Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain in both size and population. The city has a population of over 1,500,000, but this number spirals to more than 4,000,000 if the outlying areas are also included. The visitor unfamiliar with its history might be surprised that such a modern and enterprising city preserves its historic Gothic centre almost intact.
The old town of Barcelona is bounded by the harbor and by the wide ring roads (ramblas) which have replaced the old town walls. On the highest point in the town center, Monte Tabor (12m/40ft), stands the cathedral, surrounded by medieval streets. The main street is the broad tree-shaded Rambla, which divides the old town into two parts. The newer parts of the city (ensanches), with their avenues of plane-trees and handsome houses, are for the most part laid out in accordance with a regular plan.