Welcome to L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, a vibrant municipality located just southwest of Barcelona in the autonomous community of Catalonia. With a population of over 274,000, it is the second largest city in Catalonia and the sixteenth largest in Spain. L’Hospitalet is part of the Barcelona Metropolitan Area and is known for its rich history, diverse culture, and stunning architecture.
The name L’Hospitalet, which means ‘the small hospital’ in Catalan, refers to a hostel that was once located in the area. The city’s history dates back to the Neolithic era, with evidence of human habitation found in the Llobregat river area. Roman artifacts have also been discovered, including a funeral decoration representing the head of Medusa, now on display at the Archaeological Museum of Catalonia.
Throughout the early 20th century, L’Hospitalet consisted of three different urban settlements: Centre, Sta. Eulàlia, and Collblanc. The city’s agricultural output and profitability experienced a peak during this period, but a chunk of the municipality was lost to Barcelona in 1920. L’Hospitalet then became a primarily industrial municipality, focused on textile, metalworking, ceramic, and building materials industries.
The 1960s and 1970s saw a second population boom, caused by immigration from poorer regions of Spain. However, this was not matched by construction of the necessary amenities, and it was only in the 1990s that public investment resulted in additional schools, leisure facilities, and housing.
As of 2020, the registered population of L’Hospitalet stands at 274,320, with the foreign population amounting to 67,213 people. The largest groups of foreign citizens are from Pakistan, Morocco, and the Philippines.
L’Hospitalet’s surface area is 12.49 km2 (4.82 sq mi) and is divided into seven administrative districts. The city’s economy has improved in recent years, with ongoing work on improving public transportation and urban regeneration. The former airline Spanair’s headquarters were located in L’Hospitalet, and the city is home to several impressive skyscrapers, including the Hotel Porta Fira, Torre Realia BCN, and Hesperia Tower.
Whether you’re interested in exploring the city’s rich history, sampling its delicious cuisine, or simply taking in the stunning architecture, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat has something for everyone. Come and discover this hidden gem for yourself!