Robert Hughes has been visiting Barcelona since the 1960s and he has written an epic tribute to a city he loves. He tells the story of the growth of this Mediterranean metropolis from its origins as a Roman colonial town to the twentieth century, examining its relationship to the rest of Catalunya, to Spain and to the wider European world. Much of Barcelona’s history is reflected in its architecture and Hughes builds his history around the stones of the city but his account is also rich in political and military drama and the actions of remarkable personalities. He introduces the reader to Barcelona’s painting, poetry, folklore, language, food and much more. He also addresses the paradoxical question of Catalan identity, a people simultaneously so Spanish and yet so un-Spanish. Hughes’s Barcelona has become, as it deserves to be, the standard work on the city in English.