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BARCAROLE—BARCELONA

Sahara behind it, tend to divert trade to the west of the district—a fact which is exemplified by the final survival of Berenice (mod. Bengazi). Merj stands in a rich but ill-cultivated stretch of red soil.  (D. G. H.) 


BARCAROLE, or Barcarolle (Ital. barcaruola, a boat-song) properly a musical term for the songs sung by the Venetian gondoliers, and hence for an instrumental or vocal composition, generally in 6-8 time, written in imitation of their characteristic rhythm.


BARCELONA, a maritime province of north-eastern Spain, formed in 1833 out of districts belonging to the ancient kingdom of Catalonia, and bounded on the N.E. and E. by Gerona; S. by the Mediterranean Sea; S.W. by Tarragona; and W. and N.W. by Lérida. Pop. (1900) 1,054,541; area 2968 sq. m. Apart from a few tracts of level country along the coast and near Igualada, Manresa, Sabadell and Vich, almost the whole surface consists of mountain ranges, often densely wooded, rich in minerals and intersected by deep ravines. These ranges are outliers of the Pyrenees, which extend along the northern frontier, forming there the lofty Sierra del Cadi with the peak of Tosa (8317 ft.). Towards the sea, the altitudes become gradually less, although not with a uniform decrease; for several isolated peaks and minor ranges such as Montserrat and Monseny rise conspicuously amid the lower summits to a height of 4000-6000 ft. The central districts are watered by the Llobrégat, which rises at the base of the Sierra del Cadi, and flows into the sea near Barcelona, the capital, after receiving many small tributaries. The river Ter crosses the eastern extremity of the province.

Barcelona can be divided into three climatic zones; a temperate one near the sea, where even palm and orange trees grow; a colder one in the valleys and plains, more inland; and a colder still among the mountains, where not a few peaks are snow-clad for a great part of the year. Agriculture and stock-keeping are comparatively unimportant in this province, which is the centre of Spanish industry and commerce. In every direction the country looks like a veritable hive of human activity and enterprise, every town and village full of factories, and alive with the din of machinery. Lead, zinc, lignite, coal and salt are worked, and there are numerous mineral springs; but the prosperity of the province chiefly depends on its transit trade and manufactures. These are described in detail in articles on the chief towns. Barcelona (pop. 1900, 533,000), Badalona (19,240), Cardona (3855), Igualada (10,442), Manresa (23,252), Mataró (19,704), Sabadell (23,294), Tarrasa (15,956), Vich (11,628) and Villanueva y Geltru (11,856). Berga (5465), perhaps the Roman Castrum Bergium, on the Llobrégat, is the home of the Catalonian cotton industry. None of the rivers is navigable, and the roads are in general indifferent and insufficient. The province is better off in regard to railways, of which there are 349 m. Important lines radiate from the city of Barcelona north-east along the coast to Gerona and to Perpignan in France; south-west along the coast to Tarragona and Valencia; and west to Saragossa and Madrid. Several local railways link together the principal towns. For a general description of the people, and for the history of this region see Catalonia. The population is greater and increases more rapidly than that of any other Spanish province, a fact due not to any large excess of births over deaths, but to the industrial life which attracts many immigrants. In the last quarter of the 19th century the increase exceeded 200,000, while the average yearly number of emigrants was below 2000. In point of education this province is quite among the first in Spain, and as far back as 1880 there were 97,077 children enrolled on the school registers; the figures have since steadily increased.


BARCELONA, formerly the capital of Catalonia, and since 1833 the capital of the province of Barcelona in eastern Spain, in 41° 23′ N. and 2° 11′ E., on the Mediterranean Sea, and at the head of railways from Madrid, Saragossa, and Perpignan in France. Pop. (1900) 533,000. Barcelona is a flourishing city and the principal seaport of Spain. It is built on the sloping edge of a small plain between the rivers Besós, on the north, and Llobrégat, on the south. Immediately to the south-west the fortified hills of Montjuich rise to an altitude of 650 ft., while the view is bounded on the west by the heights which culminate in Tibidabo (1745 ft.), and on the north-east by the Montañas Matas. The greater part of the space thus enclosed is occupied by comparatively modern suburbs and gardens of almost tropical luxuriance, strongly contrasting with the huge factories and busy port of the original city in their midst.

Barcelona was formerly surrounded by a strong line of ramparts, and defended, or more correctly, overawed by a citadel on the north-east, erected in 1715 by Philip V.; but these fortifications being felt as a painful restriction on the natural development of the city, were, in spite of the opposition of the central government, finally abolished by the local authorities in 1845. The walls of the moat were utilized for the cellars of the houses which soon occupied the site of the ramparts, and the ground, which had been covered by the citadel, was laid out in gardens. A rapid extension of the city to the north-west took place, and in 1860 an elaborate plan for the laying out of new districts received the royal sanction. Barcelona thus comprises an old town, still consisting for the most part of irregular and narrow streets, and a new town built with all the symmetry and precision of a premeditated scheme. The buildings of the old town are chiefly of brick, from four to five storeys in height, with flat roofs, and other oriental peculiarities; while in the new town hewn stone is very largely employed, and the architecture is often of a modern English style. To the east, on the tongue of land that helps to form the port, lies the suburb of Barceloneta. It owes its origin to the marquis de la Mina, who, about 1754, did much for the city, and is regularly laid out, the houses being built of brick after a uniform pattern. The main street or axis of the old town is the Rambla, which has a fine promenade planted with plane-trees running down the middle, and contains the principal hotels and theatres of the city. The most important suburbs are Grácia, Las Corts de Sarriá, Horta, San Andrés de Palomar, San Gervasio de Cassolas, San Martin de Provensals and Sans. Exclusive of these, the city contains about 334,000 inhabitants, an increase of nearly 150,000 since 1857. Large numbers of immigrant artisans joined the population during the latter half of the 19th century, attracted by the great development of industry. Barcelona is the see of a bishop, and, like most Spanish towns, has a large number of ecclesiastical buildings, though by no means so many as it once possessed. No fewer than eighteen convents were still standing in 1873. The cathedral, erected between 1298 and 1448 on Monte Taber, an oval hill which forms the highest point of the Rambla, is one of the finest examples of Spanish Gothic; although it is not designed on a great scale and some parts have been freely modernized. It contains the early 14th-century tomb of Santa Eulalia, the patron saint of the city, besides many other monuments of artistic or historical interest. Its stained glass windows are among the finest in Spain, and it possesses archives of great value. Santa Maria del Mar, Santa Ana, Santos Justo y Pastor, San Pedro de las Puellas, and San Pablo del Campo are all churches worthy of mention.

The educational institutions of Barcelona have from an early period been numerous and important. The university (Universidad Literaria), which was originally founded in 1430 by the magistracy of the city, and received a bull of confirmation from Pope Nicholas V. in 1450, possessed at that time four faculties and thirty-one chairs all endowed by the corporation. It was suppressed in 1714, but restored in 1841, and now occupies an extensive building in the new town. There are, besides, an academy of natural sciences, a college of medicine and surgery—confirmed by a bull of Benedict XIII. in 1400—an academy of fine arts, a normal school, a theological seminary, an upper industrial school, an institution for the education of deaf-mutes, a school of navigation and many minor establishments. Gratuitous instruction of a very high order is afforded by the Board of Trade to upwards of 2000 pupils. The principal charitable foundations are the Casa de Caridad or house of charity, the hospital general, dating from 1401, and the foundling hospital. The principal civic and commercial buildings are the