As most of you already know, our beloved home was attacked by terrorists on Thursday 17 August 2017, taking 13 lives and injuring 100 people as a result. Although it’s been almost a week already, the Barcelona Terrorist Attack still feels like it happened yesterday. The attack took place on the most heavily-populated street in the city, Les Rambles, where tourists and locals alike happily admire the terrace cafés and restaurants, street performers, and historic buildings.
We are not going to write about the atrocities that occurred last Thursday, nor how angry and enraged we are about this attack (though we absolutely are), or about the lives that were unjustly taken. Instead, we will share love letters written to the beloved Catalan capital, and why we cannot - and will not - live in fear. We want to spread peace, and share the reasons why we, as locals and foreigners, love our Barcelona so much.
We asked a few people in the city the following simple question above, and here are some of the beautiful answers we received below. (The answers have been translated from either Spanish or Catalan to English.)
The People Have Spoken
“I love Barcelona for its positive, open, and loving vibe. It’s not only about the city of Barcelona - there’s so much more to discover in Barcelona Province… The beautiful mountains, with great hiking surroundings, the nature, the people, the food, and that Barcelona city always brings so much to an experience - even on a Monday evening! I love Barcelona because it became a home outside my home country, Sweden.”
- Ida, Sweden
“I love it because of the mix of cultures, because there is always something going on, always some sort of event or celebration… Simply put, I love Barcelona because I can walk around this city, never getting tired of the architecture, even though I’ve passed by it a thousand times.”
- Katy, Ukraine
“I love Barcelona for its cosmopolitan, talented, tolerant and open-minded population. For its astonishing architecture that leaves you speechless at every corner, for its vibrant, busy but respectful street life, for its tasteful, rich and original mix of cuisine. I love it as well for its funny and spirited folklore full of culture and liberty. It taught me that mountain and sea can share together a city where when the sun goes down, the warmth of hearts takes over. Mother Nature’s elements can find peace here and so can we.”
- Julie, France
“What do I think of Barcelona? I think it’s the city that opened it’s arms to me and gave me hope, that it’s the city I fall in love with because of how beautiful it is, that it’s the city in which I want to spend many years to come, and it’s my favorite city in the world. For me, this is Barcelona.”
- Ángel, Venezuela
“I love Barcelona because it is my city, because it is beautiful, because it is a land open to people from all over the world. For the peace it represents and the beauty it emits. For her mountains, for her incredible views, her architecture, the incredible artists that call her home. I love Barcelona because of the incredible weather, geographically in the middle of everything. For her colors, the people who live here, the cuisine, absolutely everything.”
- Sónia, Catalonia
“Barcelona is unique, and the place I call home since I moved here 8 years ago. Just going out into the street gives you a boost with its contagious energy. It’s all in the little details. Something as simple as a fresh-ground coffee while exploring the city. Having a Sunday vermouth with friends while the sun caresses your face. Even just going out to dinner with someone special. What do I like the most? I couldn’t possibly define it with a single word, but rather the culmination of all of the beautiful moments of my life flowing together with the sensations one can experience every day here. Barcelona makes me happy.”
- Angelika, Russia
“I love this city because it’s beautiful, and everyone is so friendly and welcoming. The culture, the architecture, the climate, the food - it’s everything I love in a city. It’s now my home way from Canada.”
- Meesen, Canada
“The main reason why I love it is that the city doesn’t stop surprising me. Each of the districts has its own charm. It is a city with strong local identity but also where cultures can mix as well. With its cultural wealth and beautiful landscapes, it’s a city where you cannot get bored.”
- Thibault, France
“Barcelona first captures your attention with its beautiful buildings and sunshine; with the sangria and tapas, but the real beauty of Barcelona is its people. This is the first country I’ve lived in without any family not even cousins or distant relatives. However, in just a year, I’ve acquired a family that makes the thought of leaving break my heart. The way that the citizens of Barcelona just care for each other is something that is hard to find anywhere else. People open their homes, open their arms for all people, no matter where they’re from, or who they are.”
- Jessica, South Africa
“I love Barcelona because it has so many different places within one city, places where you can easily lose yourself. Above all, it’s a place that has the sea! Vivim a la millor ciutat! (Catalan for "We live in the best city!")."
- Pau, Catalonia
After reading all of these heartfelt responses, we felt blown away by the positive feedback we received. This attack could have happened anywhere, and unfortunately, they are happening everywhere. However, we will become stronger than ever, and we are proud to call Barcelona our home, living day-to-day, without fear. Leave a comment below if you’d like to be a part of the love letter.
A special thanks to everyone who participated and shared their stories with us.
Moltes gràcies a tots els participants per compartir les seves històries amb nosaltres.
Muchas gracias a todos los participantes por compartir sus historias con nosotros.