While working in England, Jeff and I took a week-end trip to Barcelona.

Barcelona is the capital of Barcelona Province and the autonomous region of Catalonia, a seaport on the Mediterranean Sea. Barcelona is the second largest Spanish city in population and the principal industrial and commercial center of the country. 

Dominating Barcelona's skyscape are the fantastic openwork spires of Templo Expiatorio de la Sagrada Familia (Church of the Sacred Family), a huge, unfinished cathedral notable for the elaborate patterns and undulating curves characteristic of its builder, the Catalan architect Antonio Gaudí y Cornet. 

According to legend, Barcelona was founded as Barcino about 230 BC by the Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca. The region became part of the Roman Empire in the 3rd century BC; it was ruled by the Visigoths in the 5th century AD , was conquered by the Moors in 713, and was captured by Charlemagne, King of the Franks, in 801. Under Frankish rule the city and the supporting region became the self-governing county of Catalonia, or Barcelona. The region was absorbed into the kingdom of Aragón in 1137. Barcelona thereafter gained in commercial and political importance as a Mediterranean trading and shipping center. Barcelona's prosperity diminished after the kingdoms of Aragón and Castile united in 1479 and subsequently imposed restrictive trade policies on the city. In 1833 Barcelona Province was established, with Barcelona as the provincial capital. In the 19th and 20th centuries Barcelona was a center of Catalan regionalism, anarchy, and industrial unrest. During the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) the city was the seat of the autonomous Catalan government and was a Loyalist stronghold. It was heavily bombed in 1938 by the insurgents, or Nationalists, who finally captured the city on January 26, 1939. Barcelona's selection as the site for the 1992 Summer Olympics sparked a massive municipal redevelopment program.

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