Whether you’re just visiting Barcelona or have been living here for years, there are always new secrets to discover about this fascinating city. Here are 5 interesting facts about Barcelona you may never have heard before.
1. It was once the capital of Spain
Barcelona and Catalonia were once the capital of Spain. During the time of the Roman Empire, the smaller region of Tarragona (Tarroc, during Roman times) was originally the capital. However, they later moved it to Barcelona, the main city of their colony in Spain known as Hispania.
Related Article: Tarragona, a city with a Roman History
2. It’s home to a Statue of Liberty
What does Barcelona have in common with New York City? A lot of things you might say. Both are thriving, cosmopolitan cities renowned the world over for their urban landscape. And one more thing. They both have a Statue of Liberty. Barcelona’s, however, is much smaller than the famous Statue of Liberty in New York. Not only is it smaller but it’s also made of bronze metal and very few people seem to know where it is. It can be found in the oldest library in Barcelona, Arús Library, which was founded in 1985.
3. Spain’s first railway was in Barcelona
This fact might come as no surprise if you’ve ever seen the public transport systems and metro lines in Barcelona. Railways arrived late in Spain in comparison to other European countries. Northern Europe had the perfect terrain and economic resources to get the railway lines set up, while Spain’s mountainous terrain and economic struggles were the main reasons for their late establishment. The very first railway line in Spain connected Barcelona to Mataró.
Related Article: Miquel Biada and the First Railway in Barcelona
4. The statue of Columbus does not point to America
If you’ve been to Barcelona, you can’t miss the famous Cristopher Columbus statue at the end of La Rambla near the port. However, not many know that he actually isn’t pointing towards America. This is just a rumor which seemed to spread. Another incorrect theory is that the statue points towards Columbus’s home city of Genoa. It’s now believed that he is just pointing out to the sea in representation his naval expeditions.
5. The first photo in Spain was taken in Barcelona
In 2014, there was a 175th anniversary of the first photo ever taken in Spain. It was taken in Barcelona. The photo was taken in 1839 at one of Barcelona’s most beautiful plazas, Pla de Palau. The first photo was taken with a daguerreotype camera, and 175 years later the same replica photo was taken with the same type of camera preserved by the Museu de la Cienca i de La Tecnica de Catalunya.