Barcelona, the capital and the most popular city of Catalonia is the second biggest city of Spain, situated at Mediterranean coast, between Besos and Llobregat rivers. Barcelona was first founded by Hercules, 400 years prior to building Rome, after which it was reconstructed by the Carthaginian Hamilcar Barca and named it Barcino in 3rd century BC. According to another legend it was discovered directly by Hamilcar Barca.
During 15th century BC, Barcelona was redrawn by the Romans as castrum (Roman camp for military) located on "Mons Taber", a small hill near the present day city hall (Plaça de Sant Jaume). Under Roman reign Barcelona was a colony, named as Colonia Faventia Julia Augusta Pia Barcino. Some significant Roman wrecks are found under Plaça del Rei. The typical grid-planning by the Romans is visible even now in the outline of the Barri Gòtic. Some residual portions of those Roman walls are still incorporated in the cathedral, known also as basilica La Seu, founded around 343BC. Barcelona was defeated by the Visigoths, then by the Moors, before it was conquered back by the son of Charlemagne, Louis in 801 who made the city the place of Carolingian "Spanish Marches". Barcelona continued to be Christian territory when Al Mansur sacked the city in 985.
Between the Middle Ages and today’s Barcelona, the city has been known as Barchenona, Barchinona, Brchelona and Barçalona. Its history is ancient and interesting and much of its history can still be seen in its architecture today. It is also possible to see a number of the ruins from these ancient sites, making it a fascinating city to visit.
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