A city in northeastern Spain on the Mediterranean; 2nd largest Spanish city and the largest port and commercial center; has been a center for radical political beliefs; capital of Catalonia.
Capital, industrial city (textiles, engineering, chemicals), and port of Catalonia, NE Spain; As the chief center of anarchism and Catalonian nationalism, it was prominent in the overthrow of the monarchy 1931 and was the last city of the republic to surrender to Franco 1939. In 1992 the city hosted the Summer Olympics.
The Ramblas, tree-lined promenades leading from the Plaza de Cataluńa, the largest square in Spain; Gaudí’s unfinished Sagrada Familia (Church of the Holy Family) 1883; the Pueblo Espańol 1929, with specimens of Spanish architecture; a replica of Columbus’s flagship the Santa Maria, in the Maritime Museum; a large collection of art by Picasso.
Founded in the 3rd century BC, Barcelona was ruled independently by the Counts of Barcelona from the 9th century, becoming a commercial center for Aragon and Catalonia in the 13th–14th centuries and one of the leading ports of the Mediterranean. The city was devastated in the Catalonian Revolt 1652 and again during the War of the Spanish Succession 1714. At the forefront of the fight for regional autonomy during the Spanish Civil War, it suffered as a result of insurrections 1835, 1856, and 1909, and was held by the Republicans 1936–39.