Barcelona is a very elegant city, famous for its impressive history, culture, monuments, fantastic architecture, museums, galleries and interesting people.
There is a lot that can be said about this city, so below we've made up a list of 10 interesting and fun facts about Barcelona just for you.
1) Sant Jordi's Day is the Catalan Valentine's Day
Saint George Day, known in spanish as Día de Sant Jordi, is a national Catalan holiday. It is also called the Day of the Rose, which in spanish is el Día de la Rosa, because of the amount of roses that one can find all over the city. This meaning that Sant Jordi is more or less Barcelona's version of Valentine's Day.
Moreover, this day is also Book Day, in spanish Día del Libro, which is an international holiday that is greatly celebrated in Spain and in Barcelona.
The story of Sant Jordi tells that he slayed the dragon of Montblanc before it ate a beautiful princess. Due to this romantic act, Sant Jordi Day is celebrated as a romantic occasion.
The tradition is to exchange gifts between sweethearts, loved ones and friends. The man gives a rose to a woman as a sign of love, and the women gives a book, as a sign for eternal love in return. So in a way, Barcelona integrates Book Day into their own Valentine's Day.
2) Barceloneta beaches are artificial
There were no beaches in Barcelona until 1992. The seaside of Barcelona was full of local industries up until the city decided to host the Olympic Games.
Thanks to this, one can now find several beaches. Barcelona's beaches were listed as number one of the top ten beach cities in the world, according to National Geographic and Discovery Channel.
Barcelona has seven beaches with a 4.5 km coastline. Around this area, there are the greatest bars, restaurants and hotels.
In this city, July and August are the warmest months with temperatures from 25 to 31°. With its Mediterranean climate of mild, humid winters and warm, dry summers, Barcelona is an ideal place for a beach vacation.
3) The Sagrada Familia has taken longer to build than the Great Pyramids.
The great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt only took 20 years to build with ancient tools, and so far, la Sagrada Familia has taken around 200 hundred years to be constructed with modern tecnology.
The main feature of this building is its height, which equals 984 meters. However, Gaudí believed that the highest point in the city should be a natural god made structure, with this he was referring to the mountain of Montjuic, which is 984 feet above sea level.
4) The real story behind the Columbus monument
While not reaching the height of other prominent buildings, the Columbus Monument is essential and indispensable in the Barcelona skyline.
The approximately 60 meter high elevator ride to the platform of the monument gives you a great view of the Ramblas, the yachting port of Barcelona in Port Vell and the shopping center Maremagnum.
The Columbus Monument was built in 1888 for the World Exposition. After reconstruction works, the monument was reopened in June 2013. It unites two of the most important roads of Barcelona: the traditional Ramblas and Passeig de Colon, right in front of the port of Barcelona.
There are many interpretations about the location Columbus is pointing. A commonly mistaken idea is that he is pointing towards America, but America is in the opposite direction.
Some believe the creator decided to create the statue pointing his hand out to sea, illustrating his achievements.
Other opinions say that he points towards India, the destination he was originally trying to reach via a new route when he bumped into America.
Finally, another school of thoughts believes that the statue points out the route to Genoa, which many say is his hometown.
5) The FC Barcelona Museum is the most visited museum of Barcelona
FC Barcelona, also known as Barça, is the most famous sport club in Barcelona. Every year, the Barcelona Football Club attracts a lot of football fans worldwide.
In 2011, the FC Barcelona museum at Camp Nou was the most visited museum in Barcelona, and the third most visited museum in the whole of Spain, with 1,629,990 visitors.
It was founded in 1899 by a group of Swiss, British, Spanish and Catalan footballers led by Joan Gamper.
In 2009, FC Barcelona established a unique achievement, becoming the only European club to win every possible major tournament in one year.
Today FC Barcelona is the world's second-richest football club in terms of revenue, with an estimated annual turnover of $ 613 million and the third most valuable, with an estimated worth of $ 2.6 billion.
The club's home stadium, the Camp Nou, is the biggest stadium in Europe with capacity for 100,000 people.
6) Las Ramblas is actually 5 different avenues
Barcelona is very well known for its wonderful 2 kilometer long boulevard "Las Ramblas ".
Las Ramblas is the heart of Barcelona, which is located in the old quarter called - "Gothic Quarter". Here you can find many restaurants with Spanish food and shops with souvenirs.
La Rambla street is a famous meeting point for tourists, and it is busy throughout the day and night. Every day, there are more than 150,000 people taking a walk along this street.
The main feature of the Rambla Street is that it's divided into five separate avenues flowing smoothly into each other.
Rambla de Canaletes - the site of the Font de Canaletes, which is a fountain
Rambla dels Estudis - the site of an open-air market for caged birds and other small pets, which no longer exists
Rambla de Sant Josep - the site of an open-air flower market
Rambla dels Caputxins - Liceu Opera House
Rambla de Santa Mònica - arts center
7) Eixample street corners are cut off to allow a turning radius for trams.
Architects from around the world come to Barcelona to see examples of modern architecture. Many of them come here to get inspiration for their new ideas.
On arrival here, a lot of people find themselves delighted with the unusual architecture around the streets, specially the buildings in Eixample, which are laid out in a grid system.
The streets of Eixample were designed by urban planner Ildefons Cerdà in the middle of the 19th century.
Almost all the blocks in Eixample have their corners cut off, this was originally planned to accommodate a system of Steam Trams, which have a large turning radius. However, the trams never became a reality.
Each block was supposed to be a self-contained community, with a green space in the center, but this idea was also largely ignored when it came to building the district.
8) Barcelona has 12 abandoned metro stations, and they are haunted!
Uusually Barcelona's architecture and good climate attracts many tourists. However, mysticism has become somewhat of a tourist draw.
Today in Barcelona, there are 12 abandoned stations between subway and commuter trains, and more and more fans of adventure and mystery come to Barcelona to visit these Ghost Metro stations.
In 2011, a special scary metro tour started that went through the Lau Pau and Sagrada Familia Line.
What was unique about this tour was that it ventured through the abandoned "Gaudí" station, where many people have sworn they've seen shadows and shapes of ghosts.
If you are brave enough, you can enjoy this amazing scary tour and learn more about Barcelona's haunted metro stations.
9) Gaudí's Alive House
Casa Milà is another of Gaudí's masterpieces. Built in the early 20th century, Casa Milà bears a second name, due to its unique structure, this name is "La Pedrera".
After passing the ticket booth, you will immediately find yourself in an ordinary modern elevator that leads you to the spiral staircase and takes you up to the roof. On the roof, you can see some famous sculptural figures, at the same time acting as ventilation shafts.
Casa Milà was called the alive house, because its appearance and architecture is all meanders, bends and swims, which makes it look exactly like a living organism.
10) Barcelona the only city that receives a Royal Gold Medal
Barcelona is the first and only city that received a Royal Gold Medal for architecture in 1999.
This honor for architecture is awarded annually since 1848, by the Royal Institute of British Architects on behalf of the British monarch, in recognition of an individual’s or group’s substantial contribution to international architecture.
The city's architecture has had a huge influence on many contemporary architects around the world.