 636 square meters. kilometers live 3,218,071 people (2009). At the same time, the metropolitan area itself is part of the Catalan province of Barcelona, where the population reaches 5,012,961 inhabitants (2010). All this makes Barcelona the sixth largest agglomeration in Europe and the largest on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea.
HISTORY OF BARCELONA
The history of the founding of the city goes back to deep antiquity. Barcelona is believed to have been founded in the 3rd century BC. e. Carthaginian commander Hamilcar Barca, father of the legendary Hannibal. During a military campaign on the Iberian Peninsula, he built a fortified settlement at the foot of Montjuic, which was named Barcino – in honor of the Hamilcar family. In the II century Barcino came under the rule of the Romans and began to develop as a military and commercial center. After the decline of Rome in the 5th century, the city was captured by the Visigoths and for some time was the capital of the Visigothic kingdom, now called Barsinova. After some time, this name softened to the well-known Barcelona. In 716, the city was captured by the Moors, but already in 801, Louis the Pious, the son of Charlemagne, recaptured it. Barcelona became the capital of the Spanish March of the Frankish Empire. Subsequently, the city passed into the possession of Gifred the Hairy, to whom Charles the Bald, for his courage in the fight against the Moors, along with Barcelona, granted the title of count. It is with the name of Gifred that the origin of the coat of arms of the city is connected – a yellow shield with red stripes. It is believed that in one of the battles, the seriously wounded Gifred left these bloody stripes on his yellow shield with his fingers (according to another version, Karl the Bald did this with the blood of Gifred). Today, both Barcelona and all of Catalonia are associated with this symbol.
The independent county of Barcelona developed rapidly, and in the Middle Ages Barcelona was one of the largest and most important cities in Europe, the capital of the Aragonese kingdom, which also owned Sardinia, Sicily, Corsica and Naples. After the unification of Aragon and Castile and the beginning of the centralization of Spain, the influence of Barcelona begins to weaken, and at the same time Madrid began to rise, which became the capital of the Spanish kingdom. In modern times, Barcelona was devastated several times by the troops of Madrid, who did not tolerate the separatist sentiments of the Catalans, but this separatism only strengthened and is still an integral part of Catalonia and its inhabitants. Despite all the trials, the city in the 19th century confidently entered the industrial era and began to develop rapidly. The crown of this time was two World Exhibitions – 1888 and 1929, as well as the creations of Antonio Gaudi,
During Franco’s dictatorship, new persecutions began against Catalonia and the Catalan language, which provoked outbursts of Catalan nationalism and even greater hatred of Madrid. And although the times of Franco have long passed, these feelings are still alive and spreading among the Catalans. A kind of symbol of confrontation with the center is the eternal mutual hatred of the Barcelona football club and Real Madrid.
At the same time, in the last quarter of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st, the city continues to strengthen its international, cultural, economic, financial and, of course, tourist status. In 1992, Barcelona was the capital of the Summer Olympic Games, in 2004 the World Cultural Forum was held in the city. In addition, many cultural events of European and international scale are held in Barcelona every year, for example, one of the main music festivals in Europe and the planet, the Primavera Sound Festival in May.
Time in Barcelona
Time in Barcelona is common European time, that is, Greenwich Mean Time plus one hour (UTC + 1). Summer time in Barcelona is plus one hour to winter time, that is, UTC + 2.