Gay Barcelona: Gaudy With a Chance of Meatballs

Published Date Author: , October 5th, 2011

BarcerlonaWhat springs to mind when you think of holidays in Spain? Flamenco dancers? Castanets? Lobster-red painters and decorators from Gravesend sleeping off the San Miguel under an imported copy of the Daily Mirror? Hold your straw donkeys, son! Barcelona has about as much in common with those traditional trips to the Costas as New York does to a sweaty fortnight in Grubville, Missouri. It may be beside the sea, but a seaside resort it is not.

Regarded widely as the cultural capital of Spain, Barcelona retains an identity distinct from the rest of the Iberian peninsula. Tellingly, many of the locals don’t consider themselves Spanish but Catalan, with calls for Catalonian independence louder today than ever before. This is, perhaps, unsurprising when you consider the violence with which the local culture was suppressed in the mid 20th century. Under Franco’s fascist regime, Catalan institutions were abolished and use of the Catalan language outlawed. It was not until the Generalissimo’s death in 1975 that Barcelona began to regain its moxy, and before long the 1992 Olympics catapulted it onto the world stage as one of Europe’s most cosmopolitan cities.

Despite being fiercely protective of their regional identity and traditions, Barcelona’s people are welcoming to outsiders, particularly those helping bolster Spain’s ailing economy with the tourist dollar.

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Click here for gay travel resources in Barcelona, Spain.

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