Barcelona is the capital and largest city of Catalonia, an autonomous community in Spain, and the country's second most populous municipality, with a population of 1.6 million within city limits. Its urban area extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of around 4.7 million people, being the sixth most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, London, Madrid, the Ruhr area and Milan.
It is the largest metropolis on the Mediterranean Sea, located on the coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs, and bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola mountain range, the tallest peak of which is 512 metres high. Founded as a Roman city, in the Middle Ages Barcelona became the capital of the County of Barcelona. After merging with the Kingdom of Aragon, Barcelona continued to be an important city in the Crown of Aragon as an economic and administrative centre of this Crown and the capital of the Principality of Catalonia.
Barcelona has a rich cultural heritage and is today an important cultural centre and a major tourist destination. Particularly renowned are the architectural works of Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner, which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean is located in Barcelona. The city is known for hosting the 1992 Summer Olympics as well as world-class conferences and expositions and also many international sport tournaments. Barcelona is one of the world's leading tourist, economic, trade fair and cultural centres, and its influence in commerce, education, entertainment, media, fashion, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities.
The recent events where bloodshed and anger marred the Catalan independence vote in northern Spain on Sunday, saddened me as I remembered the wonderful times I spent in this city in the past. To see riot police storming polling stations to seize ballot boxes, beating and firing rubber bullets at would-be voters was mind-boggling! Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau said hundreds of people had been injured in "police charges against the defenceless population". The Catalonia regional government's said more than 800 people required medical attention. A terrible day for Barcelona and Catalonia and for everyone who believes that violence does not resolve anything...
This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.