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Barcelona

BARCELONA

BARCELONA. Barcelona, capital city of Catalonia, is located on the Mediterranean coast in northeastern Spain. The city is nestled on a plain between the Sierra de Collserola and the sea, in the shadow of the promontory of Montjuic, and is bordered to the north and south by the Besós and Llobregat rivers. Key to Barcelona's success as an important port in the fifteenth century was its geographic position within the crown of Aragón. The lack of navigable rivers in Catalonia limited interior trade to overland routes that converged at Barcelona's port. Barcelona served as a major node along the coastal trade route from southern France to Valencia and beyond, and together with the ports of Mallorca and Valencia, controlled the western end of the Mediterranean.

The city originated as a Roman fort constructed on a knoll, which has remained the religious and political center of the city. In the late Middle Ages, the city outgrew this fortification and expanded down to the sea. New perimeter fortifications were constructed, the seaside wall not being completed until 1536. The city's interior was renowned for its numerous religious and civic monuments. As the political seat of Catalonia, Barcelona housed in its center the palaces of the king and the Diputació del General, the principality's treasury. The city was governed from the palace of the Consell de Cent, a council of five executives and a jury of one hundred "honored citizens." The royal shipyard (the drassanes ) dominated the western end of the port district, and the maritime merchant hall (Llotja de Mar) governed the busy port.

Barcelona's medieval prosperity was abruptly cut off by the civil war of 1462; ten years of violence tore apart the political, social, and economic fabric of the city, as well as damaging its international trade. By 1487, the contraction of trade was worsened by a rising of the Catalan peasantry and prosecutions of converted Jews by the Inquisition. By the end of the fifteenth century, Barcelona, with approximately 25,000 inhabitants, was the most densely populated city of Catalonia. Nonetheless, because of repeated waves of bubonic plague, the city's population rose only to about 29,000 by 1516.

The loss of Barcelona's Mediterranean markets was not compensated by the sixteenth-century exploration of the Americas, since this new market was dominated by Castile. Barcelona emerged from an unsuccessful rebellion against the Habsburgs in 16401652 with its traditional political privileges intact. It lost those privileges by fighting against Spain's new Bourbon dynasty in the War of the Spanish Succession (17011714). Moreover, the city's population, which stood at about 64,000 in 1657, had fallen to 37,000 by 1713. Economically, Barcelona recovered slowly from the war, but by the end of the eighteenth century, the city benefited from a flourishing industry in cotton textiles and the opening of trade to Spanish America.

See also Catalonia ; Catalonia, Revolt of (16401652) ; Spanish Succession, War of the (17011714) .

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Carrère, Claude. Barcelona, 13801462: Un centre econòmic en època de crisi, vol. 2. Barcelona, 1978.

Hughes, Robert. Barcelona. New York, 1992.

Kern, Robert, ed. Historical Dictionary of Modern Spain, 17001988. New York, 1990.

Sobrequés i Callicó, Jaume, ed. Historia de Barcelona, 8 vols. Barcelona, 1992.

Treppo, Mario del. Els mercaders catalans i l'expansiódela corona catalano-aragonesa al segle XV. Barcelona, 1976.

Shelley E. Roff

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Barcelona

Barcelona (bär´səlō´nə, Catalan bär´səlō´nə, Span. bär´thālō´nä), city (1990 pop. 4,738,354), capital of Barcelona prov. and chief city of Catalonia, NE Spain, on the Mediterranean Sea.

Economy

Situated on a plain between the Llobregat and Besós rivers and lying between mountains and the sea, Barcelona is the second largest city of Spain, its largest port, and its chief commercial and industrial center. It is also the seat of two universities and many other educational institutions. Textiles, machinery, automobiles, locomotives, airplanes, and electrical equipment are the chief manufactures. International banking and finance are also important.

Points of Interest

A handsome modern city, Barcelona has broad avenues, bustling traffic, and striking new buildings. The old city, with winding, narrow streets (Roman walls are still visible), has many historic structures, including the imposing Cathedral of Santa Eulalia (13th–15th cent.) with its fine cloisters, the Church of Santa María del Mar, the city hall, and the Lonja or exchange. Also notable is the Church of the Sagrada Familia (begun 1882), designed by Antonio Gaudí. Barcelona is the site of the Fine Arts Museum of Catalonia, the Contemporary Art Museum, museums of Miró's, Picasso's and Dali's works, and a noted opera house.

History

Barcelona was founded by the Carthaginians, and, according to tradition, it supposedly derives its name from the great Barca family of Carthage. The city flourished under the Romans and Visigoths, fell to the Moors (8th cent.), and was taken (801) by Charlemagne, who included it in the Spanish March. In the 9th to 10th cent. the march became independent under the leadership of the powerful counts of Barcelona, who wrested lands to the south from the Moors, thus acquiring all Catalonia. The counts also won suzerainty over several fiefs in S France.

The marriage of Count Raymond Berengar IV to the heiress of Aragón united (1137) the two lands under one dynasty; the title, count of Barcelona, was subsequently borne by the kings of Aragón, who made the city their capital, and later the kings of Spain. Under its strong municipal government Barcelona vastly expanded both its Mediterranean trade, becoming a rival of Genoa and Venice, and its cloth industry and flourished as a banking center. Reaching its peak around 1400, the city later shared in the general decline of Catalonia. It was repeatedly (1640–52, 1715, 1808–14) occupied by the French.

Barcelona was always the stronghold of Catalan separatism and was the scene of many insurrections. It was the center of the Catalan revolt (1640–52) against Philip IV of Spain. Later it also became the Spanish center of anarchism, syndicalism, and other radical political beliefs. It was the capital of the Catalan autonomous government (1932–39) and the seat of the Spanish Loyalist government from Oct., 1937, until its fall to Franco on Jan. 26, 1939. Barcelona remains a center of separatism and political liberalism; in the 1950s, it was the scene of sporadic demonstrations against the Franco regime. Present-day Barcelona is a cultural center of Spain, and since the 1970s it has reasserted its Catalan linguistic character. It was the site of the 1992 Summer Olympics.

Bibliography

See A. Boyd, The Essence of Catalonia (1988), L. Permanyer, Barcelona Art Nouveau (1999).

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Barcelona

Barcelona City and Mediterranean port in ne Spain, capital of Catalonia and Spain's second-largest city. Reputedly founded by the Carthaginian Barca family, it was ruled by Romans, Visigoths, and Moors and by the late Middle Ages had become a major trading centre. It is the focus of radical political and Catalan separatist movements. The autonomous Catalan government based here (1932–39) was swept away by the Spanish Civil War. Modern Barcelona is the cosmopolitan, cultural capital of Spain. The 1992 summer Olympic Games were held here. Historic buildings include the gothic Cathedral of Santa Eulalia (13th–15th century), the Church of the Sagrada Familia designed by Antonio Gaudí (begun 1882), and the Monument to Christopher Columbus. There are two universities, a Museum of Modern Art, and the Picasso Museum. Barcelona is an important shipping, banking and financial centre. Industries: vehicles, textiles, machinery, petrochemicals, electrical goods. Pop. (1997) 1,505,581.

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Barcelona

Barcelonabelladonna, Connor, donna, goner, gonna, honour (US honor), Maradona, Mashona, O'Connor, Shona, wanna •corner, fauna, forewarner, Lorna, Morna, mourner, sauna, scorner, suborner, warner •softener • Faulkner •downer, uptowner •sundowner •Arizona, Barcelona, boner, condoner, corona, Cremona, Desdemona, donor, Fiona, groaner, Iona, Jonah, kroner, Leona, loaner, loner, moaner, Mona, owner, Pamplona, persona, postponer, Ramona, stoner, toner, Valona, Verona, Winona •landowner • homeowner • shipowner •coiner, joiner, purloiner •crooner, harpooner, lacuna, lacunar, lampooner, Luna, lunar, mizuna, Oona, oppugner, Poona, pruner, puna, schooner, spooner, Tristan da Cunha, tuna, tuner, Una, vicuña, yokozuna •honeymooner • Sunna • Brookner •koruna

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