Barcelona [Spanish -θe-, Catalan -sə-], capital of Catalonia and second largest city in Spain, provincial capital and cultural center of Catalonia, (2020) 1.7 million residents.
Important commercial, industrial and port city, lies between the coastal chain and the Mediterranean Sea, between the irrigation plain of the Llobregat in the south and the dry bed of the Besós in the north, whose valleys break through the coastal chain. Barcelona has an excellent traffic situation, here the traffic lines from the interior and the southeast coast converge and lead to France on the eastern edge of the Pyrenees.
Administrative and cultural institutions
Archbishopric; five universities (the oldest founded in 1450, the youngest in 2000), several private universities, business school; largest theater and opera house in Spain (Gran Teatre del Liceu), museums (including for contemporary art; archeology, Picasso, Miró, Gaudí museums); 8,000 marine animals aquarium (300 species); Bullring. 1992 venue of the XXV. Summer Olympics.
The artificial harbor in the south of the fishing suburb of Barceloneta with its landmark, the 68 m high Columbus Column, and the Drassanes (largest medieval shipyard in the world, built in 1378; naval museum) is one of the main ports of the Mediterranean. It is dominated by the Castell de Montjuïc (17th / 18th century). On Montjuïc (175 m above sea level) there are several museums, the “Spanish Village” (Poble Espanyol) created for the 1929/30 World Exhibition with replicas of characteristic buildings from all parts of Spain and numerous sports facilities from the 1992 Summer Olympics.
The city and the hinterland have a diverse industry: textile, metal, printing and paper industries, automotive and shipbuilding.
Barcelona is on the high-speed rail line from Madrid to France. The city has an underground network, the first line of which went into operation in 1924 and which is still being expanded. The international airport is located in the Llobregat Delta: El Prat de Llobregat, which was expanded in 1991 (architect: R. Bofill).
The first (Iberian) settlements are for 2000–1500 BC. Chr. Attested; since 218 BC BC as Barcino Roman (since Augustus as Colonia Iulia Augusta Faventia Paterna Barcino); late antique forms of name: Barcinona, Barcelona. After 415 the city was conquered by the Visigoths, was temporarily their capital, was conquered by the Arabs in 717/718 and recaptured by the Franks in 801. These made Barcelona 803 the capital of the Spanish mark. Since 874 the Counts of Barcelona were independent. Temporarily once again Moorish, Barcelona was united with Aragon in 1137 and has since developed into a flourishing trading metropolis. The city became one of the most important banking centers in Europe and exported Spanish wool and metals. Catalan trade declined from the mid-15th century and was further damaged by the overseas discoveries that gave the ports of Seville and Cádiz a monopoly. In the War of the Spanish Succession on the side of the Austrian Archduke Karl, Barcelona was conquered by Philip V’s troops and lost its special rights (Fueros). 1808-14 it was occupied by the French. It supported the Carlist and was therefore repeatedly drawn into the civil wars.
With its rise to the largest industrial city in Spain in the 19th century, Barcelona became a gathering point for republican, socialist and anarchist currents, as well as – as the center of the Catalan renaissance – of aspirations for autonomy and independence. In 1909 an uprising against Spanish colonial policy in Morocco was bloodily crushed here (“Tragic Week”). With the Statute of Autonomy for Catalonia (1932; suspended 1934–36; repealed in 1939), Barcelona became the capital of the autonomous region of Catalonia. In the course of the democratization process (since 1977) it received this function again within the framework of the autonomous region of Catalonia.
On August 17, 2017, a terrorist attack in Barcelona killed 14 people and injured more than 100 people. The assassin had raced into passers-by on the “Las Ramblas” boulevard in a delivery van. Another victim was later found stabbed to death. The terrorist militia Islamic State claimed the attack for itself.
Catalonia (Catalunya, Spanish Cataluña), northeastern Spanish landscape on the Mediterranean, with 32 113 km 2 and 7.8 million residents; The center is the port city of Barcelona.
Catalonia is traversed by the Catalonian foothills (in the Montseny 1,741 m high). In the fertile coastal areas, wine and olives are mainly grown, while livestock is farmed in the valleys of the Pyrenees. The main source of income for the population is tourism along the Costa Brava and Costa Dorada. The relatively highly developed industry is concentrated around Barcelona and Tarragona.
The Catalans strive for independence. In a referendum (referendum) at the beginning of October 2017, according to the regional government, around 90 percent of voters voted for Catalonia to split off from motherland Spain. On October 27, 2017, the Catalan Parliament finally voted for independence. Then the Spanish government deposed the Catalan government and disempowered the Catalan parliament. Catalonia has had an independent regional government again since the beginning of June 2018.