back to top

16 Facts About Barcelona That'll Make You Say, "Really?"

Whodda thunk?

Posted on

1. Barcelona's most famous beaches are manmade.

To gear up for its Olympics-hosting gig in 1992, the city renovated a 2-mile stretch of beach — previously in poor condition — by importing sand from Egypt.
Lluis Gene / AFP / Getty Images

To gear up for its Olympics-hosting gig in 1992, the city renovated a 2-mile stretch of beach — previously in poor condition — by importing sand from Egypt.

2. Sagrada Familia, Barcelona's iconic cathedral, is the world's largest unfinished church.

As of 2011, it was expected to complete construction around 2026.
Afp Contributor / AFP / Getty Images

As of 2011, it was expected to complete construction around 2026.

3. ...its architect, Antoni Gaudi, died in a freak accident in which he was hit by a tram.

But the actual fatal part was the fact that passerby mistook Gaudi for a beggar and didn't bother offering timely help that could've saved his life. He died three days later.
commons.wikimedia.org

But the actual fatal part was the fact that passerby mistook Gaudi for a beggar and didn't bother offering timely help that could've saved his life. He died three days later.

4. Las Ramblas, the city's most famous street, is actually a series of five smaller streets.

The boulevard is packed with buskers, art installations, restaurants, and shops, and is an essential stop for visitors.
Peresanz / Getty Images

The boulevard is packed with buskers, art installations, restaurants, and shops, and is an essential stop for visitors.

5. The city of Barcelona is home to nine UNESCO World Heritage sites.

By comparison, the entire country of the USA has 23 sites. (FYI, the above is Casa Batlló by Antoni Gaudi.)
Xavierarnau / Getty Images

By comparison, the entire country of the USA has 23 sites. (FYI, the above is Casa Batlló by Antoni Gaudi.)

6. It is home to one of the world's oldest amusement parks, Tibidabo Amusement Park.

Opened in 1901, Tibidabo amusement park is set atop Tibidabo Mountain and offers impressive panoramic views of Barcelona.
Osorioartist / Getty Images

Opened in 1901, Tibidabo amusement park is set atop Tibidabo Mountain and offers impressive panoramic views of Barcelona.

7. About 40% of residents speak Catalan, in addition to Spanish.

Catalan is not a dialect of Spanish, as many may presume, but a language derived from Latin.
Lobro78 / Getty Images

Catalan is not a dialect of Spanish, as many may presume, but a language derived from Latin.

8. There are 12 abandoned metro stations under the city.

One of its most famous ones is the Gaudi station, located just below Avinguda de Gaudí, in front of the Sagrada Família. Rumors say that mysterious, ghostly figures have been spotted at the station. 😨
Flickr / Tobias Mandt / Via flic.kr

One of its most famous ones is the Gaudi station, located just below Avinguda de Gaudí, in front of the Sagrada Família. Rumors say that mysterious, ghostly figures have been spotted at the station. 😨

9. Camp Nou, home to FC (Futbol Club) Barcelona, is the biggest stadium in Europe.

It has a capacity of 99,354, and helped host the Olympic games in 1992.
Alex Caparros / Getty Images

It has a capacity of 99,354, and helped host the Olympic games in 1992.

10. In 2005, Spain became the fourth country ever to legalize same-sex marriage.

Despite religious opposition, polls showed that most Spaniards supported gay marriage.
Cesar Rangel / AFP / Getty Images

Despite religious opposition, polls showed that most Spaniards supported gay marriage.

11. A figure of a man pooping is featured in most nativity scenes in Barcelona.

instagram.com

This figure is called the "Caganer," which roughly translates to "The Crapper." Its origins are unknown, but some people believe he symbolizes fertility, and that placing him in the nativity scene may lead to a plentiful growing season.

12. In recent years, Spain's bourgeoning weed scene has been dubbed as the "Holland of the south."

In 2017, the rise of Cannabis clubs in the country (there as many as 700 in operation today) even prompted the government of Catalonia — of which Barcelona is the capital — to legalize marijuana.
David Ramos / Getty Images

In 2017, the rise of Cannabis clubs in the country (there as many as 700 in operation today) even prompted the government of Catalonia — of which Barcelona is the capital — to legalize marijuana.

13. Barcelona has the worst traffic in Spain, according to TomTom's traffic index.

Drivers in Barcelona spend an average of 31 extra minutes per hour at the wheel during peak hours.
@nicola___smith / Via instagram.com

Drivers in Barcelona spend an average of 31 extra minutes per hour at the wheel during peak hours.

14. Park Güell, a popular public park system, was originally meant to be a housing complex.

It was designed by Antoni Gaudi and is a modernist work of art. Take a look for yourself.
Cesar Rangel / AFP / Getty Images

It was designed by Antoni Gaudi and is a modernist work of art. Take a look for yourself.

15. It has Europe's first and only museum dedicated to funeral carriages.

Spooky lighting, off-white walls, and hanging lanterns apparently contribute to a spooky vibe.
CEMENTIRIS DE BARCELONA / Via Facebook: cementirisdebarcelona

Spooky lighting, off-white walls, and hanging lanterns apparently contribute to a spooky vibe.

16. In many tapas bars and cafes, it's completely normal to throw used napkins on the floor.

youtube.com

It's not a widespread practice (aka, please don't start throwing napkins on the floor at your nice, sit-down restaurant), but at some bars, some people would say that the more napkins on the floor, the better the food.

Top trending videos

Watch more BuzzFeed Video Caret right

Top trending videos

Watch more BuzzFeed Video Caret right
The best things at three price points