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Arts & Culture

Myths and Legends about Barcelona

Barcelona Myths and Legends
Written by Kerry

Panoramic view of Barcelona

There are several myths and legends about the architecture in Barcelona.  Also, about the city itself and how it got its name, Barcelona.  Many of the legends focus on the Gothic Quarters, which has four Roman columns.  Three were originally from the temple  they house the headquarters of the Catalan Excursionist Centre (CEC) on Carrer Paradis.  The columns are the remains of the ancient Temple of Augustus which are at the highest point of the city on Mont Taber.

The Four Roman columns

In order to prevent Barcelona from having tainted origins several legends have been devised about the original history of Barcelona.  It has been said to be the city of Greek origin and it was founded by Hercules.  Hercules was on a journey when nine ships were separated and eight managed to regroup.  When they set off to find the ninth ship, they found it moored at the bottom of the hill of Montjuic.

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Barcelona Top Myths and Legends

Gothic Quarters

The crew members fell in love with the area and decided to name it Barca (boat) an Nona (ninth), Barcanona.  Apparently, Hercules met a girl in the city and fell in love with her, her name was Pyrene.  They couldn’t spend more than two months together, because their journeys stopped them from staying longer together.  This is where the name ‘Pyrenees’ comes from.

Another legend is the city’s origins are attributed to the Carthaginians, to Hannibal Barca, Hannibal’s father.  When Hannibal arrived in the city, he fell in love with it and gave it, his surname Barca.

These stories remain legends because they lack foundation. There are no archaeological grounds or historical evidence to back them up.

The quiet street of Carrer Hercules runs along Placa Sant Just, which has a wealth of history.  A Gothic water fountain which dates back to the fourteenth century can be found on this square.  The legend says that it was created by Joan Fiveller when he was hunting in the forests of Collserola when he came across a spring.  The fountain was built on where the sprint was at the time and it still resides to date.  It is near the palace and it is fully functional.  It is the oldest fountain in Barcelona and the most important public fountain in the city.

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About the author


Kerry is a journalism student and a blogger living in Barcelona.

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