Beautiful and magnetic Barcelona is full with life. It`s never enough and every time is the same and completely different. The city has its own spirit and “must visit” sights, that you don’t want to miss. But there are some curious facts, that are really interesting.
1. Today the city of Barcelona has five km of beaches, each year awarded with beautiful blue flags… But until 1992 it didn’t even have a meter of beach; Barcelona coast was made sandy on the occasion of the Olympic Games of ’92.
2. Barcelona is one of the first cities in the world … for consumption of legal cannbis.
In fact, in Spain it is legal to consume cannabis within the “Asociaciones Cannabicos” and over half of these clubs are located in the Catalan capital. If, unlike the Netherlands, neither Spain nor Barcelona are a destination for tourism oriented to the consumption of cannabis, it is because only the residents have access to the Asociaciones Cannabicos and obtaining the permit is not easy.
3. The construction of the Sagrada Familia began in 1882 and will be finished only in 2026.
Antonio Gaudì was perfectly aware that it would take many years to finish it (maybe he didn’t imagine so many…) and he knew that he would not see the end; but this too was a constant for the architects of great works, until a couple of centuries ago. Gaudì ironically faced this awareness by saying that “The client is in no hurry“, whereas the client was God.
4. Not everyone loved the Sagrada Familia project. George Orwell did not go lightly, describing the structure as “one of the most horrible buildings in the world”.
5. In spite of Orwell and his detractors, when finished, this masterpiece of architecture and sculptural art will be the tallest church in the world (170 meters). Obviously the finished part is huge, breathtaking and worth a visit; you can buy Sagrada Familia tickets online or on site, contributing the cost to finance a historically epic project.
6. Barcelona is in the top 10 of the world’s most popular destinations for street art lovers and among the top 10 most photographed on instagram for its graffiti. For lovers of the genre, do not miss the Gothic Quarter. Talk to the people, they will give you another point of view and will give a pretty good advices how to explore like local.
7. Every year, on April 23, the day of Cervantes and Shakespeare’s death, Barcelona celebrates the day of love and reading, in which lovers give each other roses and books. The day was conceived by UNESCO and is called El Día de los Amantes.
8. 10% of the Barcelona area is characterized by parks and urban greenery; this quantity increases by about 10 hectares per year. In practice, about 18 square meters of park for each inhabitant …
9. Flamenco is not danced in Barcelona. Oh my God, you may happen to see flamenco performances on the street but know that as beautiful as they are, they have little to do with the city. The Catalans have very little to do with flamenco, which is not from this region but from Andalusia, where it took root thanks to the establishment of nomadic populations from present-day Pakistan, and who brought the instruments and rhythms that later became the current flamenco. In contrast, the Catalans have their own dance called Sardana.
10. Bullfights do not take place here, because in Catalonia these have been illegal since 2010
11. Barcelona is the most bike friendly city in Europe, despite being also among the largest and most populous cities of the old continent. It owes this to traffic regulation policies, a good urban plan, 118 km of cycle paths and an efficient and manageable bike sharing system.
12. Parks and cycle paths and various policies for sustainability also in the tourism sector have helped the city to be the first to receive the “Biosphere World Class Destination” certification.