In the words of one of the most controversial literary characters in the Spanish literature, Don Quixote, “Barcelona is a fountain of courtesy, shelter of strangers, hospice to the poor, land of the valiant, avenger of the offended, reciprocator of firm friendship, a city unique in its location and beauty.” And no matter if some consider Don Quixote as a “definition of insanity”, there couldn’t be more sanity in those words.
And here is why:
Barcelona is home of 12 abandoned metro stations!
Barcelona is constantly crowded with tourists, yet again for some reason, there are even 12 abandoned metro stations. A few years ago a special scary metro organized a tour through the Lau Pau and Sagrada Familia Line. The most intriguing thing about that tour is the fact that many of the people who were there claim that they have seen ghosts and shadows!
The popular La Sagrada Familia took more time to be constructed than the Great Pyramids!
Yes, it kind of sounds unbelievable, but indeed is true. In fact, La Sagrada Familia is still not completely finished although it’s being constructed for almost 200 years by using a modern technology while, on the other hand, the Great Pyramids took only 20 years to be built with ancient tools.
Eiffel Tower was originally supposed to be in Barcelona.
Just imagine, Paris today wouldn’t be PARIS if it wasn’t for Barcelona which rejected Gustave Eiffel’s plans to build his Eiffel Tower there. Today on the place where the Eiffel Tower was supposed to be is actually the not-so-popular Columbus Monument.
Barcelona is the only city in the world who has received the Royal Gold Medal for architecture.
Yup! Barcelona’s architecture is considered to be super influential for many young architects around the world and, of course, there is a reason for that. In 1999 Barcelona was honored with a Royal Gold Medal for architecture by the Royal Institute of British Architects on behalf of the British monarchy – a tradition which exists since 1848.
Barcelona is the home to the largest football stadium in Europe.
Camp Nou or mostly known as FC Barcelona club’s home stadium is actually the largest football stadium in entire Europe and the second biggest in the world. In addition, it’s museum is also the most visited museum in the city.
Barcelona has the largest metropolitan park in the world. Even larger than Central Park!
Surprised? Yeah, me too! Barcelona’s Parc de Collserola is the largest metropolitan park in the world! In fact, it is 22 times larger than the mega-popular Central Park in NYC.
It has even 9 UNESCO-protected monuments!
7 of those UNESCO-protected monuments belong to the well-known Barcelona’s architect – Antoni Gaudi: Park Güell, Palau Güell, Casa Milà, Casa Vicens, La Sagrada Família, Casa Batlló, and the Crypt of the Church at Colonia Guell, while the other 2 were designed by the Modernista architect Lluis Domenech i Montaner: Palau de la Música Catalana and Hospital de Sant Pau.
It has the biggest and busiest cruise port in Europe!
With 3 million cruisers passing through, Barcelona’s 7 terminal cruise port is the biggest and busiest cruise port in Europe and 6th busiest in the world!
Barcelona may be even older than Rome.
Although it is not really proved, according to one theory, Barcelona was built by Hercules, 400 years before the capital of the ancient world, Rome, was built!
Barcelona founded the International Book Celebration!
In 1995 UNESCO made a historic move in Barcelona by creating the World Book and Copyright Day which ever since is celebrated on 23rd April each year – the day when Barcelona celebrates La Diada de Sant Jordi, El Dia de Los Amantes (Lover’s Day) and El Dia de la Rose (The day of the rose)! To make the things more interesting, this day also coincides with the death of two prominent figures in the world’s literature: Cervantes and Shakespeare.