Barcelona Facts
Barcelona Facts

30 Cultural Barcelona Facts

James Israelsen
By James Israelsen, Associate Writer
Published September 3, 2020
  • Barcelona is located 90 miles south of the border between Spain and France.[6]
  • Some of the city walls still standing in Barcelona were built by the Roman Empire.[6]
  • Barcelona has been occupied by foreign invaders several times throughout its history, including by Napoleon, the Moors, and the Visigoths, who renamed it “Barcinona."[6]
  • As a major center for Spanish-language publishing, Barcelona celebrates the annual “Fiesta del Libro” (book party) on April 23.[6]
  • Joan Miró, one of the pioneers of the Surrealist art movement, was a native citizen of Barcelona.[9]
  • Although the metropolitan area of Barcelona includes over 1,000 square miles (2590 square km), the actual city covers only 38 (90 square km).[6]
  • Barcelona has a population of over 1,600,000 people.[6]
  • Because Barcelona has a compact center city surrounded by a large area of industrial suburbs and towns, it is considered to be one of the most congested cities in the world.[6]
  • Barcelona Catholocism
    Eulàlia was killed during the persecution of Christians under Roman Emperor Diocletian
  • According to tradition, Saint Eulàlia, Medieval patron saint of Barcelona, was a 13-year-old girl who was cruelly tortured for protesting Christian persecution. Sources say her torture included being dipped in boiling oil and having her breasts cut off and the wounds rubbed with a pumice stone.[11]
  • Barcelona’s city center is known as the Gothic Quarter, due to the many Medieval religious, governmental, and royal buildings that have been preserved there.[6]
  • There is a statue of Christopher Columbus in Barcelona’s downtown, commemorating the site of his public announcement of the discovery of America.[6]
  • Around 1/3 of the population of Barcelona is made up of immigrants.[6]
  • There are seven universities in the city of Barcelona, including the University of Barcelona, which was founded in 1450.[6]
  • Spain’s most important Mediterranean Sea port is located in Barcelona.[6]
  • Barcelona’s beaches, which were only recently artificially made, have had difficulty staying put: within 6 years, its most popular beaches lost over 25% of their sand to storms.[2]
  • Barceloneta Beach Facts
    No beaches? Make your own!

  • The Olympic Games hosted by Barcelona in 1992 were the first Olympics in three decades not to have a single country boycott participation.[6]
  • The USA “Dream Team,” featuring NBA stars Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Magic Johnson, Karl Malone, and John Stockton, took the gold medal at Barcelona’s 1992 Olympics.[1]
  • South Africa sent its first post-Apartheid, racially integrated team to the Barcelona Olympics in 1992.[1]
  • Barcelona Citizens
    The city is very diverse, with a large population of immigrants
  • Barcelona is the capital of Cataluña, a region with its own language and culture that is partially autonomous and partially governed by Spain.[12]
  • Barcelona is a leading center for the modern graffiti and street art scene.[9]
  • Writer-director Whit Stillman’s 1994 movie Barcelona is a comedic portrayal of two American men living and dating in Spain.[4]
  • Barcelona is bordered by the Bésos River to the north and the Llobregat River to the south.[6]
  • World-famous soccer team FC Barcelona has won Spain’s “King’s Cup” competition 30 times, more than any other team.[8]
  • Camp Nou, Barcelona’s soccer stadium, holds up to 99,354 people, making it the largest in Europe and the fourth largest in the world.[10]
  • Sagrada Familia Barcelona
    The construction passed its midpoint in 2010, 128 years after it began
  • One of Barcelona’s famous landmarks is the unfinished Cathedral of the Holy Family. Designed by controversial architect Gaudí, the building was begun in 1883, and it is currently expected that it will take 35 more years to complete.[12]
  • The famous Eiffel Tower in Paris was originally intended to be built in Barcelona, but city officials ultimately decided the tower’s unique design would be an eyesore on their skyline.[5]
  • Barcelona is home to the Museu de l’Eròtica, featuring such exhibits as a giant penis and a “pleasure chair.”[12]
  • The Museu Picasso in Barcelona owns over 3,400 pieces by famous artist Picasso, many of which were created during the 15 years in which Picasso lived there.[12]
  • During the Spanish Civil War, the citizens of Barcelona, including both men and women, united against invading forces, defending their city with homemade barricades and grenades. They lost the battle, and dictator General Franco passed several laws punishing the city for its rebellion.[3]
  • It is common for residents to pronounce “Barcelona” with a ‘th’ instead of a soft ‘c’ sound. One urban legend claims this pronunciation originated with Spanish King Ferdinand, who apparently had a lisp.[7]
  • Interesting Barcelona INFOGRAPHIC
    Barcelona Infographic Thumbnail

Suggested for you


Trending Now

Load More