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Tourist Destinations #9: Barcelona

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Beautiful architecture is what separates the cities which are merely pleasant from those which are notably beautiful – and anyone who has taken a trip to Barcelona in Spain’s Catalunya region will be able to tell you that the city falls very firmly into the latter camp. As a holiday destination it has the lot – beautiful historic sites and buildings along with a present-day vibe that everyone will appreciate.

In many ways, Spain is a “young” country – it has only been fully democratic for just over thirty-five years having lived under the fascist dictatorship of General Franco. Much of its history, too, is recent, and none more arresting than the Spanish Civil War. In Barcelona, no area is more infused with the history of the Civil War than Las Ramblas, one of the most famous streets in the world and the scene of many fights in that war, and mentioned by George Orwell in Homage To Catalonia.

The sad history of Barcelona is just one side of its story though, and its gorgeous Gothic architecture reflects the work of one of the most noted architects of all time, Antoni Gaudi. Sights that you must see if you go include the Sagrada Familia and the stunning Park Guell. These set Barcelona apart as the most beautiful city in all of Spain.

Sporting enthusiasts will enjoy a trip to the Camp Nou stadium, home of one of the world’s most noted soccer teams – FC Barcelona. Although outstripped for success by Spain’s “establishment” club, Real Madrid, Barcelona are loved by fans throughout the world for the dynamic style of play and sentimentally because of the efforts that have been expended in trying to beat the favored Madrilenos.

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