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Barcelona City:Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, is a cosmopolitan, Mediterranean city. It is modern and stylish yet also has Roman remains, Medieval districts and some of the finest examples of Modernism and Vanguard Art of the 20th Century. Moreover UNESCO rightfully declared the emblematic buildings of the Catalonian architects Antoni Gaudi and Lluís Doménech i Montaner to be World Heritage Sites.
Barcelona has an impressive cultural history dating as far back as its Roman origins. The city fiercely guards its rich artistic heritage yet also fosters new modern trends. As a result there is an endless choice of cultural and leisure activities on offer, with museums, exhibitions and sculptures as well as a hearty helping of music, theatre and dance.
Tradition and modernity also come together to create innovative and imaginative cooking, based on vegetables, fresh fish, sausages and olive oil. Confectionary and sparkling wines also form an important part of Barcelona’s gastronomy.
Wandering about Barcelona, you will come upon surprise after surprise: charming pedestrianized streets in the old town, green parks, a splendid modern water front area, excellent transport systems, business parks and conference halls.
Its exceptional communication networks, Mediterranean climate and multitude of tourist attractions have made Barcelona into an important business city.
Visitors to Barcelona, either for business or pleasure, have the opportunity to enjoy the Mediterranean Sea at Costa del Garraf or Costa del Marseme. The city itself also has beautiful urban beaches, marinas and golf courses by the sea. Moreover, nature lovers do not need to go far to get to La Cordillera Litoral (coastal mountains) and the Catalonian Pyrenees.
The Coast of Barcelona Province:The Costa de Ponent (or Costa del Garraf) is situated where the Garraf mountains meet the sea. Here the 10th Century Castelldelfels castle sits on a hill overlooking the town of the same name, a popular summer holiday spot due to its long sandy beaches.
Once you have crossed part of the Garraf Natural Park on the C-245 main road, you will arrive at Sitges; one of Catalonia’s most visited tourist areas with marinas and high class hotels. In the old town you can visit Sant Bartolomeu and Santa Tecla churches. Other important buildings include la Casa de la Vila, a XIX Century Neogothic building and the Maricel Palace which has examples of Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque Art. Sitges is internationally known for its film and theatre festivals.
From here the C-246 road will take you to our third proposed destination: Vilanova I la Geltrú, capital of the Garraf area. This pleasant town near the sea has an important fishing port and beaches which offer a range of water sports.
Costa de Llevant (better known as the Costa de Maresme) is situated on
other side of the city of Barcelona and stretches from Montgat to the mouth of the Tordera River. Here there are a lot of seaside spots, which due to excellent transport links with Barcelona have become residential areas. Along this coast there are long sandy beaches as well as small coves and towns where you can enjoy good food and all of the tourist facilities you could need.
On leaving Barcelona (N-11 main road, motorway A-19) the first places you will come across are Montgat and Alella, both of which are well known for their wines. Then there is Masnou, a residential town famous for its beach and marina and Vilassar de Mar with its attractive seafront. The next stop will be Mataró, an important industrial and commercial centre which also has an attractive marina. One of the town’s more emblematic buildings is the 16th Century Santa María de Mataró Basilica with its Medievalisit façade. There is also the Llauder Tower archaeological site with the remains of a Roman town from I to III AD.
The town of Caldes d’Etrac is situated a bit further North, where there are thermal spas. Then following the N-11 or the A-19 you will arrive at Arenys de Mar whose monuments and beaches attract a large number of visitors in the summer months. This is followed by the town of Canet with its beautiful modernist architecture and San Pol de Mar where Sant Pau Monastery is situated. A few kilometres further on you will find Calella, the tourist capital of the Marseme area. It has numerous restaurants and a lively nightlife which along with its beaches provide an attractive package for visitors. Our tour of this coast ends at Palafolls where you can visit the ruins of a XII to XV Century castle.
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- List of hotels in Barcelona city.
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Within the Province of Barcelona:The area around Barcelona contains numerous towns which merit a visit. One of which is the city of Vic, which you can get to from Barcelona by taking the N-152 road. Situated to the West of the impressive Sau reservoir; it has a noteworthy cathedral. Built towards the end of the XVIII Century, the Neoclassical style cathedral contains murals by Josep M. Sert. Next to it is the Episcopal Palace.
The A-18 motorway will take travellers on to Manresa which is noteworthy due to the Santa María de la Seu Basilic and the Santa Cova (Holy Cave). The latter is a shrine of great religious importance as Saint Ignacio de Loyola lived here.
Taking the C-1410 from Manresa you will arrive at Cardona. On a hill sits its castle, now a Parador de Turismo (state run hotel). The walled fortress includes, among other attractions, Sant VincenÇ de Cardona Church; an impressive 11th Century Romanesque building. However the best monument in this area is not manmade but slowly evolved naturally. It is the so called Montana de Sal (Salt Mountain); proof of the sea’s presence in the area around 65 million years ago.
Any trip through the Province of Barcelona must include two towns, united by the common denominator of wine making. These are Villafranca del Penedés and Sant Sadurni d’Anoia, know respectively as the capital of wine and the capital of cava (sparkling wine). Villafranca is the principal wine production and exportation centre in the Penedés area. The town is also very well known for its traditional market which is held every Saturday in the main square of the town centre. Sant Sadurni d’Anoia is the main producer of cava wine in Spain, producing around 130 million bottles per year. The wine cellars of the town definitely form part of its heritage, for example the Cordorniu wine cellars contain modernist style buildings by Puig i Cadafalc. Moreover the Freixenet cellars, built in 1889, are some of the oldest in the world and have some beautiful 1920’s architecture.
Natural Parks in the Province of Barcelona:
Montserrat Mountain National Park is an area of great natural and environmental value but is also emblematic of Catalonian culture. It is situated at the meeting point of the Llobregat and Noya Rivers, not far from Barcelona.
Monserrat Mountain dominates the horizon well before you arrive at its base. It is an immense rocky mass with ‘needles’ and jagged ridges. A geographical ‘accident’, the mountain’s rock formations are nevertheless unique and of great importance. The scenery is beautiful, the geology is outstanding and the area is rich in flora and fauna. Moreover there is a Monastery there. It is probably the most famous monastery in all of Catalonia and is steeped in history, art and culture.
Montseny National Park is part of a network of protected natural areas. It is in the Montseny Mountains situated between the areas of l’Osona, la Selva and El Vallès oriental. The countryside here is very beautiful and varied, with mountains, valleys, oak woods, pine forests and rivers. Within this National Park you can also visit more than a dozen small mountain churches, for example the parish churches of Montensy, Sant Marçal, and Aiguafreda de Dalt, to name but a few.
Sant Liorenç del Munt i l’Obac is situated near Terrasa in the Province of Barcelona. In this Natural Park there exists a large variety of vertebrates thanks to the forests which create the ideal conditions for these species. There are around 200 species of vertebrates and numerous endemic carnivorous invertebrate species.
Cadí-Moixeró National Park contains diverse countryside ranging from woods to valleys, meadows and mountains. This Natural Park is situated mid-way between the Provinces of Girona, Lleida and Barcelona. It also has typical alpine countryside and many valuable species of flora and fauna adapted to living at altitude rather than to a Mediterranean climate.
Further development at spain.on-map.net
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BARCELONA PROVINCE, Spain. Travel guide and travel information for the province of BARCELONA, Spain. SOL Spain On Line.
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