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Full nameBarcelona
Official nameBarcelona
CountrySpain Spain
Autonomous CommunityCatalonia Catalonia
BodyAjuntament de Barcelona
MayorXavier Trias i Vidal de Llobatera
Total Area39.3 sq mi (101.9 km2)
Urban Area310 sq mi (803 km2)
Elevation39.4 ft (12 m)
Total Population1621537
3,218,071 (Greater Barcelona) (2009)
Density (pop.)15991/km2 (41416.7/sq mi)
Urban (pop.)4210000 (+)
Urban zone4,440,629 (+)
Metropolitan5,083,000 (+)
barceloní, barcelonina
barcelonés, barcelonesa
Other information
Time zoneCET (UTC+1)
- Summer (DST)CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code08001 08080
Area code+34 (Spain) 93 (City)

     Home | City | Barcelona

Barcelona (-cabərsəˈɫonəlang, -esbarθeˈlonalang) is the capital and the most populous city of Catalonia and the second largest city in Spain, after Madrid, with a population of 1,621,537 within its administrative limits on a land area of 101.4 km2 (39.2 sqmi). The urban area of Barcelona extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of between 4,200,000 and 4,500,000 on an area of 803 km2 (310 sqmi), being the sixth-most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, London, Ruhr area, Madrid and Milan. About five million people live in the Barcelona metropolitan area. It is also Europe's largest metropolis on the Mediterranean coast. It is the main component of an administrative area of Greater Barcelona, with a population of 3,218,071 in an area of 636 km2 (density 5,060 hab/km2). It is located on the Mediterranean coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs and is bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola ridge (512 m (1679.8 ft)).

Barcelona is today one of the world's leading tourist, economic, trade fair/exhibitions and cultural-sports centres, and its influences in commerce, education, entertainment, media, fashion, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities. Indeed, it is a major economic centre and a growing financial centre (Diagonal Mar area and Gran Via); one of Europe's principal Mediterranean ports, can be found here as well as Barcelona international airport, which handles about 30 million passengers per year. It also boasts an extensive motorway network and is a hub of high-speed rail, particularly that which will link France with Spain. Barcelona is the 16th-most-visited city in the world and 4th most visited in Europe after Paris, London, and Rome, with several million tourists every year. Barcelona is the 16th most "livable city" in the world according to lifestyle magazine Monocle. Similarly, according to Innovation Analysts 2thinknow, Barcelona occupies 13th place in the world on Innovation Cities™ Global Index. It is the 4th richest city by GDP in the European Union and 35th in the world with an output amounting to -177 billion, a figure nonetheless smaller than alternative estimates. Consequently, its GDP per capita output stands at -35,975 some 44% higher than the European Union average. Similarly, the city of Barcelona stands in 29th place in a list of net personal earnings headed by Zurich. The city is Europe's 3rd and one of the world's most successful as a city brand, both in terms of reputation and assets. Barcelona is 7th most important fashion capital in the world. Also, the city is Europe's 4th best business city and fastest improving European city, with growing improved by 17% per year.

Founded as a Roman city, Barcelona became the capital of the Counts of Barcelona. After merging with the Kingdom of Aragon, it became one of the most important cities of the Crown of Aragon. Besieged several times during its history, Barcelona is today an important cultural centre and a major tourist destination and has a rich cultural heritage. Particularly renowned are architectural works of Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner that have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The city is well known in recent times for the 1992 Summer Olympics. The headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean is located in Barcelona.

As the capital of Catalonia, Barcelona houses the seat of the Catalan government, known as the Generalitat de Catalunya; of particular note are the executive branch, the parliament, and the Supreme Court of Catalonia. The city is also the capital of the Province of Barcelona and the Barcelonès comarca (shire).

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