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Barcelona
38deg/32min N 0deg/8min W

Sixth Fleet vessels usually dock across the port from the downtown waterfront, about one kilometer (just over half-a-mile) from the beaches edging Barceloneta, and two kilometers from the Monument a Colom (Columbus Monument) at the bottom of the Ramblas. The aircraft carrier anchorage is situated about 0.6 to 0.8 n mi east of the green light at the south end of Dique del Este in a depth of 23 fm.

Sixth Fleet ports of call are also located throughout the Mediterranean Sea. Ship visits ensure continued access to essential bases and infrastructure. Engagement capitalizes on naval strengths of mobility and sustainability, using the inherent prestige of U.S. flagged warships. Formative engagement is further enhanced by incorporating the full range of naval assets -- including Seabees, the chaplaincy, the Judge Advocate General corps, and civil affairs units -- during port visits.

The Port of Barcelona is located on the east coast of northeastern Spain in the Region of Catalonia, approximately 75 n mi south of the French border. Situated on the north coast of the Balearic Sea, the Port of Barcelona is positioned between the mouths of the Llobregat and Besos rivers.

The Port of Barcelona is the largest Spanish port on the Mediterranean Sea, and is capable of accommodating several large ships. The facilities of the inner harbor are located in an artificial harbor bounded on the eastern, seaward side by a breakwater, Dique del Este, which is approximately 2 n mi long. The western half of the southern part of the port adjacent to the port entrance is protected by a second breakwater, Nuevo Contradique. Transverse moles divide the inner harbor into several basins.

The bare, conical peaks of Montana de Montserrat rise about 21 n mi northwest of the harbor, and provide an unmistakable landmark from seaward. The highest peak in the group is Pico de San Jeromino, which has an elevation of 4,154 ft.

Barcelona is located between two areas which are subject to strong winds. It lies south of the area experiencing Mistral winds, the Gulf of Lion, and north of the strong westerly winds which blow over Tarragona. The result of this unique location is that Barcelona only infrequently experiences strong winds. Winds of force 7 (28-33 kt) only occur an average of 5.6 days per year at Barcelona. The greatest frequency of occurrence in January through April, with each of the months averaging 0.8 days with force 7 or higher winds.

The inner harbor of the Port of Barcelona is generally well protected from most hazardous weather conditions. Wind and sea are not factors in the inner harbor, except strong easterly winds would hamper maneuvering. Local authorities indicate that ships moored at Muelle Sur No. 1 are exposed to south to southeasterly winds and waves, however. A southeasterly swell only occurs three to five days per year, usually due to synoptic scale southerly flow. Strong (near 60 kt) westerly winds have occurred only twice in a 14-year period, and caused problems for ships moored with a north-south orientation. As would be expected, vessels with a large sail area were most affected.

Muelle Adosado is located adjacent to a sulfur deposit, and Muelle del Contradique has a potash deposit on its north side. Consequently, both facilities are undesirable on windy days and should be avoided as mooring sites.

Large ships, such as aircraft carriers, use the anchorage located 0.6 to 0.8 n mi east of the south end of Dique del Este. The roadstead is sheltered only from offshore winds and is a dangerous anchorage in winter. The wind can change its direction suddenly during winter, causing wind waves to cross the swell waves, creating a dangerous condition for small boats. Mistral winds, known locally as Tramontana, have little or no effect on the inner harbor, but generate swell waves in the Gulf of Lion which are propagated to the anchorage. Swell height at onset may reach 6 to 10 ft and usually lasts 2 to 3 hours but may last as long as 6 to 12 hours. A swell will be experienced in the roadstead as long as a Mistral is present over the Gulf of Lion, with a 40 kt wind producing a 4 ft swell at Barcelona.

Spain's second largest city and capital of the semi-autonomous region of Catalunya (Catalonia), Barcelona is dynamic, sophisticated, beautiful and fun! The city recently hit the international headlines when it hosted the Olympic Games in 1992, but Barcelona has been a thriving Mediterranean port since the Middle Ages. It has long rivaled the Spanish capital Madrid, in terms of cultural heritage and commercial success.

The Romans conquered and named the port of Barcino in 133 BC. By the time Charlemagne liberated the city from Moorish invaders in 801, it was called Barcelona. Barcelona flourished in the 12th-14th centuries, when the superb medieval old town area, the Barri Gotic, was founded. (It remains the heart of the city today, packed with shops, restaurants and bars.) In 1474, Catalunya was united with the rest of Spain by the marriage of the 'Catholic Kings', Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile. They welcomed the explorer Christopher Columbus back from his first voyage to the New World in Barcelona harbor in 1493.

Barcelona's Catalan identity remains strong. The Catalans' highly-developed sense of nationalism has got them into all sorts of trouble through the ages: a slew of kings, politicians, and the 20th-Century dictator General Franco once did their best to suppress Catalan culture and identity - with little lasting success. Local people speak the Catalan language in preference to the Castilian Spanish we Americans may be more used to hearing; street names and attractions are given in Catalan on maps (and in this guide). The Catalans are fiercely proud of their many famous sons and daughters, such as artists Salvador Dali and Joan Miro, the Modernist architect Antoni Gaudi (his amazing buildings are famous local landmarks), and opera singers Monserrat Caballe and Jose Carreras. And it's not all high culture in Catalunya-Barcelona can also boast beaches and amusement parks, a state-of-the-art Olympic stadium and arena which host major sporting events and rock concerts, plus appearances by the city's very own home--grown American Football team, the Barcelona Howlers.

Getting yourself orientated in Barcelona is no problem. The old part of the city runs back from the waterfront to Placa de Catalunya, either side of the Ramblas, five connecting streets which make up downtown's most important thoroughfare. To the right (northeast) of the Ramblas, you'll find the heart of the medieval city, the Barri Gotic, the Parc Ciutadella and La Ribera district. To the left (southwest), the 'Barrio Chino' is a rundown quarter of town off-limits to Sixth Fleet personnel, beyond which are the heights of Montjuic. Just above Placa de Catalunya, Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes divides the downtown area from the 19th--Century Eixample district and the residential suburbs stretching west to the hills of Tibidabo and Collserola.



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