Barcelona, the origins

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  • 19-12-2016

Barcelona profile

Beyond Incoming is a DMC that is located at Barcelona. Barcelona, nowadays the capital of Catalonia, is the home of approximately 1.600.000 inhabitants, with a total metropolitan population of over 5.000.000 people. It lies on the western side of the Mediterranean Sea, flanked on the north by the Besos river, on the south by Llobregat river and on the west by Collserola mountain.

Barcelona has been host city for Universal Expo on 1888, the International Expo on 1929 and Olympic games on 1992. Nowadays the city of Barcelona is a global multicultural city well known for its cultural variety, financial importance and touristic attractions. The port of Barcelona is the busiest port for passenger cruise ships all over Europe, and the 2nd all over the World. Thanks to the well-known attractions of the city such as Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló, La Pedrera, El Camp Nou, l’Eixample and many others, the city receives over 9.000.000 of tourists per year that are interested in its vibrant history and culture.

Barcelona during Iberian times

Barcelonas’ history goes back up to 4.000 years before actual times, with the first nomadic settlements dating from the Neolithic period. However, it is not until 2nd century B.C. that the city had a permanent settlement of Laietani and Iberian people. It was under such settlement that the ancient name of Barcelona was finally created: “Barkeno” or “Barcino”.

That ancient city was stablished on what nowadays is known as the “Old City” (Ciutat Vella) and Montjuïc hill for the Iberian and Laietani respectively. The Laietani people were an agriculture-based society that as well lived on pastoralism and mining activities (steel, silver, copper and gold). From the city of Barkeno, they traded these metals with the Greek settlement of Empúries, about 140km north-east from the city.

Despite their early settlement, few are the remains of their stay in the city, with archeological remains located at Rovira hill, Peira hill and Putxet area, as well as the mountain of Tibidabo. On 1931 the main site at Rovira hill was discovered and excavations started quickly, however due to the Spanish civil war starting few years later, the remains were destroyed entirely to build up an anti-aerial artillery. According to archeologists, it had a wall with two main accesses into the settlement. Outside of the wall there were 44 water tanks that were excavated from the rock. Some ceramic pottery was also found, but unfortunately due to the short time that excavations occurred before war started, few was discovered about that settlement.

Later on it was found that the biggest settlement that remained in the city was the located in Montjuic hill. That settlement was able to produce a coin for their trade activites that was named as “Barkeno” and remains of such coins have been found, dated of the 3rd century B.C. Most of its remains were lost due to the fact that the hill was used as a rock quarry for long time and therefore all remains were destroyed while digging. On 1928, some silos were found in the base of the hill and it was believed to have been used to store agricultural stocks. In that area were found some ceramic pottery as well.

The locations of the Iberian villages were probably influenced by the facts that were looking for greater protection against invasions. Having all their settlements located in the top of the hills allowed them a much better control of the sea and the invasions coming from the other side of the mountains (mainland).

The city of Barkeno was later on invaded by the Romans on 2nd century B.C, which used part of the architecture built by the Iberian settlements although most of the Roman settlements that still remain nowadays were found in areas closer to the sea, allowing a better communication and trade.