Established in 3rd century BC, Barcelona has some of the most interesting cultural history of any city in the world. Named after the Carthaginian, Hamilcar Barca, the city was founded during this time and later influenced by the Romans who settled there in 1st century BC.
In 5th century AD, the Visigoths occupied what was known to them as Barcinona. The Moors, the Franks, and finally the Spanish all took their turns at the metropolis, and it ended with a conglomeration of cultural prowess that is incomparable to other cities.
With remains of city walls, temples pillars, and graves, it is relatively simple to map the history of Barcelona. The Iberian Peninsula has been a melting pot of multiple cultures and remains one of the prominent areas for diversity and the like.
By the year 415, Athauf the leader of the Romanised Visigoths established a capital in Barcino. He later moved on to Toletum (Toledo) in the next century.
When these strong people left, lawlessness took over and there was a serious lack of order.
At present day Gibraltar, the Muslim General Tariq landed an expedition and effortlessly swept across the peninsula all the way to France. He was finally stopped by the Franks in 732 after much savagery.
Barcelona was again taken away from the Muslims in the early 800’s by Luis the Pious who ruled Barcino for quite some time. Being a frontier town, Barcelona became a buffer region for the Frankish/ Spanish marches.
With much treachery and duelling for the land, Spain was becoming a prominent leader among the countries by the tenth century. Most of its leaders were related family members and there was a commonality of all to remain empowered for the land’s sake. Barcelona became an independent principality stretching over most of modern Catalonia.
Leaders would dole out justice as they saw fit during these brutal times. The cutting off of hands, feet, gouging out eyes, extremely lengthy prison stays and death by hanging were all intimidating tactics of the government to keep order and to hold crime at bay. Women were as much a target as anyone. The leaders would mandate the cutting off of noses, ears, breasts and lips. Burning women at the stake was always an option in extreme cases.
During the Mediterranean Empire, Juame I ensued some spectacular missions in the 1200’s. He took part of the mainland and successfully completed a 16 year conquest of the area. With the rise of Parliament, more organized government was established and the more modern times were ushered in.
Castillian domination occurred in the 1300’s. The economy collapsed. The Black Death killed many and the Jewish population suffered a pogrom. Aragonese nobility rose up in the 1400’s and saw a chance to usurp the Catalonian influence.
From the 1500’s to the 1600’s much civilization was being reordered and many strides were made to crush corrupt politics. The Reaper’s War was a rising up of impoverished Catalonia and things began to turn around for the area of Barcino. Catalonia was declared an “independent republic” under the rule of the French.
A new boom came when a ban on trade with the Spanish American countries was lifted. International trade became the norm, and the ports of Spain began to transfer wealth in all directions for its successful industrial accomplishments.
Barcelona’s history has been well preserved through the centuries via the artists and architectural designs that were saved from earlier time spans. Museums house intriguing artefacts and historical monuments are guarded and displayed with pride. It is definitely the city to visit, but don’t “drink from the fountain”. You may never find your way home.
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