Barcelona is rich in culture, architecture and history.
The earliest plan for this Roman city was laid down according to the classical system by Emperor Augustus Cesar between 27 and 14 B.C.
Roman remains abound in the subsoil of the area which is now the Gothic Quarter, the most outstanding of which are the impressive columns of the Temple of Augustus, which rose up in the very heart of Roman Barcino (now in the Catalan Excursionists Center).
This walled city continued to grow until the 4th century, when it was occupied by the Franks.
The city passed through a period of decadence with the Arab conquest, only beginning its recovery in the year 801 with the arrival of the French.
The period of splendor in the development of Barcelona began in the 11th century.
James the conqueror created the great Catalan-Aragon confederation in the 13th century.
The Catholic Monarchs received Christopher Columbus on his return from the discovery of America in Barcelona in the 15th century.
In the 18th century, during the War of Succession, Barcelona sided with Archduke Karl of Austria, a mistake, since Philip V of Bourbon emerged from the war the victor.
In 1714 the city surrendered and Barcelona was stripped of its priviliges, and a harsh centralist rule was imposed on it in an attempt to wipe out all traces of its historical identity.
The short period of French occupation (1808 to 1813) left bitter memories.
Finally, in 1860 the walls were demolished and the city began to expand into the surrounding countryside.
The two great events around which the structure of modern Barcelona came into being are the Universal Exhibition in 1888 and the International Exhibition in 1929.
This beautiful, friendly and enjoyable city hosted the 1992 Olympic Games as we all know.
Here I am standing in front of the fountains at Cataluna Plazza.
Antonio Gaudi was a master architect known for his flamboyant, excessive, overdone and gaudy work (hence the origin of the word gaudy!
Much of his work can be found all around Barcelona.
Take a look at this beautiful room!