At the beginning of the historical tradition (around 2000-2500 BC) the Iberians settled in what is now the urban area of Barcelona. Legend has it that Barcelona was founded in the 3rd century BC as the city of Barcino by the Cathars: by Hamilkar Barkas, the father of the better-known Hannibal. When the Romans later reached the region around Barcelona, they turned the city into a fortification, the center of which was on Mount Táber, a small elevation on the seashore, very close to the square on which today the Palau de la Generalitat (seat the Autonomous Government of Catalonia) and the City Hall (El Ayuntamiento) are located. Thermal baths, an amphitheater, a regulated sewage and water supply as well as the forum in the city center, at the point where the Plaza de San Jaime is nowadays. The city was baptized Colonia Iulia Augusta Faventia Paterna Barcino; the floor plans of the former urban area and parts of the city wall of the ancient Roman city are still visible today. Under the Museu d’Història de la Ciutat, visitors can admire excavations from the time of the Roman fortifications.
In the early Middle Ages, Barcelona was conquered by the Visigoths, around the fifth century, who had come from central Europe and made the city the capital of the Visigoth kingdoms. The Moors conquered Barcelona in the 8th century, but in 801 it was again conquered by the Carolingians. These made Barcelona the capital of the county of Barcelona and incorporated it into Spanish territory. Over time, the county gained practical independence from the Carolingian Kingdom; which was finally made official in 986 with Count Guifré el Pilós (Wifredo el Velloso). The establishment of the feudal state in Catalonia during the 11th century did not prevent that Barcelona gained dominance over the other counties on Spanish territory and turned into the political, economic, social, cultural and center of a vast region. This region included not only Catalonia but also Aragon,Valencia, Mallorca, Rosellón and Alguer. Barcelona would continue to be one of the greatest powers in the Mediterranean region in competition with Genoa and Venice for the centuries that followed.
From the 14th century onwards, Barcelona was in a decline, which dragged on with some fluctuations through the next centuries. Increasingly violent conflicts developed from the dynastic union between Fernado de Aragón and Isabela de Castilla, which led to the first war from 1640 to 1651 and finally to the Spanish Wars of Succession, which lasted from 1706-1714. After these wars, all of Catalonia’s own institutions disappeared. Barcelona did not recover until the end of the 18th century in the course of industrialization and again became an important political and cultural center in Spain. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the urban area of Barcelona grew strongly due to numerous incorporations. In 1888 the world exhibition took place in Barcelona and the city learned in the course of this.
In 1897 Barcelona experienced great geographic and demographic growth: six previously independent municipalities were added to Barcelona: Sants, Les Corts, Sant Gervasi de Cassoles, Gràcia, Sant Andreu del Palomar and Sant Martí de Provençals. From a social point of view, many new ways of life came to the city in the 19th century; Leisure and leisure as well as social relationships found their expression in sport and physical activity. In the last few years of the century, Barcelona saw tons of swimming pools, tennis courts and soccer fields spring up and Barcelona built an international reputation for sport. Clubs were founded, such as FC Barcelona (1889), Real Club de Tenis Barcelona and Club Natació Barcelona (swimming club).
In 1904 the municipality of Horta was incorporated into Sarrià in 1921.
In 1929, short for BCN by Abbreviationfinder, Barcelona held another exhibition, which opened up the whole area around Plaza Espña and built the pavilions in which the Feria de Barcelona is held today. As part of the 1929 Expo, the Barcelona Metro was built, inaugurated in 1924 and opened in 1926 with the service of the Transversal Metro between Bordete and Catalunya; Above all, it was supposed to connect the city center with the expo area around Plaza España and on Montjuïc.
In the summer of 1936, during the Segunda República (the Second Republic of Spain), another major event was to take place in Barcelona: the Olympic Games. The city began preparations: the Olympic stadium was built and the Montjuïc was redesigned and refurbished. Despite all this, the games could not take place because in July 1936 the cruelest years began for all of Spain:
The Guerra Civil, i.e. the Spanish Civil War, which was waged between 1936 and 1939 and at the end of which General Francisco Franco took control of Spaintook over). From the beginning of the war, Barcelona defended the existing institutions and fought against the insurgents in the interests of freedom and democracy. Barcelona would have to pay dearly to support the Republicans, not just because of the bombing during the war, but throughout the 36 years of Franco’s dictatorship. On January 26, 1939, Franco and his troops took the city of Barcelona. He abolished Catalan autonomy and its institutions and forbade the use of the Catalan language and the practice of traditions. Over the next 36 years, Barcelona faced significant social and cultural decline.
In 1952, the Congreso Eucarístico Internacional was built in Barcelona, which allowed the creation of a new district known today as the Congrés. The time of Franquismo is also often described as the era of desarrollismo urbano, a kind of rampant urban development: tons of cheap apartments were built to cope with the increasing immigration of people from other parts of Spain(Andalusia, Murcia and Galicia). Often there was no urban planning for the buildings, and much of it came about in an obviously uncontrolled manner; In addition, cheap materials were used, which soon led to considerable problems for the residents in the apartments, such as the formation of mold or burst pipes. In any case, the building fever resulted in strong demographic growth and new quarters emerged both in the city center and in the neighboring districts: Carmel, Nou Barris, El Verdum, Guinardó, Hospitalet de Llobregat, Bellvitge, Santa Coloma de Gramenet etc. Sant Adrià de Besós o Badalona. The last five quarters mentioned are outside the city and are also called el cinturón, the belt of Barcelona.
In the 1960s, a metro network was built and many paved roads, traffic lights and large bypasses were built. During these years the water and sewer systems, power supply and lighting within the city were also improved. From a socio-cultural point of view, it should be noted that the massive immigration of the Spanish-speaking population to Barcelona meant that Catalán no longer remained the clearly predominant language in Catalonia, as it had into the 1930s. The fact that the new mass media were broadcast exclusively in Spanish and that Castellano (Spanish) was the only language recognized by the government also contributed to this development.
When democracy was restored in the country towards the end of the 1970s and a few years after Franco’s death, the Catalan institutions and socio-cultural units also regained their freedom. A new cultural and urban development began that made Barcelona the attractive city it is today. The fact that the city became the venue for the 1992 Olympic Games was of immense importance to this process. The years 1986-1992 represented a time of massive changes for the city. Not only were the necessary sports facilities built (Estadio Olímpico Lluis Companys, Palau Sant Jordi, Velodromo de Horta, etc.), but the network of bypasses was also considerably improved, which became beaches partly recovered and partly prepared, New districts such as Vila Olimpica or Vall d’Hebrón were built, the local transport system was improved and the metro (underground) modernized, the new Collserola television tower was built, El Prat airport renovated and expanded, the taxi fleet refurbished, the facades the houses cleaned, the hospitals repaired, sports centers built, new hotels opened and much more. In addition, the games ensured the final internationalization of Barcelona and the global image of a highly modern city. Sports centers built, new hotels opened and much more. In addition, the games ensured the final internationalization of Barcelona and the global image of a highly modern city. Sports centers built, new hotels opened and much more. In addition, the games ensured the final internationalization of Barcelona and the global image of a highly modern city.
Today’s Barcelona has become a breathtaking southern European metropolis. In 2004 the next major event took place there, the Fórum Universal de las Culturas, which resulted in further urban development changes of even greater proportions: the entire area of Besós, where previously only decommissioned factories had stood, was renovated. The new Diagonal Mar district was also built. New parks were created, additional luxury hotels opened and two new buildings for congresses and exhibitions were built. After the forum, the city tried to use the area more for concerts, exhibitions and other events.
With all these changes, some of which were caused by the major events, Barcelona has become a cosmopolitan and attractive cultural city, both for wealthy locals and tourists. However, the price that the residents have to pay for this development is considerable: the increase in rents is enormous and Barcelona is now one of the most expensive cities in Europe. As a result, many less affluent residents had to move to the outskirts, which is an unfavorable development in terms of population distribution and ghettoization. The city will have to face further challenges now and in the future: for example, it is becoming increasingly important to bring the Spanish high-speed train AVE (Alta Velocidad Española) to Barcelona. This would make it possible to travel to Madrid by land in just under three hours and to create a connection with the French rail network by 2010, which would result in a fast connection between Barcelona and Paris.