An aerial view of the port as it is today.

The Port of Barcelona is very large, and in total, the port has 1,100 hectares of land dedicated to cruise ship and ferry berths, dry and liquid cargo handling, and container handling with 22.4 kilometres of berths and alongside depths of up to 16.0 metres. There are over one hundred shipping lines connecting the port to two hundred ports on five continents. The port has a long history dating back two thousand years as well as having a very great commercial importance as one of the major ports of Europe in the Mediterranean. The port is divided into three zones, the Old Port of Port Vell, the commercial port, and the logistics and container port, and it is managed by the Barcelona Port Authority. This is not the only port in Barcelona, as there are two additional yacht marinas in Port Olimpic and Port Forum Sant Adria to the north.

The whole of Catalonia is the hinterland of the Port of Barcelona, with an area of influence that stretches from the south of Europe to the Balearic islands and North Africa. Passenger traffic has increased from 2.88 million passengers in 2007 to 4.51 million passengers in 2018. Visitors come to see the great cathedral of Sagrada Familia, the life work of Antonio Gaudi, now with a fixed completion date after well over a century of construction work. Gaudi was born in Barcelona along with Picasso, Joan Miro and Salvador Dali and other great artists, but he was the only one to stay and work there for the rest of his life. The Paseo de Gracia, fantastic roof tops of buildings on Las Ramblas, the main street of the city, and Parc Guell are his other masterpieces in the city, the latter with a unique style of ceramic shapes, colourful lizards, entrance lodges with fantastic chimney pots, and seats patterned with ceramic pieces. There are also two storey cottages with very curved white roofs of a very quaint design. These sublime statements of a very singular style are unique and well worth a visit. Picasso painted an oil canvas of the Columbus (Colon) Tower Monument, at the meeting point of the port and the city, in 1917 before he moved to Paris and later to Malaga.


A view of the port probably from the 1920s. In the foreground is one of the identical sisters of Cia Transatlantica, either the Reina Eugenia or the Infanta Isabel de Borbon, both of which were lost in 1939 during the Spanish Civil War.


The City of Barcelona began building its walls for fortification back in the year 263 AD, not long after the first Barbarian invasions terrified the inhabitants. The King and Queen of Aragon owned the city as their capital between the years 1164 to 1285, with this influence culminating in the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella between 1452 and 1516. Ferdinand was born a Prince of Aragon to the north of Catalonia, and by his marriage to Isabella, Queen of Castile, the two thrones were united, thereby forming the powerful kingdom of Aragon and Castile. The reign of Isabella and Ferdinand was of unparalleled importance to the history of Spain, and their Christian Army succeeded in the driving out of Spain the last Muslims from Granada in 1492.

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