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Barcelona: The Stunning Jewel in Spain’s Golden Crown

Spain's enchanting seaside city of Barcelona has wowed tourists and residents alike for centuries. Facing the sparkling Mediterranean, about 4.7 million people call Barcelona home. Highly regarded for its influence on culture, fashion, science, and the arts, the city is steeped in a rich history and internationally promotes its attractive sun-kissed beaches—all of which make it a popular destination for travelers. It’s warm climate also attracts those who wish to be out and about enjoying the sights, scenery, fine dining establishments, and beautiful architecture that Barcelona has to offer.

Barcelona hosted the 1992 Summer Olympic Games and some say the city has never been the same—but in a great way. As hosts to such an exciting event, residents had the opportunity to demonstrate immense pride in their city. The storied city introduced the world to "Rumba Catalana," a rhythmic and upbeat music style, and tourists vowed to return for vacation while scores of companies decided it was time to lay down roots in Barcelona.

With its fascinating culture, beauty, and temperate weather, it’s easy to see why Antoni Gaudi arrived in Barcelona for an education and stayed there to leave his mark on the architectural world. The climate provided opportunities for long walks that enabled him to sneak away from work and remain close to nature—something he enjoyed his entire life—while the beautiful views and fine art inspired his work. The city itself became Gaudi's muse of sorts.

A rich patron recognized Gaudi's passion, dedication, and artistic skill and put him to work designing elaborate buildings on his own property. This led to Gaudi's most cherished and famous building of all—the Sagrada Família Basilica. Although he devoted more than four decades to the development of this church and it remained unfinished when he died, the beauty, intense skill, and undeniable detail that he poured into the basilica is regarded as a masterpiece of blended styles and mental brilliance.
Gaudi’s creations remain a gorgeous reminder of the humble architect who built them. His stunning works of structural art include: the Bellesguard Tower, Park Güell, the restored Mallorca Cathedral, Güell Estate church, Casa Batlló, La Pedrera, and of course, the Sagrada Família Basilica. Most of Gaudi’s buildings have received World Heritage Site status.

Barcelona continues to attract a multitude of visitors looking for artistic enlightenment and refreshment in the forms of relaxation and culture. Gaudi himself was deeply rooted here. So much so that the city has often been called, "Gaudi's Barcelona."