25 facts about Barcelona that you didn’t know

It’s impossible to cover all the interesting facts about Barcelona in just one article. This wonderful city, replete with modernisme relics, culture, history and more offers an array of secrets just waiting to be discovered.

This article on facts about Barcelona takes you from Roman Barcelona, to its role during the Civil War and its-most loved sites and landmarks. We’re sure that in addition to surprising and astonishing you, you’ll be packing your bags to visit in no time.

So let’s dive in and see which of these facts about Barcelona you already knew!

  1. Did you know that over 1,400 bomb shelters were constructed during the Civil War, above all by the citizens of Barcelona themselves? Read more about them in our article here.
  2. There have been many books written about and set in Barcelona over the years including Ildefonso Falcones’  The Cathedral of the Sea, which was recently made into a Netflix series. Find out other facts about Barcelona books here.
  3. Barcelona’s metro has 12 abandoned stations that are closed or have never been used – some of which don’t even appear on the metro network map. The most well known is the Post Office station on Via Laietana.
  4. Did you know that the name Tibidabo comes from Latin and means “I will give you” taken from a verse in the bible where the devil offers Jesus everything he sees before him.
  5. Another interesting fact about Barcelona’s Tibidabo is that the theme park is built upon a volcano that has been dormant for 7,000 years.
  6. Perhaps you’ll want to keep fact about Barcelona to yourself – the city has several secret bars, one of which is Bobby’s Free. You’ll need a password to get in. But shhh, don’t tell anyone!
  7. One of the windows of the Basílica de Santa María del Mar is dedicated to Barcelona FC. Can you spot it?
  8. Here’s a fact about Barcelona you have definitely wondered about. The area of el Born takes its name from the Catalan for “jousting field” as the location for the medieval city’s tournaments.
  9. There is an eternal flame in Barcelona in el Born that burns for those who fell during the September 1714 battle defending the city.  Discover more facts about Barcelona’s Born in our article here.
  10. You don’t have to go to the Picasso museum to see this great artist’s work. Just head to Plaza Nova to see his “Mural of the Giants” painted as an ode to Catalan culture during the years of Franco.
  11. Did you know that the Roman name for Barcelona was “Barcino”. Now you know it’s more than just a beer!
  12.  If you look carefully at the passion of the Sagrada Familia you’ll find a magic square of numbers. No matter how you add them up, the total is always 33. Any guesses as to why?
  13. Talking about the Sagrada Família – until recently it was due to be finished in 2026 to coincide with 100 years since Gaudí’s death.
  14. Finally, our last interesting fact about Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia: its architect, Antonio Gaudí, was run over by a tram and initially wasn’t recognised due to his weathered appearance.
  15. Barcelona has its very own maze: Laberint d’Horta. Discover more green areas to explore in Barcelona here.
  16. The name “Barça” in fact refers to the city’s football club. Locals actually refer to the city as “Barna”.
  17. The walls of the Plaça Felip Neri tell a tragic story not known by many. If you look close enough you’ll see the bullet holes. Learn more here.
  18. Barcelona is home to a plague of Monk parakeets that are thought to have originated in the city after they became popular as pets.
  19. Barcelona has its very own zoo in Parc de la Ciutadella. It was famous for being home to Floquet de neu (Snowflake), an albino gorilla.
  20. Barcelona’s famous concrete “almond flower” that paves the streets of Eixample and is an icon of the city was designed by Josep Puig i Cadafalch. Don’t forget to look down!
  21. Barcelona’s Eixample was designed in a grid pattern with large avenues and chamfered corners that would make it easy for trams – that were never installed – to turn them.
  22. The Eixample Esquerra in Barcelona was voted the best neighbourhood in the world this year by Time Out. Read all about this interesting fact about Barcelona here.
  23. The next time you walk down Las Ramblas, don’t forget to look up. The Japanese-inspired umbrellas, fans and dragons you see are thanks to the influence of this country on European architecture.
  24. Barcelona has its very own Valentine’s Day: Sant Jordi is celebrated every year on 23rd April. Read more about this romantic fact about Barcelona here.
  25. Last but not least, legend has it that if you drink the water of the Canaletes fountain – where Barça FC celebrates its victories – it’s said you will return to Barcelona. We hope to see you soon!
Facts about Barcelona - Santa Maria del Mar Barça
Facts about Barcelona – One of the windows of the Basílica de Santa María del Mar is dedicated to Barcelona FC

 Did we miss a fact about Barcelona off the list? Let us know!

One thought on “25 facts about Barcelona that you didn’t know

  • November 26, 2020 at 16:05

    La Catedral Del Mar’s opening anecdote affirms the Droit du Seigneur custom, which today’s scholars overwhelmingly view as ahistorical.

    I found it so distasteful that I put the novel back on the shelf and have left it there. Barcelona deserves better.

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