Catalonia's unique heritage, stunning beauty and opulence as well as centuries of burning aspiration to have freedom from Spanish monarchy and political regimes is reaching a climax as the country goes for a referendum on October 1 by Srishti Sisodia
Franco and freedom:
Francisco Franco was a brutal dictator. He led a successful military rebellion to overthrow Spain's democratic republic in the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) and ruled for 36 years.
In Catalonia, Franco?s regime was especially fierce; he abolished the Statute of Autonomy and set out to destroy Catalan's separatist government. At the Battle of Ebro in 1938, he killed more than 50,000 Catalan and took control of the region.
After the death of Franco, the movement for an independent state gained momentum in Catalonia. Currently, with a population of 7.5 million, Catalonia separatist government wants to declare Catalonia as an independent nation.
Fashion & Finance:
Barcelona is the sixth top-ranking European city for business, after London, Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Berlin.
Fashion is a big sector: Mango, Desigual and Custo are Catalan brands. Successful fashion events like 080 Barcelona Fashion are organised every year.
It is the biggest Mediterranean port in terms of goods volume, biggest European port in terms of cruise traffic. It accounts for 26 per cent of all Spanish exports.
Wine and veggies:
Barcelona is definitely a heaven on earth for all the foodies around the world. Catalonia is bestowed with the best produce from the sea, the mountains, vegetable gardens, and woodlands and this varied heritage has given rise to such popular recipes as escudella i carn d'olla, a type of pot au feu, and a chargrilled vegetable salad known as escalivada, these dishes reflect the blend of heritage, produce, tradition, culture, and creativity of Catalonia.
Dine in Catalonia is surely incomplete without wine. Catalonia's varied landscape and climate give it all the ingredients to make top-quality wines. The Catalan sparkling wine par excellence, cava, with its unique personality, different from any other wine.
The most loved city:
Ibiza: Ibiza is one of the Balearic islands, famous for its nightlife in Ibiza town. It attracts tourists from around the world.
Barcelona: A town that is known for its beautiful art and architecture and modernist landmark designed by Antoni Gaudi.
Barcelona becoming one of the EU's best-loved cities, famed for its 1992 Summer Olympics, trade fairs, football and tourism.
Camp Nou, founded in 1899 by Hans Gamper, home ground of FC Barcelona has become a symbol of football, social and cultural identity for millions of people around the world. But madness for sports doesn?t end here, Barcelona has become the first major European city with its own Olympics museum, the Museu Olympic I de l?Esport. The summer of 92 was one of the most important in the history of Barcelona for 1992 Barcelona?s Olympic.
FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid: The rivalry between the two football teams goes far beyond the field. It continues on social networking sites as well. Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos often get involved in verbal altercations.
Churches and other art:
The Sagrada Familia, Casa Vicens, Guell Pavilions, Palau Guell, Artigas Gardens, Casa Batllo are some extraordinary works of Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi.
Gaudi helped the Catalan architecture to receive a worldwide fame and reputation. The Sagrada Familia church is the most famous landmark in Barcelona.
During the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), the city of Barcelona suffered significantly, as it was the last holdout against Franco's Nationalist forces. The workshop at the Sagrada Familia was burned, and many of Gaudi's drawings and famed models were lost.
My language, my love:
Catalan is a language spoken in three regions of Spain: Catalonia, Valencia and the Balearic Islands rest of the Spain use Castilian as their official language.
The use of Catalan predominates only in Barcelona but is actively encouraged in education, official use and in media.
In Barcelona, 98% of the population speaks Castilian Spanish. About 50-60% of Barcelona?s total population speaks Catalan.