Flag of Barcelona
Flag of Barcelona
Spain (1931-1939)
Spain (1931-1939)
Present day flag
Present day flag
 This is how Meher Baba would have looked like during his visit to Barcelona. The photo was taken at Sakkara, Egypt in Dec 1932. Image rendition by Anthony Zois.
This is how Meher Baba would have looked like during his visit to Barcelona. The photo was taken at Sakkara, Egypt in Dec 1932. Image rendition by Anthony Zois.

There are no images of Meher Baba taken in Spain.

Early November 1933 : Courtesy of Love Alone Prevails ; Kitty Davy - p 115
Early November 1933 : Courtesy of Love Alone Prevails ; Kitty Davy - p 115



The fact was that, for the mandali, the trip to Spain had been anything but a vacation. Baba had created situations in which he continually embarrassed and teased them in front of the Westerners. Chanji, Kaka and Adi Jr. felt like they were at a breaking point — while to the Westerners, everything seemed wonderful. Several times in private, Chanji had broken down and wept. Although Baba had tried to console him, Chanji could not check his feelings. At other times, Baba would be indifferent and cold toward him, and these terribly "pinching moments," as Chanji described them, were filled with desperation and internal suffering. So, for the mandali, staying with Baba was never easy.

Baba sent Norina to Zurich, and Minta and Quentin to London via Paris. He boarded a train to Barcelona at 8:20 P.M. with Herbert, Chanji, Kaka and Adi Jr. On the train, Baba turned to Herbert and remarked, "Last week, it was goodbye in London. Here tonight for those who left. And it will then be at Marseilles for you. There are always these sad moments of separation for me, either at leaving India or at leaving those in the West."

Lord Meher Page 1572

Present day
Present day

Age marveled at the Ancient One's compassion. "On behalf of his lovers, the One who never leaves us even for a moment was feeling sad at separation from himself!"

They arrived in Barcelona the following morning at 9:22 from Madrid. As the train pulled into the station, Baba spelled on his board, "My agent knows I am coming. He is unique among my agents, as he is a policeman in ordinary life."

As they descended to the platform, they were met much to their surprise by a military escort of rows of officials and a large, blaring brass band. Some important officials must have also been on the train. Little did the people know whom they had really come to welcome to their city!

Baba and the group went to a travel agent, who booked them on a tour of the city. This day was a holiday which celebrated the newly-formed state of Catalonia, and the streets were jammed with milling crowds, much to Baba's delight. The guide took them to the cathedral and the old parliament house, where they witnessed a great procession of all the officials in the ceremony being held. A curious coincidence with Baba's arrival in the city.


Lord Meher Page 1572

Postcard - front side ; Courtesy of The Ocean of Love,
Postcard - front side ; Courtesy of The Ocean of Love,
Rear of the above postcatd. Courtesy ofThe Ocean of Love book.
Rear of the above postcatd. Courtesy ofThe Ocean of Love book.

The guide then took them to the summit of Mt. Tibidabo.


It was so beautiful that Baba decided to send the tour bus on its way and stay longer. They walked along the hill, looking out over the Mediterranean and the Iberian Pyrenees.

They visited an amusement park, where Baba and the men rode in electric cars and patronized the sideshows. There was a penny arcade and Baba inserted coins in each machine, calling on some children ( there to enjoy a puppet show ) to help him with the games.

Baba was thoroughly enjoying himself and continued to wander along the mountain. He spotted an inviting cave and commented, "We should stay here the next time I am in Spain." He again remembered those dear to him who were absent. Then they returned to the city.

Baba sat among the fountains and gardens of the crowded Plaza de Cataluna until it was time to leave for the train. It was then that a policeman in the plaza kept glancing at Baba in a marked, significant way, and Baba confirmed that this was the agent whom he had to contact.


Lord Meher Page 1573

On one occasion, Baba explained about his agents:


As holders of distinct and different offices, agents carry out important work for the Avatar. Upon the death of an agent, his office is automatically filled by a successor; for just as there is always an Avatar, so also there are always his agents.

There are three types of agents:


(1) Direct agents, of whom there are very few. There is one in Europe, one in Asia, one in America, one in Africa — in fact, one on almost every important continent. These agents receive directions directly from the Avatar.

(2) Indirect agents, of whom there are few. They receive orders from the direct agents.

(3) Borrowed agents, of whom there are many. They receive orders from the indirect agents.


The principal agents are always on the fourth plane, and through the powers that they wield on this plane, they act for the Avatar. They may even do miracles for him, since the Avatar almost never performs miracles; but if he wished to do so, he must actually station himself on the fourth plane at the time of doing the miracle.

The agents are on the fourth plane only because of the necessity of using certain of their powers for the work of the Avatar. They are not in the position of those [mahayogis] on the spiritual path who, when they reach the fourth plane, may use their powers for good, or may misuse them and fall back to a very primitive state of evolution [stone-form].


Lord Meher Page 1573

Baba also indicated that the various agents he had contacted who were stationed in Sing Sing Prison, Lugano, Santa Margherita and Barcelona were all borrowed agents. The one in Warsaw, whom Herbert contacted, was an indirect agent. The Italian, named Christiano, whom Baba contacted in Rome, was a direct agent.


They left Barcelona at 7:00 P.M. and arrived twelve hours later in Marseilles on Thursday, 2 November 1933. Enid Corfe and Otto Haas-Heye were there to meet them. They went to the Bristol Hotel for breakfast and a bath; afterward Baba discussed matters in private individually with Herbert, Enid and Otto.

Baba boarded the SS Viceroy of India at noon and they all sat together in silence in his cabin before it was time to depart. In a splendid mood, Baba stated, "You do not see me as I really am. This body is not me; my Real Self is far more beautiful. I am Infinite Truth. I am Infinite Love. I am Life Eternal."


Lord Meher Page 1574

Inside Sagrada - Barcelona
Inside Sagrada - Barcelona
Roof of the Sagrada Familia, Spain
Roof of the Sagrada Familia, Spain
Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia
Sagrada Familia
Las Ramblas in Barcelona
Las Ramblas in Barcelona

Barcelona Central Railway Station - Estacio de Franca - 1929


Courtesy of  Wikipedia


Barcelona (English /bɑrsɨˈlnə/, Catalan: [bərsəˈɫonə], Spanish: [barθeˈlona]) is the capital city of the autonomous community of Catalonia in Spain and the country's 2nd largest city, with a population of 1.6 million[1] within its administrative limits.

Its urban area extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of around 4.5 million people, being the sixth-most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, London, the Ruhr, Madrid and Milan. About five million[2][3][4][5][6] people live in the Barcelona metropolitan area. It is the largest metropolis on the Mediterranean Sea, located on the coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs, and bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola mountain range, the tallest peak of which is 512 metres (1,680 ft) high.

Founded as a Roman city, in the Middle Ages Barcelona became the capital of the County of Barcelona. After merging with the Kingdom of Aragon, Barcelona continued to be an important city in the Crown of Aragon. Besieged several times during its history, Barcelona has a rich cultural heritage and is today an important cultural centre and a major tourist destination. Particularly renowned are the architectural works of Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner, which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean is located in Barcelona. The city is known for hosting the 1992 Summer Olympics as well as world-class conferences and expositions and also many international sport tournaments.

Barcelona is one of the world's leading tourist, economic, trade fair/exhibitions and cultural-sports centres, and its influence in commerce, education, entertainment, media, fashion, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities.[7][8] It is a major cultural and economic centre in southwestern Europe (Iberian Peninsula), 24th in the world (before Zürich, after Frankfurt)[9] and a financial centre (Diagonal Mar and Gran Via). In 2008 it was the fourth most economically powerful city by GDP in the European Union and 35th in the world with GDP amounting to €177 billion.[10] In 2012 Barcelona had a GDP of $170 billion; it is lagging Spain on both employment and GDP per capita change.[11] In 2009 the city was ranked Europe's third and one of the world's most successful as a city brand.[12] In the same year the city was ranked Europe's fourth best city for business and fastest improving European city, with growth improved by 17% per year,[13] but it has since been in a full recession with declines in both employment and GDP per capita, with some recent signs of the beginning of an economic recovery.[14] Barcelona is a transport hub with one of Europe's principal seaports, an international airport which handles above 35 million passengers per year,[15] an extensive motorway network and a high-speed rail line with a link to France and the rest of Europe.[16]



Barcelona is located in Spain
Location of Barcelona within Spain
Barcelona is located in Catalonia
Location of Barcelona within Catalonia
Coordinates: 41°23′N 2°11′ECoordinates: 41°23′N 2°11′E
Country Spain Spain
Autonomous Community
Catalonia Catalonia
 • Type Mayor-council
 • Body Ajuntament de Barcelona / Ayuntamiento de Barcelona
 • Mayor Xavier Trias (CiU)
 • Municipality
101.9 km2 (39.3 sq mi)
 • Urban 803 km2 (310 sq mi)
Elevation(AMSL) 12 m (39 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Municipality
1,620,943 (city limits)
3,218,071 (Greater Barcelona)
 • Density 15,991/km2 (41,420/sq mi)
 • Urban
4,604,000 Increase
 • Metro
5,375,774 Increase
Barcelonan or Barcelonian
barceloníbarcelonina (ca)
barcelonésbarcelonesa (es)
Time zone
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code
Area code
+34 (Spain) 93 (Province)

Official language(s)

Catalan and Spanish




The name Barcelona comes from the ancient Iberian Phoenician Barkeno, attested in an ancient coin inscription in Iberian script as Barkeno in Levantine Iberian script,[17] in ancient Greek sources as Βαρκινών, Barkinṓn;[18][19] and in Latin as Barcino,[20] Barcilonum[21] and Barcenona.[22][23][24]

During the Middle Ages, the city was variously known as Barchinona, Barçalona, Barchelonaa, and Barchenona.

Some sources say that the city may have been named after the Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca, who was supposed to have founded the city in the 3rd century BC.[25]

Barcelona's name is sometimes abbreviated as 'Barna'. Nowadays, foreign people sometimes mistakenly refer to Barcelona as 'Barça', the popular name of the F.C. Barcelona sports club. Some people (mainly in Spanish/Catalan) also use 'BCN', often written 'Bcn', which actually corresponds to the IATA airport code of the Barcelona-El Prat Airport. The city is also referred to as the "ciudad condal" in Spanish and "ciutat comtal" in Catalan, owing to its past as home to the Count of Barcelona.



Main article: History of Barcelona

A marble plaque in the Museu d'Història de la Ciutat de Barcelona, dated from around 110-130 AD and dedicated to the Roman colony of Barcino

The founding of Barcelona is the subject of two different legends. The first attributes the founding of the city to the mythological Hercules. The second legend attributes the foundation of the city directly to the historical Carthaginian Hamilcar Barca, father of Hannibal, who named the city Barcino after his family in the 3rd century BC.[26]

In about 15 BC, the Romans redrew the town as a castrum (Roman military camp) centred on the "Mons Taber", a little hill near the contemporary city hall (Plaça de Sant Jaume). Under the Romans, it was a colony with the surname of Faventia,[27] or, in full, Colonia Faventia Julia Augusta Pia Barcino[28] or Colonia Julia Augusta Faventia Paterna Barcino. Pomponius Mela[29] mentions it among the small towns of the district, probably as it was eclipsed by its neighbour Tarraco (modern Tarragona), but it may be gathered from later writers that it gradually grew in wealth and consequence, favoured as it was with a beautiful situation and an excellent harbour.[30] It enjoyed immunity from imperial burdens.[31] The city minted its own coins; some from the era of Galba survive.

Basilica of La Mercè (Mare de Déu de la Mercè)

 Important Roman vestiges are displayed in Plaça del Rei underground, as a part of the Barcelona City History Museum MUHBA; the typically Roman grid plan is still visible today in the layout of the historical centre, the Barri Gòtic ("Gothic Quarter"). Some remaining fragments of the Roman walls have been incorporated into the cathedral.[32] The cathedral, also known as the Basilica La Seu, is said to have been founded in 343. The city was conquered by the Visigoths in the early 5th century, becoming for a few years the capital of all Hispania. After being conquered by the Arabs in the early 8th century, it was conquered in 801 by Charlemagne's son Louis, who made Barcelona the seat of the Carolingian "Hispanic March" (Marca Hispanica), a buffer zone ruled by the Count of Barcelona.

The Counts of Barcelona became increasingly independent and expanded their territory to include all of Catalonia. In 1137, Aragon and the County of Barcelona merged in dynastic union[33][34] by the marriage of Ramon Berenguer IV and Petronilla of Aragon, their titles finally borne by only one person when their son Alfonso II of Aragon ascended to the throne in 1162. His territories were later to be known as the Crown of Aragon, which conquered many overseas possessions and ruled the western Mediterranean Sea with outlying territories in Naples and Sicily and as far as Athens in the 13th century. The forging of a dynastic link between the Crowns of Aragon and Castile marked the beginning of Barcelona's decline. The Bank of Barcelona, probably the oldest public bank in Europe, was established by the city magistrates in 1401. It originated from necessities of the state, as did the Bank of Venice (1402) and the Bank of Genoa (1407).[35]


Barcelona in 1563

The marriage of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile in 1469 united the two royal lines. Madrid became the centre of political power whilst the colonisation of the Americas reduced the financial importance (at least in relative terms) of Mediterranean trade. Barcelona had always been the stronghold of Catalan separatism and was the center of the Catalan Revolt (1640–52) against Philip IV of Spain. The great plague of 1650–1654 halved the city's population.

The fortress at Montjuïc, most southerly point from which measurements were made when calculating the meridional definition of the metre

In the 18th century, a fortress was built at Montjuïc that overlooked the harbour. In 1794, this fortress was used by the French astronomer Pierre François André Méchain for observations relating to a survey stretching to Dunkirk that provided the official basis of the measurement of a metre.[37] The definitive metre bar, manufactured from platinum, was presented to the French legislative assembly on 22 June 1799. The Napoleonic wars left the province ravaged, but the postwar period saw the start of industrialization.

During the Spanish Civil War, the city, and Catalonia in general, were resolutely Republican. Many enterprises and public services were "collectivised" by the CNT and UGT unions. As the power of the Republican government and the Generalitat diminished, much of the city was under the effective control of anarchist groups. The anarchists lost control of the city to their own allies, the Communists and official government troops, after the street fighting of the Barcelona May Days. The fall of the city on 26 January 1939 caused a mass exodus of civilians who fled to the French border. The resistance of Barcelona to Franco's coup d'état was to have lasting effects after the defeat of the Republican government. The autonomous institutions of Catalonia were abolished,[38] and the use of the Catalan language in public life was suppressed. Barcelona remained the second largest city in Spain, at the heart of a region which was relatively industrialised and prosperous, despite the devastation of the civil war. The result was a large-scale immigration from poorer regions of Spain (particularly Andalusia, Murcia and Galicia), which in turn led to rapid urbanisation. Barcelona hosted the Olympic Games in 1992, which helped revitalise the city.


A panoramic view of Barcelona


Barcelona from high altitude

Barcelona is located on the northeast coast of the Iberian Peninsula, facing the Mediterranean Sea, on a plain approximately 5 km (3 mi) wide limited by the mountain range of Collserola, the Llobregat river to the southwest and the Besòs river to the north.[40] This plain covers an area of 170 km2 (66 sq mi),[40] of which 101 km2 (39.0 sq mi)[41] are occupied by the city itself. It is 120 kilometres (75 miles) south of the Pyrenees and the Catalan border with France.

Tibidabo, 512 m (1,680 ft) high, offers striking views over the city[42] and is topped by the 288.4 m (946.2 ft) Torre de Collserola, a telecommunications tower that is visible from most of the city. Barcelona is peppered with small hills, most of them urbanised, that gave their name to the neighbourhoods built upon them, such as Carmel (267 m), Putxet (181 m) and Rovira (261 m). The escarpment of Montjuïc (173 m), situated to the southeast, overlooks the harbour and is topped by Montjuïc castle, a fortress built in the 17–18th centuries to control the city as a replacement for the Ciutadella. Today, the fortress is a museum and Montjuïc is home to several sporting and cultural venues, as well as Barcelona's biggest park and gardens.

The city borders on the municipalities of Santa Coloma de Gramenet and Sant Adrià de Besòs to the north; the Mediterranean Sea to the east; El Prat de Llobregat and L'Hospitalet de Llobregat to the south; and Sant Feliu de Llobregat, Sant Just Desvern, Esplugues de Llobregat, Sant Cugat del Vallès, and Montcada i Reixac to the west.



Main article: Climate of Barcelona

Barcelona has a Mediterranean climate[43] (Köppen climate classification: Csa),[44] with mild, humid winters and warm, dry summers.

Its average annual temperature is 20 °C (68 °F) during the day and 11 °C (52 °F) at night. The average annual temperature of the sea is about 18 °C (64 °F). In the coldest month – January, the temperature typically ranges from 7 to 17 °C (45 to 63 °F) during the day, 2 to 10 °C (36 to 50 °F) at night and the average sea temperature is 13 °C (55 °F).[45] In the warmest month – August, the typical temperature ranges from 25 to 31 °C (77 to 88 °F) during the day, about 20 °C (68 °F) at night and the average sea temperature is 25 °C (77 °F).[45] Generally – the summer / "holiday" season lasts about six months, from May to October. Two months – April and November – are transitional; sometimes the temperature exceeds 20 °C (68 °F), with an average temperature of 17–18 °C (63–64 °F) during the day and 8–9 °C (46–48 °F) at night. December, January and February are the coldest months, with average temperatures around 14 °C (57 °F) during the day and 5 °C (41 °F) at night. Large fluctuations in temperature are rare, particularly in the summer months.

Barcelona averages several rainy days per month (≥ 1 mm), and annual average relative humidity is 72%, ranging from 69% in July to 75% in October. Sunshine duration is 2,524 hours per year, from 138 (average 4.5 hours of sunshine a day) in December to 310 (average 10 hours of sunshine a day) in July.


Main sights

Sagrada Família church, Gaudi's masterpiece

The Barri Gòtic (Catalan for "Gothic Quarter") is the centre of the old city of Barcelona. Many of the buildings date from medieval times, some from as far back as the Roman settlement of Barcelona. Catalan modernista architecture (related to the movement known as Art Nouveau in the rest of Europe), developed between 1885 and 1950 and left an important legacy in Barcelona. Several of these buildings are World Heritage Sites. Especially remarkable is the work of architect Antoni Gaudí, which can be seen throughout the city. His best-known work is the immense but still unfinished church of the Sagrada Família, which has been under construction since 1882, and is still financed by private donations. As of 2007, completion is planned for 2026.

Barcelona was also home to Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona Pavilion. Designed in 1929 for the International Exposition for Germany, it is an iconic building that came to symbolize modern architecture as the embodiment of van der Rohe's aphorisms "less is more" and "God is in the details." The Barcelona pavilion was intended as a temporary structure, and was torn down in 1930 less than a year after it was constructed. A modern re-creation by Spanish architects now stands in Barcelona, however, constructed in 1986.

Barcelona won the 1999 RIBA Royal Gold Medal for its architecture,[49] the first (and as of 2012, only) time that the winner has been a city, and not an individual architect.

World Heritage Sites

Barcelona is the home of many points of interest declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO:

Palau Güell (2).jpg
Casa Milà - Barcelona, Spain - Jan 2007.jpg
Casa Vicens (Barcelona) - 3.jpg
Name Park Güell
Palau Güell
Casa Milà
Casa Vicens
Code, year 320-001, 1984 320-002, 1984 320-003, 1984 320-004, 2005
Coordinates 41°24′59.6″N 2°09′07.9″E
41.379183°N 2.174445°E
41°23′51.3″N 2°09′46.9″E
41°22′50.5″N 2°10′30.6″E
CasaBatllo 0170.JPG
Palau de la Música - Interior general.JPG
Name Façade of the Nativity and
crypt of the Sagrada Familia

Casa Batlló
Palau de la Música Catalana
Hospital de Sant Pau
Code, year 320-005, 2005 320-006, 2005 804-001, 1997 804-002, 1997
Coordinates 41°24′19.8″N 2°10′30.2″E
41°22′00.3″N 2°09′59.0″E
41°23′16″N 2°10′30″E

41°24′50″N 2°10′30″E

Historic buildings and monuments


Barcelona has a great number of museums, which cover different areas and eras. The National Museum of Art of Catalonia possesses a well-known collection of Romanesque art while the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art focuses on post-1945 Catalan and Spanish art. The Fundació Joan Miró, Picasso Museum and Fundació Antoni Tàpies hold important collections of these world-renowned artists, as well as Can Framis Museum, focused on post 1960 Catalan Art owned by Fundació Vila Casas. Several museums cover the fields of history and archeology, like the Barcelona City History Museum (MUHBA), the Museum of the History of Catalonia, the Archeology Museum of Catalonia, the Barcelona Maritime Museum and the private-owned Egyptian Museum. The Erotic museum of Barcelona is among the most peculiar ones, while Cosmocaixa is a science museum that received the European Museum of the Year Award in 2006.


Park Güell (Parc Güell)

Barcelona contains sixty-eight municipal parks, of which twelve are historic parks, five are thematic (botanical) parks, forty-five are urban parks and six are forest parks.[51] They range from vest-pocket parks to large recreation areas. The urban parks alone cover 10% of the city (549.7 ha or 1,358.3 acres).[41] The total park surface grows about 10 ha (25 acres) per year,[52] with a proportion of 18.1 square metres (195 sq ft) of park area per inhabitant.[53]

Of Barcelona's parks, Montjuïc is the largest, with 203 ha located on the mountain of the same name.[41] It is followed by Parc de la Ciutadella (which occupies the site of the old military citadel and which houses the Parliament building, the Barcelona Zoo and several museums); 31 ha or 76.6 acres including the zoo), the Guinardó Park (19 ha or 47.0 acres), Park Güell (designed by Antoni Gaudí; 17.2 ha or 42.5 acres), Oreneta Castle Park (also 17.2 ha or 42.5 acres), Diagonal Mar Park (13.3 ha or 32.9 acres, inaugurated in 2002), Nou Barris Central Park (13.2 ha or 32.6 acres), Can Dragó Sports Park and Poblenou Park (both 11.9 ha or 29.4 acres), the Labyrinth Park (9.10 ha or 22.5 acres), named after the garden maze it contains.[41] There are also several smaller parks, for example, the Parc de les Aigües (2 ha or 4.9 acres). A part of the Collserolla Park is also within the city limits. PortAventura, one of the largest amusement parks in Europe with 3,000,000 visitors per year, is located one hour's drive from Barcelona.[54] Also, within the city lies Tibidabo Amusement Park, a smaller amusement park, with the Muntanya Russa amusement ride.


Barcelona beach was listed as number one in a list of the top ten city beaches in the world according to National Geographic[55] and Discovery Channel.[56] Barcelona contains seven beaches, totalling 4.5 kilometres (3 miles) (2.8 mi) of coastline. Sant Sebastià, Barceloneta and Somorrostro beaches, both 1,100 m (3,610 ft) in length,[41] are the largest, oldest and the most-frequented beaches in Barcelona. The Olympic Harbour separates them from the other city beaches: Nova Icària, Bogatell, Mar Bella, Nova Mar Bella and Llevant. These beaches (ranging from 400 to 640 m/1,300 to 2,100 ft) were opened as a result of the city restructuring to host the 1992 Summer Olympics, when a great number of industrial buildings were demolished. At present, the beach sand is artificially replenished given that storms regularly remove large quantities of material. The 2004 Universal Forum of Cultures left the city a large concrete bathing zone on the eastmost part of the city's coastline.