The City of Barcelona



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skyline liberal Art Nouveau
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The city of Barcelona and its surrounding are are home to some five million people.

Pau Guardans was born in Barcelona. In 2005, he opened the Grand Hotel Central, in the Elborne District. The hotel owner knows what visitors really love about Barcelona.

Pau Guardans, Hotel Owner: “A fantastic weather, friendly people, nice food, great culture and architecture, and very interesting nightlife. And so it a very nice combination, probably there is no single combination like that in the world.”

The city skyline is dominated by the Catalan form of Art Nouveau.

Its best-known protagonist was the architect Antoni Gaudi. He designed unique buildings from 1878 until his death in 1926, including world-famous landmarks like Park Guell and the still unfinished, La Sagrada Familia.

Medieval city walls restricted Barcelona’s growth up until the 19th century.
But today there is room for historical and modern architecture.

“On the 19th century, they decided to grow. And then they made it at the same time. The whole growth was according to a plan.

That’s why the new area for Barcelona was called the “Enchanted”, which is the growing area, where the portrait of Gaudi is, where Paquel de Grassa is.

And that allowed the making of that special planning of streets in a very rational way. It’s not very normal that you have a city that can grow on a jump.”

Pau Guardan says Barcelona’s special mixture is owed to the fact that it was never the capital of Spain. That made it more liberal.

The city center has some 35,000 shops and boutiques. Many sell Spanish brands that enjoy international renown. Barcelona has a proud tradition in the textile and shoe industries.

Espadrilles have been made and sold here for more than 70 years. The canvas shoe has been to have originated in the region.

The traditional shoe makers La Manuel al Paga Terra, has custom made Espadrilles for US actor Jack Nicholson, French fashion designer Jean Paul Gautier and Pope John Paul II.

The company is proud of its long tradition.

“It is a town with a lot of creativity and we embrace new things very easily…but we have to keep our roots otherwise we can just go “blow-up with the wind”.

The region is also known for fine cuisine. The Santa Catarina Market sells all the ingredients for typical, regional dishes, which combine the best of the sea and the mountains. With 20 restaurants boasting Michelin Stars, Barcelona is a magnet for gourmets.

Pau Guardans who also runs hotels in Bilbao and Madrid, presents his favorite Catalan dish in the Porta’s restaurant.

Fidiao is a pan-fried dish with very small noodles.

“It’s a kind of food of a bit of all the Mediterranean. It’s a mixed food of all that you have at home. You can sit here in the fidioas. There’s different fidioas: fidioas with fish, fidioas with vegetables or like paella; it’s the same.

And that’s the nice thing about Catalan food: you know what you are eating.”

Barcelona offers a mixture of culture and fine-dining. A city to explore and a seaside for relaxing.

And with average temperatures of twenty degrees Celsius, you can enjoy the city’s long kilometers of Mediterranean beaches for much of the year.

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1. Barcelona is a medium-sized town. True or false? What is Barcelona’s population?

2. Is Pau Guardan an artist? Who is he? What is his job or profession?

3. Why do people like Barcelona? What makes Barcelona attractive?

4. The main architecture style of Barcelona is neo-classical and Baroque. Is this right or wrong?

5. Who was the most famous resident of Barcelona? Why was he so famous?

6. Is Barcelona a conservative, moderate, or liberal city? Why is it . . . . . . ?

7. Barcelona is shopper’s mecca. Is this correct or incorrect? What industries of Catalonia are renowned (famous)?

8. Is Catalan cuisine varied? Describe a popular Catalan dish.

9. Describe the climate and geography of Barcelona.
A. Is your city a tourist destination? What is it famous for?

B. Are you from Catalonia? Do you live in Barcelona? Have you ever been to Barcelona?

C. Have you met anyone from Barcelona? Who were they? What were they doing?

D. Describe the climate and geography of Catalonia.

E. Describe the economy of Catalonia. What does it import and export?

F. Does Barcelona have any problems or challenges?

G. What is the food of Catalonia like? Describe Catalan cuisine.

H. What are some tourists attractions (cultural, historical, natural)?

I. What comes to mind when you think of Barcelona? What do you associate with Catalonia?

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