The ultimate goal of travelling is to enjoy ourselves. When we travel we look forward to seeing new places and people, discovering different ways of living and understanding life. We long to be marvelled and to capture all that the world offers. This possibility awakens not only our innate instinct for knowing but also feelings and emotions within us that often remain dormant in our day-to-day lives.
Gregorio and Elisabet, two enthusiastic private tour guides of Barcelona and the Catalonia region, great connoisseurs and admirers of their city, want that all mentioned before become a reality for everybody that visits this part of the globe, and see their mission as helping people realise the full potential of their travelling experience.
Barcelona, a little bit of History
Private tour guide in Barcelona
Barcelona was founded by Romans, by Emperor Augusto, exactly 2000 years ago. Romans, clever people, chose a very convenient spot located between two rivers one in the North and other in the South, it was a flat and fertile terrain in front of the sea, so they could live by fishing and agriculture, plenty of water coming from a short range of mountains north-west of the city brought to the city by aqueducts. Providing the perfect location for the kind of living on that time.
Today Barcelona, and most part of the world, has a different kind of society and economy, we no longer live just for surviving, and we try to take the most out of our lives. So, in these days the location is also perfect:
Near Barcelona are some of the nicest beaches in Spain (Costa Brava), Barcelona itself has acceptable beaches which locals and visitors use intensively almost for half of the year, not far from Barcelona also we have some of the highest mountains in Spain: the Pyrenees, most years for more than four months, people from Barcelona and Catalonia go skiing.
Barcelona was not an important city in Roman times, in fact one of the 2 capitals in Spain in that time was Tarragona (Tarraco in Latin), just 65 miles south of Barcelona, also by the sea. So if you are interested in Romans this is the place to visit, nevertheless in Barcelona we also can find Roman remains in the underground of the old city, in fact we have some of the biggest archaeological works in Europe, with very accurate and precise information about how was life in Roman times.
Despite this introduction about Roman Barcelona, this is not considered one of the high points in the History of the city. One of the real high points in the history of Barcelona was in medieval times, more precisely in XIII, XIV and XV centuries. Barcelona rose from humble beginnings in Roman times and a dull period after that to become a splendid, powerful city in Middle Ages, fighting other Mediterranean cities for control over regional trade. From that period, today, in a day tour and with the help and explanations of a licensed tour guide, we may visit one of the highlights of Barcelona: Gothic Quarter, with the Cathedral of the city, King´s Square, Gothic palaces, two other Gothic churches that have nothing to envy the Cathedral, Jewish Quarter, Gothic entrance to the City Council and to the Palace of the Local Government, romantic Squares, etc…
At the beginning of the XVIII century Barcelona and Catalonia region became dominated by the military strength of Spain but found a kind of liberation from this through the industrial revolution and subsequent artistic movement – ‘Modernism’.
This time also gave us other notable highlights of Barcelona: famous houses by Gaudí, architect of Sagrada Familia, in Paseo de Gracia, the main street of the new city, together with more than 200 houses considered artworks, that were built by other important architects of that time and paid for by the rich businessmen from the time of the industrial revolution, end of XIX century till the 20’s of the XX century.
In recent times, the 1992 Olympic Games revived the city after the dark period of General Franco’s dictatorship. It was an excitement and investment that brought together the historical and cosmopolitan aspects of the town that we all currently enjoy. This event can be considered a turning point in the history of the city: Barcelona was put on the map, and also different areas of the city were improved, being the main ones Montjuic hill and maritime façade, constituting today’s the third highlight of Barcelona.
We can track, with the explanations of a Barcelona tour guide, these three most important ages in the history of the city by contemplating and admiring what people from these other times left us as a legacy.