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Camp Nou 1957 / PHOTO: FCB ARCHIVES

This Monday is the 55th anniversary since the Camp Nou was inaugurated. Here’s an overview of the history and features of the biggest stadium in Europe:

• 1957. The Inauguration of the Camp Nou

The stadium had an initial capacity of 93,053 spectators. The total cost of the Camp Nou was 288,088,143 pesetas. Today, Camp Nou is the stadium with the largest capacity in Europe, accommodating 98,772 spectators.

• A Brief History of FC Barcelona’s Stadium

It is often said that what finally convinced the board that there was no other option than the construction of a new ground was the arrival of the now legendary Ladislau Kubala, one of the finest players ever to appear for FC Barcelona. And although there can be no doubting that Kubala attracted more interest than ever in the team and meant the club’s spirits hit a new high, the decision to build was inspired just as much by the two League titles won in 1947-48 and 1948-49, which was before the great Hungarian had signed for the club.

• A Five Star Stadium

Although it was originally going to go under the official name of ‘Estadi del FC Barcelona’, it soon came to be popularly known as the 'Camp Nou' (the ‘new ground’), as opposed to the club’s old home at Les Corts. It was not until the 2000/2001 season that, following a mail vote made by the club membership, that the decision was made to make ‘Camp Nou’ the official name of the stadium. Of the 29,102 votes the club received, a total of 19,861 (68.25%) preferred Camp Nou to Estadi del FC Barcelona.

• 20 Years of Mosaics at the Camp Nou

The first mosaic at the Camp Nou was put up on March 7, 1992. It was for a league fixture against Real Madrid, 17,000 fans held up cards in the second and third tiers of the North Goal. The background was in the Barcelona and Catalonia colours, and the message featured just one word, 'BARÇA'.

• Evolution and Major Events

The stadium has undergone several renovations and improvements since 1957. The most important include the unveiling of the floodlighting system in 1959, as well as the addition of the grandstand electronic scoreboard and the press room. But other than these specific changes, the biggest upheaval was the extension work of 1982, when the stadium was enlarged for the staging of the World Cup opening ceremony. The addition of a third tier raised the capacity by 22,150.

• The Camp Nou Experience

The Camp Nou Experience treats visitors to journey through FC Barcelona’s accomplishments, historic archives, multimedia installations, and a tour of Barça’s five-star stadium.

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