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Comprehensive, fun, easy-to-follow Spanish courses of video lessons (with notes), conversation audios (with transcripts), interactive exercises (with answers), and texts (with transcripts).

This is the first in a series of five English Spanish Parallel Texts with Spanish audio about Spanish city Barcelona in Cataluña. Barcelona is an amazing Spanish city in so many ways and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Spain. Barcelona has everything really that you could wish for in a tourist destination: close proximity to the coast with beautiful beaches, great restaurants and bars, good weather (though not as hot as you might think), a hustling and bustling modern city, culture, art, history, etc, etc. Parallel Texts are a fantastic way to practice your Spanish. You can listen to my Spanish audio and see how much you understand and then after one of two listens you can check first the Spanish text and afterwards the English text. Try to push yourself not to go straight for the easy option of listening and reading and especially try not to concentrate too heavily on the English translation. Remember that you cannot always translate everything literally and you have to go with the flow of the Spanish version primarily. We have already looked at lots more other Spanish cities in this English Spanish Parallel Texts Course so far and all of the lessons are available completely FREE on the website.

Parallel Texts Barcelona Parte 1 Introducción

In Spanish:

Barcelona es la segunda ciudad más grande de España, por detrás de Madrid y es la capital de la Comunidad Autónoma de Cataluña. Está situada en el noreste de España en la costa mediterránea entre las desembocaduras de los ríos Llobregat y Besos y está limitada al oeste por la “Serra de Collserola”. Como capital de Cataluña, Barcelona es donde se encuentra la sede del gobierno catalán.

España es una monarquía parlamentaria, organizada en comunidades autónomas. La “Generalitat de Catalunya” es la entidad política autónoma de Cataluña. La autonomía política de Cataluña dentro del Estado español es una larga tradición que se remonta a la Edad Media en forma de institución medieval que gobernó el Principado de Cataluña (“La Diputación General de Catalunya”). La primera moderna “Generalitat” se instaló durante el período de la II República Española, en 1931, y fue restaurada como resultado de la transición a la democracia. Estatuto de Autonomía de Cataluña es la ley fundamental institucional de la región, la definición de los derechos y deberes de los ciudadanos de Cataluña, sus instituciones políticas, sus competencias y sus relaciones con el Estado español, así como las finanzas de la “Generalitat”.

Barcelona es un relevante destino turístico y un importante centro cultural con un rico patrimonio cultural. Especialmente célebres son las obras arquitectónicas de Antoni Gaudí y Lluís Domènech Montaner, que han sido designadas Patrimonio de la Humanidad por la UNESCO. La ciudad es bien conocida en los últimos tiempos por los Juegos Olímpicos de 1992 y es la ubicación de la sede de la Unión por el Mediterráneo. Es un importante centro económico, con uno de los principales puertos mediterráneos de Europa y un aeropuerto internacional que es el segundo más grande de España después del de Madrid-Barajas.

In English:

Barcelona is the second biggest city in Spain, behind Madrid and is the capital city of the Autonomous Community of Catalonia. It is located in the north east of Spain on the Mediterranean coast between the mouths of the rivers “Llobregat” and “Besòs” and is bounded to the west by the “Serra de Collserola” ridge. As the capital of Catalonia, Barcelona is home to the seat of the Catalan government.

Spain is a parliamentary monarchy, organised into autonomous communities. The “Generalitat de Catalunya” is the autonomous political institution of Catalonia. The political autonomy of Catalonia within the Spanish State is a long-standing tradition dating back to the Middle Ages in the form of the mediaeval institution which ruled the Principality of Catalonia (“La Diputación General de Catalunya”). The first modern “Generalitat” was installed during the period of the second Spanish Republic, in 1931, and restored as a result of the transition to democracy. Catalonia’s Statute of Autonomy is the fundamental institutional law of the region, defining the rights and duties of the citizens of Catalonia, its political institutions, their powers, and their relations with the Spanish State, as well as the finances of the “Generalitat”.

Barcelona is a major tourist destination and an important cultural centre with a rich cultural heritage. Particularly renowned are architectural works of Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech Montaner that have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The city is well known in recent times for the 1992 Summer Olympics and is the location of the headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean. It is a major economic centre with one of Europe’s principal Mediterranean ports and an International Airport that is the second largest in Spain after Madrid-Barajas Airport.

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