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Barcelona

city spain begun spanish

Barcelona (pop. 1,643,500), Spain's largest seaport and second largest city after Madrid. It is situated on the Mediterranean coast, in northeastern Spain, on a broad plain dotted with hills, between the Besos and Llobregat rivers. Barcelona's wide range of industries includes shipbuilding, metal-working, food processing, the manufacture of chemicals, textiles (including silk), leather goods, and glass. Agricultural commodities such as wine, olive oil, and cork are exported, and raw materials such as coal, grain, and textile fibers pass through its port. The city was founded in the 3rd century B.C. by Carthaginians. It flourished in the Middle Ages as an economic center. In 1137 it united with Aragon. Except for two brief periods of French rule (1640, 1808–14), Barcelona has been under Spanish rule ever since. Among the city's principal landmarks are the cathedral (begun 1298, completed 1498) and the Church of the Holy Family, by Antonio Gaudi, begun in 1882 and still unfinished. The center of Catalan nationalism in modern times, Barcelona was the stronghold of left-wing politics and Republican allegiance in the Spanish Civil War. It was the host city for the 1992 Summer Olympic Games.

See also: Spain.

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