History / Information, Barcelona
Catalunya has always been known for the strong feelings of its people for independence.
Throughout the many changes of rulers in Spain the Catalonians have remained patriots of their area.
Indeed even today they remain a culturally autonomous community. The guides often refer to the period of the kings of Aragon and Castille when Catalunya was a dominant influence. The language is used as often, if not more often, than is Spanish. While they learn Spanish in school, the spoken language remains Catalunian.
Despite being repressed during the Franco era, in 1975 Catalonia recovered its autonomy.
And I, by pure luck, arrived on Catalunya Day to see the parade!
Catalunya actually is a region of Spain as others although it was born with differents identities to other regions in the actual Spain..it was in 1492 when Catalunya and Aragon Kingdom and Castilla Kingdom join in a modern state as the chief European states did in XV century AD..but till this year Catalunya has its own laws and made and unmade by its own
Later in 1714 a war beside the ancestors of actual Spanish monarchy and Austrian-hungarian heir brought our defeat against the actual Borbons (french heir) who put us down in almost 300 years of prohibitions and sorrow...
in the last century Catalunya suffered a spanish civil war among the Republic vote democratically and Falangist and the right side of spamnish people (friends of hitler and mussolini) whom won and tried to defear catalunya itself and their identity signs as the tongue and other cultural performance ...All that 60 years last (from 1939 to 1975) when Franco fortunatelly died
We are living uncetain days in Catalunya and Spain for extension ..Franco's heir (partido popular) tried to reduce all kind of catalonian nationalism expressions with spanish exaltations and speeches of antispanish people refereing to us
Catalunya and other regions are trying to copy a German or US government system, but this popular party is such afraid that avoid to talk about it and refuse it 100%
Let it see
Many will tell you (mainly the Catalans) that Catlalunya (Barcelona being the Capital city) is a separate country to Spain. They are very proud of their language and have great food. Apart from this, why is it that Catalans feel so proud of their 'nation'? well it is largely because under the dictator Franco, who ruled Spain until the 1970's, they couldn't even speak their own language and were pretty much repressed. To this day most Catalans feel very defensive about this topic and you should tread carefully if you wish to talk to people about it. I found people were only too willing to talk to me about it if asked in the right way.
The problem here is not so great as in Pais vasco, but when I left Barcelona for Castilla I did feel like I was entering into enemy territory after hearing too many negative comments towards the rest of Spain. Though not all Catalans feel this way, especially not the younger ones. Of course the ones who were suppressed by Franco are going to have stronger feelings on the topic.
In fact the rest of Spain then begin to recent Catalunya as they say during Franco's time he put lots of money into the area to build up Barcelona and it's port and that it is unfair that, if they want to go to university in Barcelona they have to speak Catalan as that is the language in which the classes are given. Many have expressed the same concerns about getting a job there.
I am not taking sides here I'm just putting forward the views expressed to me by both sides.
I very much liken the situation here to that of Scotland in the UK.
Barcelona has a relatively mild Mediterranean climate. Summer can get hot and humid, 30C is not uncommon, while winters are very mild and sunny. The rain falls mostly in the autumn and spring months (October, November, March, Abril). The year average temperature is 15,8ºC with an average maximum of 19,4ºC.
The people in the south will tell you that they are the friendliest and that the Catalans are unfriendly and tight fisted.
I don't agree with either of these comments. The people in the south are very welcoming and open but everyone is your friend for 5 mins. In the North and in Catalunya it may be slightly more difficult to make friends at the start but once they are your friend they are your friend for life (and it's genuine friendship too).
I saw no evidence that they are tight either. The people in the south are very generous this is true.
In Spain the north is richer than the south unlike in the UK, but more similar to the US, Italy and the such like.
In Catalunya and in Spain it is traditional to make a Belen at Christmas which is a representation of the Nativity scene. Thanks to the Catalans this is now more interesting as they added an extra figure that has now become so popular it has spread to the Belens all over Spain.
This extra figure is the Caganer or Cagon which is a figure literally going to the toilet (number 2). Although at first it seems a little disgusting think about it this way: He is fertilising the land!
Each year and every year Sevilla celebrates “La Feria de Abril", meaning dancing the flamenco, dancing the Seviliana and parties everywhere. These feast last at least for 7 days, day and night feasta. Let´s not forget that during these week we also have the bullfights. Flamenco and bullfighting symbolizes strong cultural traditions in Andalusia (South of Spain) and the April Feria offers a unique insight of the character and the atmosphere of this individual region.
Mmmm, what a subject! Well, I will only say that this subject is not a minor one for the ones living in Catalunya. And I mean, for both, for the catalan people who was born here and for the catalan people who immigrated to here.
Impossing catalan language in education and cultue will not help not only the integration of new comers but also the like of the language. Freedom for spanish speakers to speak in their own language! (Bilingual constitutional rights preserve this option).
Although it is to be regonigzed that catalan language has to be preserved (but not to imposse).
For the Barri Gòtic it is best to go on foot....
For other areas and/or destinations it is best to go by Metro which is quick and easy.
Do buy the booklets of 10 tickets at the time and you will always have one at hand in case of.....
You can use there tickets for all means of Public Transportation.
There are also Passes from 1 - 5 days which is always cheaper....
The Plaça de la Catalunya is the centre of Transportation.
From here you can e.g. go to TIBIDABO by train, change and continue by tram, ten change again and go by rack / cog railway.
For the Montjuic you have to take the Metro to the Plaça d'Espanya and climb up or take the escalator or........go by funicular = cable way = cable lift from the Metrostation PARALLEL.
Not a cultural tip, and it may sound obvious, but get a guide map if you can. You can walk to a lot of tourist places by foot in Barcelona, but a map is necessary. A guide map will also show you the nearest Metro stops to the tourist places.
For posting those postcards home, look out for the yellow postboxes spread around the city. You can buy stamps to send letters in any tobacconist's ('estanco'), in some hotels or in post offices.
Podéis adquirir los sellos para enviar una carta en cualquier estanco (donde se vende el tabaco), en algunos hoteles o en la misma oficina de correos. Luego se puede tirar en cualquiera de los buzones amarillos distribuidos por toda la ciudad.
Bullfight in Barcelona? No way, thanks God!
Our autonomous Catalan Parliament voted for the ban of that barbaric activity.
Since January this year bullfight has been banned in Barcelona and rest of Catalonia.
Please take into account that Catalonia has an own culture, language and identity. If you think of Barcelona as a Spanish city, you will not understand anything at all.
It's not Twin Towers day, it's a local celebration, LA DIADA, "Fiesta Nacional de Catalunya", Catalonia's National Day, commemorating a defeat against Borbon troops.
When I was there in Sept 11, 2003; I could see the independence feelings of Catalonia's people. They wish to be an independent country apart from Spain.
At the center of the Plaça de la Porta de Pau (Square of the Gate of Peace) stands a monumental cast iron column set on a stone pedestal and topped by a statue of Christoffel Columbus.
Julia Faventia Augusta Pia Barcino, Barcino in short... this is Barcelona's original name, given by the emperor augusto. Under his rule it became the "capital" of a province in "spain citerior"