The Nightmare Before Christmas

Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) is a stop-action animated musical film about the inhabitants of Halloween Town who take over Christmas one year, directed by stop-motion animator Henry Selick. The film is loosely based on drawings and a poem by Tim Burton, and he served as co-producer. He did not direct the film as is sometimes believed, but he was still heavily involved.

The film was released by Touchstone Pictures, a film studio owned by the Walt Disney Company, after the main Walt Disney Pictures division balked at some of the darker content.

Synopsis

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

The film centers around Jack Skellington, the much adored leader of Halloween Town. Although Jack is loved and respected by the townspeople, he feels that there is something unknown to him that is missing from his life. One day while wandering in the woods with his dog zero, Jack discovers a circle of trees unlike anything that he has seen before. Each tree has a door on it representing a different holiday. When Jack opens the Christmas door he is sucked into the wonderful world of Christmas Town. Jack is mesmerized by the color and cheerfulness of the holiday, and realizes that this is exactly what he has been searching for.

When Jack returns to Halloween Town he locks himself in his home and performs countless experiments to try and better understand Christmas Town. Soon Jack calls a meeting in Town Hall and reveals his plans to takeover Christmas. All of the townspeople pitch in to create their own twisted version of the holiday. Sally, a close friend and admirer of Jack, tries to warn him that she thinks it is a bad idea to take over something he knows nothing about, but Jack is too wrapped in his fantasies to listen.

In order to successfully take over Christmas, Jack enlists the help of a trio of misfits named Lock, Shock, and Barrel to kidnap Santa Claus. The children take him to a villainous monster named Oogie Boogie.

On Christmas Eve, Jack embarks on his makeshift sleigh flanked by skeleton reindeers and his ghost dog, Zero. Jack's scary and sometimes dangerous presents put the people in the real world in a panic and they begin to call the police with reports of attacking Christmas toys and an imposter Santa Claus. In not too long, Jack is targeted by the military and shot down. At the same time, Sally goes to try and rescue Santa Claus but is captured by Oogie Boogie and the two are in risk of their lives.

When Jack finds himself and his sleigh crashed in a graveyard and his vision of Christmas wrecked, he realizes that he is the Pumpkin King and that he should stick to what he knows best, namely Halloween. In order to salvage Christmas Jack hurries back to Halloween Town and confronts Oogie Boogie. After Jack destroys Oogie, revealing him to be nothing more that a burlap monster full of bugs, Santa Claus hurries to deliver the correct presents and save Christmas. Once Santa has delivered all the presents he brings the Christmas spirit to Halloween Town, including snow, and the citizens are amazed by the new sensations.

Finally, Sally reveals her true feelings to Jack and in the end of the movie the two begin a relationship.

Legacy

When the movie originally was released it failed to live up to expectations and was considered a flop. However, when it was released on video a new audience began to discover it and slowly it began to grow a cult following. The same studio that produced Nightmare later created another stop motion movie based on the Roald Dahl book, James and the Giant Peach (1996), though it did not receive the same amount of success.

In 2005, Tim Burton returned to the media of stop motion with his new film, Corpse Bride.

Merchandising

Currently, 'Nightmare Before Christmas' has become one of the most sucessful franchises in terms of selling merchandise, and the film has developed a group of very dedicated collectors. Much of the original merchandise has become highly collectible and rare. In the past few years many retail stores like Hot Topic have obtained the rights to sell products and have flooded the market with what some believe to be cheap and uninspired merchandise.

Technical data

  • Title: The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Directed by: Henry Selick
  • Written by: Caroline Thompson and Michael McDowell
  • Music by: Danny Elfman
  • Released on: October 13, 1993
  • American picture
  • Specifications: Technicolor, 35 mm 1.66:1 (colours, Dolby digital sound)
  • Genre: animation, fantasy, satire, musical
  • Runtime: 76 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG

Starfield Creations

Cast (voices)

  • Chris Sarandon: Jack Skellington (speaking)
  • Danny Elfman: Jack Skellington (singing), Barrel, The Clown with the tearawayface
  • Catherine O'Hara: Sally, Shock
  • William Hickey: Dr. Finklestein
  • Glenn Shadix: Mayor
  • Paul Reubens: Lock
  • Ken Page: Oogie Boogie

On the soundtrack album, Patrick Stewart voices the opening narrative poem. A second poem, also read by Stewart, is included before the "End Credits" music; in this passage, Santa Claus describes a visit he made to Halloween Town many years after the events of the film.

Haunted Mansion Holiday

For the past five years, the Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland in California and Japan have received a Nightmare Before Christmas themed overlay, called Haunted Mansion Holiday, for their Haunted Mansion attractions. The attractions are closed in October each year for themes to be completely overhauled, and open until January of the next year. The attraction generally has a one night opening event each year that includes special guests, a dinner, special merchandise, and a ride through the attraction, although the Happiest Celebration on Earth halted that in Disneyland in 2005. Starting in 2001, the ride has included a score that was written specifically for the ride by film composer Danny Elfman. There has been a great deal of speculation recently that 2006 will be last year for the event, allegedly at Tim Burton's request.

Video games

A video game based on the original movie was released in 2005. The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie's Revenge is an action/adventure game developed by Capcom from Japan for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox systems. Intended to be a sequel to the movie, the game features the return of all the well-known characters in a new and arguably darker story with upgraded versions of the movie's songs. In the story, Jack leaves Halloween Town to satisfy his curiosity, but during his absence, Oogie Boogie is reconstructed and by the time Jack returns he has taken over Halloween Town and tricked its people into thinking Jack has abandoned them. Now Jack has to stop Oogie Boogie's evil plans as he attempts to take over the other holiday worlds, and the 'real' world. The game features controls similar to Devil May Cry. The game features a weapon known as a 'Soul Robber'. In the game you get other costumes such as "Pumpkin King," and "Santa Jack".


A GBA game, "The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Pumpkin King" came out in fall 2005. The opposite of the Playstation and Xbox versions, the GBA game works as a prequel to the movie. The Pumpkin King is a side-scrolling action platformer in which you'll control Jack Skellington and use a number of different weapons to fight enemies and traverse obstacles. The side-scrolling adventure game centers around the first time Jack faced off against his nemesis, Oogie Boogie, to eventually become the Pumpkin King. The game's plot will kick off with the invasion of some unusual bugs in Halloween Town. Jack soon discovers that these nasty insects are under the control of Oogie Boogie, who's looking to take over Halloween himself. With these creepy wheels set in motion, it will be up to Jack and his friends--including characters such as Zero, Sally, Dr. Finklestein, and others--to both stop Oogie and save Halloween.

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

Halloween Town also appears as one of the worlds in the Square Enix/Disney Kingdom Hearts video game series (in fact, it was the movie's first official video game appearance). In this game, Jack tries to create an artificial heart so he can control the Heartless for use in his "Heartless Halloween," but the plan goes awry when Oogie Boogie (who was one of the Disney villains allied with Maleficent) steals the heart, ingests it, and tries to use it to control the Heartless for his own purposes. Jack then teams up with Sora and the others to stop Oogie Boogie's plans. Jack can also join Sora's party whenever they are in Halloween Town. Kingdom Hearts II follows the movie plot, where Jack tries to take over Santa Claus' place on Christmas.

Trading Card Game

Sometime during 2005, a card game, titled The Nightmare Before Christmas TCG, was released. Released were starter decks and a base set. In March 2006, there will be a new set, called Christmas Town, and a Tournament Kit released.


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In March 2006, there will be a new set, called Christmas Town, and a Tournament Kit released. Mobile phone theft is also a popular petty theft crime when tourists leave their phones on tabletops. Released were starter decks and a base set. It is not uncommon for thieves to cut bags and backpack straps. Sometime during 2005, a card game, titled The Nightmare Before Christmas TCG, was released. Internet cafes are a popular target in general. Kingdom Hearts II follows the movie plot, where Jack tries to take over Santa Claus' place on Christmas. Areas where one should be particularly careful are the Barri Gòtic, El Raval, and the Ramblas.

Jack can also join Sora's party whenever they are in Halloween Town. The problem is compounded by the few policemen "walking the beat" in Barcelona, even though the city has one of the highest police to citizen ratios in Europe. Jack then teams up with Sora and the others to stop Oogie Boogie's plans. Stealing money or goods worth less than about $360 without the use or threat of violence is classified as hurto or petty theft under Spanish law and is treated as a minor misdemeanor no matter how many times it is repeated. In this game, Jack tries to create an artificial heart so he can control the Heartless for use in his "Heartless Halloween," but the plan goes awry when Oogie Boogie (who was one of the Disney villains allied with Maleficent) steals the heart, ingests it, and tries to use it to control the Heartless for his own purposes. Many pickpockets are known to the police and some have been arrested hundreds of times only to be released once the police have filled in a report. Halloween Town also appears as one of the worlds in the Square Enix/Disney Kingdom Hearts video game series (in fact, it was the movie's first official video game appearance). They usually work in groups whereby the victim is distracted by one party while being robbed by another party.

Finklestein, and others--to both stop Oogie and save Halloween. Barcelona, like other big cities, has a large number of criminals who mainly prey on tourists. With these creepy wheels set in motion, it will be up to Jack and his friends--including characters such as Zero, Sally, Dr. The urban design by Eduard Bru created a terraced sequence of belvedere-like platforms with views of the city. Jack soon discovers that these nasty insects are under the control of Oogie Boogie, who's looking to take over Halloween himself. One notable site is the Vall d'Hebron, a deep ravine in the foothills of the Collserola range north of the city. The game's plot will kick off with the invasion of some unusual bugs in Halloween Town. For example, the upgrades to Montjuïc and the seaside industrial areas for the 1992 Olympic Games were accompanied by the building of recreational facilities in other parts of the city lacking development.

The side-scrolling adventure game centers around the first time Jack faced off against his nemesis, Oogie Boogie, to eventually become the Pumpkin King. This program of planned parks is often among the civic improvements for which the city actively seeks international events as spurs for redevelopment. The Pumpkin King is a side-scrolling action platformer in which you'll control Jack Skellington and use a number of different weapons to fight enemies and traverse obstacles. Some examples (note that many are not in Barcelona per se but on its metro area):. The opposite of the Playstation and Xbox versions, the GBA game works as a prequel to the movie. Though the budgets may be small, the level of ingenuity and care in design and implementation is often very high.
A GBA game, "The Nightmare Before Christmas: The Pumpkin King" came out in fall 2005. Typically these new parks are carefully designed by architects, planners and landscape architects concerned not just with functional elements, but also with the unique characteristics of the site and its position in a layered understanding of the city.

In the game you get other costumes such as "Pumpkin King," and "Santa Jack". The purpose of this program has been to reclaim space for the public which is threatened either by neglect or overdevelopment. The game features a weapon known as a 'Soul Robber'. Since 1983 a formal program of park creation has been carried out by the Mancomunitat de Municipis de l'Àrea Metropolitana de Barcelona. The game features controls similar to Devil May Cry. This park, designed by Luis Peña Ganchegui and Francesc Rius Camps and completed in 1985 integrated the industrial shapes of the site with a dominant water feature and displays of sculpture. Now Jack has to stop Oogie Boogie's evil plans as he attempts to take over the other holiday worlds, and the 'real' world. At the same time, the neighboring Vapor Nou factory, was converted into the Parc de la Espanya Industrial for public recreation.

In the story, Jack leaves Halloween Town to satisfy his curiosity, but during his absence, Oogie Boogie is reconstructed and by the time Jack returns he has taken over Halloween Town and tricked its people into thinking Jack has abandoned them. In 1983 the Plaça dels Països Catalans in front of the Sants railway station was redesigned by Helio Piñon Pallares and Albert Vaiplana Vea in pink granite paving with an undulating metal pergola and various hard furnishings that have become popular with skateboarders. Intended to be a sequel to the movie, the game features the return of all the well-known characters in a new and arguably darker story with upgraded versions of the movie's songs. Montjuïc Stadium was renovated and expanded by Vittorio Gregotti for the 1992 Olympic Games. The Nightmare Before Christmas: Oogie's Revenge is an action/adventure game developed by Capcom from Japan for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox systems. The German Pavilion, a landmark of modern architecture designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe for this Exhibition was exhaustively reconstructed on its original site in 1986. A video game based on the original movie was released in 2005. It is chiefly notable now for the cultural institutions that use the former palaces and exposition buildings.

There has been a great deal of speculation recently that 2006 will be last year for the event, allegedly at Tim Burton's request. Rubio Tuduri. Starting in 2001, the ride has included a score that was written specifically for the ride by film composer Danny Elfman. Forestier and architect Nicolas M. The attraction generally has a one night opening event each year that includes special guests, a dinner, special merchandise, and a ride through the attraction, although the Happiest Celebration on Earth halted that in Disneyland in 2005. N. The attractions are closed in October each year for themes to be completely overhauled, and open until January of the next year. The site of the Barcelona International Exhibition in 1929 and 1930, the Parc de Montjuïc was laid out by engineer Jean C.

For the past five years, the Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland in California and Japan have received a Nightmare Before Christmas themed overlay, called Haunted Mansion Holiday, for their Haunted Mansion attractions. See separate article on Parc Güell (1914), the large fantastical park designed by Antoni Gaudí for a housing estate and opened to the public in 1922. A second poem, also read by Stewart, is included before the "End Credits" music; in this passage, Santa Claus describes a visit he made to Halloween Town many years after the events of the film. See above for a description of the Rambles. On the soundtrack album, Patrick Stewart voices the opening narrative poem. Besides the beaches, the Rambles and Parc Güell are the most famous of these. Starfield Creations. Barcelona, with its mild weather and dense medieval centre, is renowned for its parks and open spaces.

In the past few years many retail stores like Hot Topic have obtained the rights to sell products and have flooded the market with what some believe to be cheap and uninspired merchandise. Barcelona has recently adopted another transport option with two new tram lines known as Trambaix and Trambesòs. Much of the original merchandise has become highly collectible and rare. See List of Barcelona metro stations. Currently, 'Nightmare Before Christmas' has become one of the most sucessful franchises in terms of selling merchandise, and the film has developed a group of very dedicated collectors. Barcelona's transit company, Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB), runs the Barcelona Metro system and city bus. In 2005, Tim Burton returned to the media of stop motion with his new film, Corpse Bride. Renfe and the Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC) run Barcelona's widespread commuter train service.

The same studio that produced Nightmare later created another stop motion movie based on the Roald Dahl book, James and the Giant Peach (1996), though it did not receive the same amount of success. The AVE high-speed rail system was recently extended from Madrid to Lleida in western Catalonia, and is expected to reach Barcelona by 2007. However, when it was released on video a new audience began to discover it and slowly it began to grow a cult following. Barcelona is a hub for RENFE, the Spanish state railway network, and its main suburban train station is Sants-Estació (which is under renovation and enlargement at present in order to prepare for the arrival of the AVE system). When the movie originally was released it failed to live up to expectations and was considered a flop. In addition to its port, of great historical and contemporary commercial importance, Barcelona is served by El Prat International Airport ('El Prat') in the town of El Prat de Llobregat. Finally, Sally reveals her true feelings to Jack and in the end of the movie the two begin a relationship. UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Barcelona:.

Once Santa has delivered all the presents he brings the Christmas spirit to Halloween Town, including snow, and the citizens are amazed by the new sensations. In addition to the University of Barcelona, the city is home to the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, the Autonomous University of Barcelona, the Technical University of Catalonia, the Ramon Llull University and the International University of Catalonia. After Jack destroys Oogie, revealing him to be nothing more that a burlap monster full of bugs, Santa Claus hurries to deliver the correct presents and save Christmas. Near Barcelona, in Montmeló, the Circuit de Catalunya racetrack hosts the Formula One Spanish Grand Prix. In order to salvage Christmas Jack hurries back to Halloween Town and confronts Oogie Boogie. FC Barcelona has also internationally known basketball and handball teams that play at the Palau Blaugrana, situated in the same complex as the Camp Nou. When Jack finds himself and his sleigh crashed in a graveyard and his vision of Christmas wrecked, he realizes that he is the Pumpkin King and that he should stick to what he knows best, namely Halloween. Barcelona is the home city of two internationally-known football teams: FC Barcelona, also known as Barça, who play at the 100,000 capacity Camp Nou stadium, and RCD Espanyol, who play at the 56,000 capacity Olympic Stadium.

At the same time, Sally goes to try and rescue Santa Claus but is captured by Oogie Boogie and the two are in risk of their lives. There's also the Torre de Collserola, a telecommunications tower designed by Norman Foster which also has a windowed balcony with a great view over the city. In not too long, Jack is targeted by the military and shot down. The church mosaics provide a curious example of the religious art style much in vogue during the dictatorship. Jack's scary and sometimes dangerous presents put the people in the real world in a panic and they begin to call the police with reports of attacking Christmas toys and an imposter Santa Claus. Uptown is the hill of the Tibidabo, 512 meters high, with an amusement park (which, after a long economic struggle, now belongs to the city council) and a monumental church on its summit. On Christmas Eve, Jack embarks on his makeshift sleigh flanked by skeleton reindeers and his ghost dog, Zero. On the way down, there could be found the Botanical Gardens and the Costa i Llobera gardens, with an unique cactus collection.

The children take him to a villainous monster named Oogie Boogie. Around the hill are a group of installations known as the "olympic ring" and that were the heart of the 1992 summer olympics: the Lluis Companys Olympic Stadium (originally built in 1929 but completely refurbished for the 1992 olympics), the Palau Sant Jordi (a multi-purpose installation designed by Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, used primarily for all kinds of indoor sport events but also for concerts and other cultural activities) and the Bernat Picornell Pools. In order to successfully take over Christmas, Jack enlists the help of a trio of misfits named Lock, Shock, and Barrel to kidnap Santa Claus. On its top is an old fortress which used to guard the entrance to the port. Sally, a close friend and admirer of Jack, tries to warn him that she thinks it is a bad idea to take over something he knows nothing about, but Jack is too wrapped in his fantasies to listen. One, Montjuïc hill, is next to the harbour and perched above a large container terminal. All of the townspeople pitch in to create their own twisted version of the holiday. For spectacular views over the city and the coast line there are two hills.

Soon Jack calls a meeting in Town Hall and reveals his plans to takeover Christmas. Visitors should note that the opening times of Barcelona's museums vary considerably and are often highly inconvenient; careful planning is recommended to avoid wasted trips. When Jack returns to Halloween Town he locks himself in his home and performs countless experiments to try and better understand Christmas Town. The Fundació Antoni Tàpies holds a collection of Tàpies works. Jack is mesmerized by the color and cheerfulness of the holiday, and realizes that this is exactly what he has been searching for. The building was designed by the American architect Richard Meier. When Jack opens the Christmas door he is sucked into the wonderful world of Christmas Town. The Contemporary Art Museum is also worth a visit, not only because of its paintings and sculptures, but because of its architecture.

Each tree has a door on it representing a different holiday. The National Museum of Art of Catalonia (in the Palau Nacional left behind by the 1929 Ibero-American Exposition) possesses a well-known collection of Romanesque art, including wall-paintings of Romanesque churches and chapels around Catalonia that have been transferred to the museum. One day while wandering in the woods with his dog zero, Jack discovers a circle of trees unlike anything that he has seen before. There is also a unique museum featuring the lesser known works of Pablo Picasso from his earlier period. Although Jack is loved and respected by the townspeople, he feels that there is something unknown to him that is missing from his life. Art visits include the museum of the Fundació Joan Miró,hi where several paintings and sculptures of this artist are shown, together with guest exhibitions from other museums around the world. The film centers around Jack Skellington, the much adored leader of Halloween Town. Many of these have now been levelled to make room for the city's ill-starred "22@" project to build an area for ICT-based firms.

. Property speculation is also blighting other areas of the city, including the 19th century Poble Nou district with its many interesting buildings dating from Catalonia's Industrial Revolution. The film was released by Touchstone Pictures, a film studio owned by the Walt Disney Company, after the main Walt Disney Pictures division balked at some of the darker content. In recent years, office developments along Passeig de Gràcia have been allowed to break up the architectural unity of the 19th and early 20th century buildings lining the avenue - a process which shows no signs of slackening. He did not direct the film as is sometimes believed, but he was still heavily involved. Several of these buildings and indeed the Sagrada Familia church itself are threatened by Mayor Clos' plans to build a large railway tunnel for high-speed trains under the city's shaky 19th century foundations. The film is loosely based on drawings and a poem by Tim Burton, and he served as co-producer. The most elegant avenue is the Passeig de Gràcia, where two Gaudí buildings are situated, the Casa Milà (La Pedrera) and the Casa Batlló, along with buildings by other famous modernista architects: Casa Ametller by Josep Puig i Cadafalch and Casa Lleó Morera by Domènech i Montaner.

Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) is a stop-action animated musical film about the inhabitants of Halloween Town who take over Christmas one year, directed by stop-motion animator Henry Selick. In the modern districts of the city are several avenues on which most of the international merchants offering clothing, jewelry, leather goods and other items have their stores. Ken Page: Oogie Boogie. Another very notable modernist building in the older part of the city is the Palau de la Música Catalana, designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner and built in 1908. Paul Reubens: Lock. The Sagrada Família is billed for completion in 2020. Glenn Shadix: Mayor. Outstanding is the legacy of architect Antoni Gaudí, who lived and worked in Barcelona, and who left several famous works like the Palau Güell in the city's old center, the Parc Güell at the northern tip of Gràcia, and the immense but still unfinished church of the Sagrada Família, which has been under construction since 1882, financed by popular donations like the cathedrals in the Middle Ages (However, it is not a cathedral: the cathedral of Barcelona is the Cathedral of Santa Eulàlia, a Gothic building of the late Middle Ages).

Finklestein. The park also contains science museums, like the zoology museum, housed in a modernist building. William Hickey: Dr. One of Barcelona's most famous residents, the late albino gorilla Copito de Nieve ("Snowflake"), lived and died recently at the zoo. Catherine O'Hara: Sally, Shock. To the north of downtown is the Parc de la Ciutadella, which includes both the Parlament de Catalunya (Catalan Parliament) and the Parc Zoològic de Barcelona (zoo). Danny Elfman: Jack Skellington (singing), Barrel, The Clown with the tearawayface. The old harbour offers all kinds of other amenities, including the second largest aquarium in the Mediterranean area and an IMAX cinema.

Chris Sarandon: Jack Skellington (speaking). The buildings of the museum are the medieval Drassanes (shipyards), where the ships which sailed the Mediterranean were built. MPAA rating: PG. Next to it is the Museu Marítim (naval museum), which chronicles the history of life on the Mediterranean, including a full-scale model of a galley. Runtime: 76 minutes. Les Rambles ends at the old harbour, where a statue of Christopher Columbus points eastwards across the Mediterranean Sea to his birth place of Genoa. Genre: animation, fantasy, satire, musical. It is also worth keeping an eye out for pickpockets, for whom the boulevard is a favourite haunt.

Specifications: Technicolor, 35 mm 1.66:1 (colours, Dolby digital sound). There's also a Wax Museum near the end. American picture. Walking along Les Rambles one can see the world-famous opera house El Liceu, the food market of La Boqueria and the Plaça Reial (literally Royal square), with its arches and palm trees, amongst other interesting buildings. Released on: October 13, 1993. A notable feature is Les Rambles, a boulevard that runs from the city center to the waterfront, thronged with crowds until late at night and lined by florists, bird sellers in the higher part, craft sellers in the lowest, street entertainers, cafeterias, and restaurants. Music by: Danny Elfman. The historic city center is fairly flat, while the modern city fans out towards the surrounding hills, bordered by steep streets that are vaguely reminiscent of those found in San Francisco.

Written by: Caroline Thompson and Michael McDowell. Barcelona offers a unique opportunity for the tourist on foot to walk from Roman remains to the medieval city, and then to the modern city with its open thoroughfares and grid-iron street pattern. Directed by: Henry Selick. The following list favors Catalan-language names over Spanish-language names; as of 2004, they are the most commonly used and the only official ones:. Title: The Nightmare Before Christmas. Barcelona is divided into several districts. Tibidabo, a prominent peak to the northwest, is visible from much of the city.

To its north, the city borders the Besòs river and the municipalities of Santa Coloma de Gramenet and Sant Adrià de Besòs; to the south it borders the Zona Franca, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat and Esplugues de Llobregat; to the east is the Mediterranean; and to the west are Montcada i Reixach and Sant Cugat del Vallès. There are vast amounts of Moroccan, Pakistani's and Eastern Europeans, particularly immigrants from Romania and the Ukraine. Many of them are from Spain's former posessions in Latin America, mostly Ecuador, Argentina, and Colombia. The city of Barcelona being the second largest in Spain, has a fair amount of immigrants numbering 230,942.

See also: List of Counts of Barcelona. Famous people who have lived and worked in Barcelona include: master painters Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Salvador Dali, Antoni Tàpies, Enrique Tábara, Eugenio Granell, Antonio Saura, Manolo Millares architect Antoni Gaudi. The city's controversial 2004 Universal Forum of Cultures was held between May and September of the same year, lasting a marathon 141 days. Barcelona was the site of the 1992 Summer Olympics.

Despite massive immigration of Castilian speakers from other parts of Spain in the second half of the 20th century, there has been notable success in the increased use of Catalan in everyday life. The city has been the focus of the revival of the Catalan language. A decline in the inner city population and displacement towards the outskirts and beyond raises the threat of urban sprawl. While it may still be the second city of Spain, it has a charm and air that is unique and prized.

The protest movement of the 1970s and the demise of the dictatorship turned Barcelona into a centre of cultural vitality, enabling it to become the thriving city it is today. It was overrun by Francisco Franco's forces in 1939, which ushered in a reign of cultural and political repression that lasted decades. Barcelona was a stronghold for the anarchist cause -anarchist opposition to the call-up of reservists led to the city's Tragic Week in 1909- siding with the Republic's democratically elected government during the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). The beginning of the 20th century marked Barcelona's resurgence, while Catalan nationalists clamoured for political autonomy and greater freedom of cultural expression.

The fields that had surrounded the artificially constricted city became the Eixample ("extension"), a bustling modern city surrounding the old. The exposition also left behind the Arc de Triomf and the Museu de Zoologia (a building originally used during the fair as a cafe-restaurant). During a period of weaker control by the Madrid authorities, the medieval walls were torn down and the citadel of La Ribera was converted into an urban park: the modern Parc de la Ciutadella, site of the 1888 "Universal Exposition" (World's Fair). During the 19th century, Barcelona grew with the industrial revolution and the introduction of many new industries.

It was returned to Spain after Napoleon's downfall. Barcelona and the province of Catalonia were annexed by the French Empire of Napoleon after he invaded Spain and put his brother Joseph on the Spanish throne. Official use of Catalan language was forbidden, and the University withdrew. King Philip V of Spain demolished half of the merchants' quarter (La Ribera) to build a military citadel, as a way of both punishing and controlling the rebel city.

The city was devastated after the Catalonian Republic of 1640 - 1652, and again during the War of the Spanish Succession in 1714. The city is home to the University of Barcelona, founded in 1450. The forging of a dynastic link between the Crown of Aragon and Castile marked the beginning of Barcelona's decline. The counts of Barcelona became increasingly independent and expanded their territory to include all of Catalonia, later formed the Crown of Aragon who conquered many overseas possessions, ruling the western Mediterranean Sea with outlying territories as far as to Athens in the 13th century.

Barcelona was still a Christian frontier territory when it was sacked by Al-Mansur in 985. The city was conquered by the Visigoths in the early 5th century, by the Moors in the early 8th century, reconquered from the emir in 801 by Charlemagne's son Louis who made Barcelona the seat of Carolingian "Spanish Marches" (Marca Hispanica), a buffer zone ruled by the Count of Barcelona. Some remaining fragments of the Roman walls have been incorporated in the cathedral butted up against them [1]; the basilica La Seu is credited to have been founded in 343. The Roman Colonia Julia Augusta Faventia Paterna Barcino was outshone by the province's capital Tarragona but some important Roman remains are exposed under the Plaça del Rei, entrance by the city museum, Museu d'Història de la Ciutat and the typically Roman grid-planning is still visible today on the map of the historical centre, the Barri Gótic ("Gothic Quarter").

About 15 BC, Romans redrew the town as a castrum (a Roman military camp) centred on the "Mons Taber", a little hill nearby the contemporary city hall (Plaça de Sant Jaume). Legend attributes the Carthaginian foundation of Barcino to Hamilcar Barca, father of Hannibal. . The mayor of Barcelona is Joan Clos.

2005), although this only covers 7,733 km² (3,000 mi²) around the city. Population of the province of Barcelona is 5,226,354 (est. 2005). 2005), while the population of the metropolitan area is 4,686,701 (est.

The population of the city proper is 1,593,075 (est. It is 160 km (100 mi) south of the Pyrenees mountain range. It is located in the comarca of Barcelonès, along the Mediterranean coast (41°23′N 2°11′E) between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs. Barcelona is the capital city of Catalonia.

Parc Nou del Prat, on the Llobregat delta, adjoining Sant Cosme and the airport. Once a quarry, now boasts an artificial lake that converts to public swimming pool in summer, and magnificent statue by Basque artist Eduardo Chillida. Parc de la Creueta del Coll, 1987, Oriol Bohigas, Josep Martorell, David Mackay, architects. Parc del Litoral, at the mouth of the River Besos.

Parc de les Planes, located at the boundary of three districts. Parc del Besós, La Mina housing estate. Fontsana, Sant Joan Despí on the site of a former refuse dump. Upgrading of Parc de Torreblanca, the historical site of an urban farm.

A narrow linear park defined by hedge walls and a grid of trees on the bank of the Congost River. Parc de Torrent Congost (Granollers), 1996, Enric Battle and Joan Roig. Parc de Canserra (Barberà del Vallès), 1996, Studio BCQ. Trees and a pool strengthen the sensual escape from the surrounding city.

The design recaptures the pattern of agricultural use using beds of flowering plants. Parc del Torrent Ballesters (Viladecans), 1997, Arturo Frediani/SOB Associates. A ramble built over parking spaces. Carrer Brasil, 1996, Olga Tarraso and Jordi Hernrich.

Parc Güell. Palau de la Música Catalana. Palau Güell. Hospital de Sant Pau.

Casa Milà (La Pedrera). Sant Martí: Fort Pius, Sant Martí de Provençals, Poble Nou, La Verneda, el Clot. Sant Andreu: Barri del Congrés, Sant Andreu de Palomar. Nou Barris: Can Peguera, Porta, Canyelles, Ciutat Meridiana, Guineueta, Prosperitat, Vallbona, Verdum, Vilapicina, Roquetes, Trinitat Vella, Trinitat Nova, Torre Baró, Torre Llobeta and Turó de la Peira.

Horta-Guinardó: Horta, El Carmel, La Teixonera, El Guinardó. Gràcia: Vallcarca, Barri de la Salut, Gràcia, El Camp d'en Grassot. Sarrià - Sant Gervasi: Pedralbes, Sarrià, Sant Gervasi, Vallvidrera. Les Corts.

Sants - Montjuïc: Can Tunis, Montjuïc, Hostafrancs, Sants, Poble Sec. The Eixample: Sant Antoni, Esquerra de l'Eixample ("the left side of the Eixample" with the sea at your back), Dreta de l'Eixample ("the right side of the Eixample"), Barri de la Sagrada Família. Ciutat Vella (old city): El Raval (also known as the Barri Xinès), the Barri Gòtic, and the Barri de la Ribera. 2004 Universal Forum of Cultures.

1992 Summer Olympics. 1982 Hosted eight matches of the twelfth Football World Cup. 1962 In late September, major flooding kills 800+ people in the surroundings. 1952 Eucharistic Congress.

1936 People's Olympiad, cancelled because of the Spanish Civil War. 1929 International Exposition (World's Fair). 1909 Tragic Week. 1888 Universal Exposition (World's Fair).

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