Barcelona is the capital city of Catalonia and Spain's second most-populated city, with a population of 1,6 million on 101 km2. Its urban area extends beyond the city borders, and with the 4,7 Million people living there, makes it the sixth most populated urban area in the EU, after Paris, London, Madrid, the Ruhr Area, and Milan. Located by the ocean, between the mouths of the Llobregat and Besòs rivers, it is the largest city on the Mediterranean Sea.
Founded as a roman city, Barcelona was the capital city of the county of Barcelona during medieval times. After merging with the kingdom of Aragon, the city continued to play an important role of the Crown of Aragon. Due to several besieges, Barcelona has a rich cultural heritage and continues to be an important cultural centre and major tourist attraction. Particularly famous are the UNESCO world heritage sites of the architectonic works of Antoni Gaudi and Lluís Domènech i Montaner.
Barcelona is renowned for the 1992 Summer Olympic Games and other international sport tournaments, as well as many conferences and expositions. Barcelona is one of the world's leading tourist, economic, trade fair and cultural centers, and its influence in commerce, education, entertainment, media, fashion, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities.
In 2008, Barcelona was ranked the 4th-most economically powerful city in the EU. Since 2001, Barcelona is also one of the leading Smart Cities in Europe. The port of Barcelona is one the most significant transport hubs amongst the European seaports and the busiest European passenger port. The international Barcelona-El Prat Airport handles moren than 35 million passengers annually, and an extensive motorway and high-speed rail network connects the city by the sea to the rest of Europe.
The Expiatori de la Sagrada Família is a roman-catholic Basilica and also a part of the UNESCO world heritage sites.
The Barri Gòtic, also known as the gothic quarter, is the area in which the old town of Barcelona is located. Characterized by narrow cobble streets and tall, old buildings, this town was once the home of Picasso and Joan Miró.
The 512m tall Tibidabo is a mountain overlooking Barcelona, offering a spectacular view of the city and the coastline.