Barcelona has a rich and diverse literary heritage, which continues to grow. Throughout its history, the city has been the source of inspiration for writers all over the world who have immortalised it in their works.
In 2015 the city was declared a City of Literature by UNESCO and became a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities of Literature Network.
Barcelona is a publishing capital in two languages, as Barcelona is both the largest centre of publishing in the Spanish language in the world and the capital of the Catalan language.
Its book industry is diverse and dynamic in all aspects, from publishing houses to bookshops. Literature plays a key role in a city which boasts 40 public libraries and is home to 272 publishing houses. Literature is available to everybody through numerous channels, from libraries to festivals and local cultural centres. There is also a second-hand and antique books market in the neighbourhood of Sant Antoni on Sundays which has been open since 1882, and in 1926 Saint George’s Day (patron saint of Catalonia) was declared the day dedicated to books.
Barcelona is a city with strong ties to the rest of the world and shares cultural projects in many countries. It has always stood up against the violation of human rights and especially freedom of expression. It also collaborates with towns and cities in developing countries to promote libraries and other educational projects.