May 10th, 2014

Barcelona – the first beauty of Catalonia

The capital of Catalonia, which geographically belongs to Spain but is an area prone to strong French influence and, at the same time stressed individual, proud and independent. Her most glorified poet, painter, "eternal child" – the architect Antonio Gaudi, the city became Thanks to him, not just open-air museum, and a fairy tale incarnate on earth.

"Barcelona! Barcelona "- Montserrat Caballe singing. "Barcelona! Barcelona "- echoed her Freddie Mercury. After the Olympic Games in 1992, which, in fact, this was written a great song, Barcelona learned even those who have never heard of it. Although, of course, any more or less educated person can not know about this amazing city.

History of Barcelona dates back to those distant days when the Iberian Peninsula was also called Iberia. Master of the Mediterranean was then actually trading republic of Carthage. One of the two most distinguished families of this state was Barca family, which came from Hannibal. Party of its supporters had a policy of territorial expansion of Carthage and at first realize it quite successfully. By the beginning of the III century BC. e. Republic controlled most of modern Spain. By this time, and applies the base of Barcelona. Hannibal's father, Hamilcar Barca, founded at the foot of Montjuc (213 m) settlement, which the locals named in his honor Barsine.

But soon fortune turned back to the Carthaginians. As a result of an unsuccessful war with Rome, Carthage lost his province. However, the fate of Iberia is not very affected. Winners-Romans got to the future of Barcelona until the end of the I century BC. e. However, decided to found a city in the neighboring mountains Taber. The colony was named Julia Augusta Paterna Faventsiya Barsine.

Prior to joining the Visigoths life in a Roman colony proceeded rather uneventfully and provincially, without any shocks. Regular hosts primarily in Barsinovu Barsine renamed, and then made it the capital of their new land. Barsinova main city remained for 23 years (up to 554), while the capital was moved to Toledo. Then in 716, the Arabs invaded Barsinova was almost a hundred years. Release it from the Muslims was only the troops of Louis the Pious I. Franks has made Barcelona brand (area) of his empire. So the future Spanish province for the first time has stood apart from the rest of the country, because most of Iberia remained in the hands of Muslims.

Northerners were not going to stop there and continued to actively fight "for the faith and of the earth", which was later called the Reconquista. In one of the battles strongly distinguished Gifred el Pylos. According to legend, this future national hero of Catalonia remained on the battlefield, even after being wounded, and continued to fight with weapons in their hands. For this feat son of Louis Charles I, surnamed the Bald, gave him power over Barcelona and the title of Count. Since then the city has its own coat of arms: a shield, which on the golden field consisted of four vertical red stripes. Some say that this is a consequence of bloody fingers hero, others argue that the stroke of Charles the Bald – also blood. Whatever it was, with the 878 became the Count of Barcelona city.

In 988, after Louis V Catalans refused to help in the fight against the Moors, the lords of Barcelona declared their independence.
The Middle Ages were the most fruitful for Catalonia. Count of Barcelona, like all rulers sought to expand the boundaries of their county, and they managed it quite successfully. Ramon Berenguer III reconquered from the Moors Ibiza, Majorca and Taraki. Succeeded him in 1137 Berenguer IV, Ramon also took a dowry of Provence, profitable marrying Petrolina Aragon. As a result, in Europe formed Catalonia-Aragon kingdom, which soon became the most extensive and powerful state.

Reign of the first king – Alfonso II, by all accounts, is considered the golden age of Barcelona. The new ruler best continued his father, adding to the Kingdom of Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, Naples, Roussillon and even (for a while) Greece. Since then, Barcelona became the most important port on the Mediterranean and the largest city of the peninsula. Such a situation requires. The city gradually grew, and strengthened the fortifications were completed, erected churches, houses and palaces, opened schools.

As for the whole of Spain, a huge role in the history of Barcelona played the marriage of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella of Castile. Especially significant for the city that was here Christopher Columbus received the consent of the Queen on the expedition, which resulted in the discovery of America.

Spain experienced a moment of victory and triumph, but for Barcelona it's a troubled time. After the transfer of the capital in 1561 from Toledo to Madrid, it became an ally of France. Perhaps it was because the Catalans considered their main city more deserving of this honor. It comes here and become ever