Barcelona, located on the northern Mediterranean coast of Spain, is undoubtedly the most cosmopolitan and economically active city in the country.
Barcelona has been an urban laboratory since the High Middle Ages. It is a place of diversity, a backdrop for a multiplicity of social and cultural processes on multiple scales that reflect different ways of constructing the future, a city with a long experience of urban life and social innovations.
This is a city that has constantly reinvented itself. The early industrial era, the periods of strife such as the Tragic Week of 1909 and the May Day of 1937, the Spanish Civil War, the transition to democracy, the 1992 Olympics, and present-day cultural activity all show how Barcelona has experienced new ways of reclaiming the city for its citizens. Its history is reflected by its urban layout and in the way that it continues to take shape.
Barcelona has a long history and there are monuments from the Romanesque, Gothic and Renaissance periods and even earlier, but the most characteristic architecture dates from the last 100 years.
Barcelona is a centre of Modernista architecture and is especially distinguished by the works of Antoni Gaudí, who together with his great contemporaries gave the city a new and exciting look, while remaining at the pinnacle of modernity since then.