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Facts about Barcelona for Kids


  • Barcelona is the second most populous city in Spain, with a population of 1.6 million.
  • It is the capital and most populous city of Catalonia, as well as the second most populous municipality of Spain after Madrid with a population of about 1.8 million people.
  • Barcelona is also one of the major economic centers in Southern Europe, mainly because it serves as a center for commerce and finance activities, including tourism and trade fairs.
  • Barcelona features a Mediterranean climate with hot summers and cool winters due to its inland location on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, making it one of Europe‘s warmest capitals.
  • The origins of the name “Barcelona” are unclear and probably pre-date the founding of the city. It comes from the old Romance word “barroco,” meaning “new castle,” in reference to the city’s medieval fortification.
  • Other theories for the origin of the name “Barcelona” include: it is a derivative of “barbarian”, taken from an ancient surname or personal name Barbarrus, or it might come from an Arabic term meaning ‘Gothic’.
  • The Romans called it “MalaBarbara” (Modern Catalan: “Barroca Mal”), meaning “bad (evil) barbarian” or simply “barbaric place.”
  • The modern city of Barcelona is located on both banks of the River Ebro, which divides the city into two geographically separate areas: Barceloneta to the north and Raval to the south.
  • The economic history of Barcelona developed around its port, which since Roman times has been the economic nucleus of the city.
  • The first documented name of the city is “Ibiza” after the local Carthaginian commander Ibiza or a similar name.
  • The oldest known mention of the city is by the Greek scientist Pytheas who passed through Catalonia around 325 BC.
  • In 1601 King Philip III recognized Barcelona as a city and it became a center for judicial, administrative and financial activities from 1640 to 1714.
  • In 1714, Barcelona gained a Royal Charter which made it one of the world’s leading cities and open to commerce and trade, with greatly increased economic activity, expansion and modernization.
  • The Catalan language became the official language, replacing Latin in 1771 when Spain signed the Nueva Planta decrees.
  • Through much of its history, Barcelona has been a leading European city in terms of innovation, architecture, culture, music and other sciences.
  • Barcelona hosted the 1992 Summer Olympics as one of the selected cities to be part of the Olympic Games.
  • Barcelona has a long history of being a major artistic and cultural center.
  • It was one of the first cities to have a symphony orchestra, as well as the first Spanish city to have a university, the University of Barcelona (established 1490), and the first public library in Spain (founded in 1582).
  • Its historic architecture is very diverse, ranging from Gothic and Renaissance to Modernista.
  • “El Raval” (”The Raval”) is an area located on the lower slopes of Montjuïc hill in Barcelona, next to Plaça de Catalunya and Port Vell.