My partner and I decided  to have an autumn break in Barcelona, which has been on our to-do-list for a little while. Perusing the guide books we came up with a huge lists of things to do and to see but in order to avoid sensory overload we restricted  ourselves to two main attractions a day. This still gave us plenty to see as we had planned a  week long  trip. Having worked out a schedule, we started looking for a place to stay and found a nice centrally located apartment close to the Picasso Museum and within walking distance of Barcelona’s cathedral.  Even walking to the Sagrada  Familia took no longer than 20 minutes. Moreover, as it turned out there were several nice Tapas bars close by. The apartment had only one downside – it was located on the 5th floor and there was no elevator. Looking on the positive side, this provided us with some exercise and helped us burn of some of the calories gained by gorging us on the excellent food.

The history of Barcelon stretches back 2000 years. Remains from the Neolithic have been found on the coastal plain near the city, while ruins of an early settlement have been excavated in the El Raval neighborhood, including different tombs and dwellings dating to earlier than 5000 BC. Later, in the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC, the area was settled by the Laietani, an Ιberian people before be conquered by the Romans during the Cantabrian Wars.  During the declind of the (Western) Roman Empire the Visigoths moved it only to be kicked out by Arab forces which arrived on the Iberian Peninsula a couple of centuries later, around 710 CE. The Arab rulers, however, did not get to enjoy their stay in Barcelona overly long as they got turfed out by Louis the Pious, son of Charlemagne who captured Barcelona in 801 after a siege of several months. In the  12th century it became part of the Kingdom or Aragon and after the marriage of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castille in 1469 it became part of Spain. So much for a potted history of Barcelon up to the end of medieval period.

Medieval Barcelona

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Art Nouveau Barcelona

Ceiling of the Sagrada Familia

And Some Other Bits...