Barcelona

Barcelona
Barcelona collage.JPG
Nicknames: 
Ciutat Comtal (ca)/Ciudad Condal (es)
"Comital City" or "City of Counts"

Cap i Casal de Catalunya (ca)
"Head and Hearth of Catalonia"

Abbreviation(s):
Barna, BCN
Barcelona is located in Catalonia
Barcelona
Barcelona
Location within Catalonia
Barcelona is located in Spain
Barcelona
Barcelona
Location within Spain
Barcelona is located in Europe
Barcelona
Barcelona
Location within Europe
Coordinates: 41°23′N 2°11′E / 41°23′N 2°11′E / 41.383; 2.183Catalonia
ProvinceBarcelona
ComarcaBarcelonès
SeatBarcelona City Hall
Districts
Government
 • TypeMayor–council
 • BodyBarcelona City Council
 • MayorAda Colau Ballano[1] (Barcelona en Comú)
Area
 • City101.4 km2 (39.2 sq mi)
Elevation
 (AMSL)
12 m (39 ft)
Population
 (2018)[5]
 • City1,620,343
 • Rank2nd
 • Density16,000/km2 (41,000/sq mi)
 • Urban
4,840,000[3]
 • Metro
5,474,482[4]
DemonymsBarcelonan, Barcelonian
barceloní-ina (ca)
'barcelonés-esa (es)
Postal code
080xx
Area code+34 (E) 93 (B)
INE code08 0193
City budget (2014)€2.6 billion[6]
Official languageCatalan and Spanish
Main festivityLa Mercè
Patron saintwww.barcelona.cat

Barcelona (ə/ LOH-nə, Catalan: [bəɾsəˈlonə], Spanish: [baɾθeˈlona]) is a city in Spain. It is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Catalonia, as well as the second most populous municipality of Spain. With a population of 1.6 million within city limits,[7] its urban area extends to numerous neighbouring municipalities within the Province of Barcelona and is home to around 4.8 million people,[3][8] making it the sixth most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, London, Madrid, the Ruhr area and Milan.[3] It is one of the largest metropolises on the Mediterranean Sea, located on the coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs, and bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola mountain range, the tallest peak of which is 512 metres (1,680 feet) high.

Founded as a Roman city, in the Middle Ages Barcelona became the capital of the County of Barcelona. After merging with the Kingdom of Aragon, Barcelona continued to be an important city in the Crown of Aragon as an economic and administrative centre of this Crown and the capital of the Principality of Catalonia. Barcelona has a rich cultural heritage and is today an important cultural centre and a major tourist destination. Particularly renowned are the architectural works of Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner, which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean are located in Barcelona. The city is known for hosting the 1992 Summer Olympics as well as world-class conferences and expositions and also many international sport tournaments.

Barcelona is one of the world's leading tourist, economic, trade fair and cultural centres, and its influence in commerce, education, entertainment, sports, media, fashion, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities.[9][10] It is a major cultural and economic centre in southwestern Europe, 24th in the world (before Zürich, after Frankfurt)[11] and a financial centre. In 2008 it was the fourth most economically powerful city by GDP in the European Union and 35th in the world with GDP amounting to €177 billion.[12] In 2012 Barcelona had a GDP of $170 billion; and it was leading Spain in employment rate in that moment.[13]

In 2009 the city was ranked Europe's third and one of the world's most successful as a city brand.[14] In the same year the city was ranked Europe's fourth best city for business and fastest improving European city, with growth improved by 17% per year,[15] and the city has been experiencing strong and renewed growth for the past three years. Since 2011 Barcelona has been a leading smart city in Europe.[16] Barcelona is a transport hub, with the Port of Barcelona being one of Europe's principal seaports and busiest European passenger port,[17] an international airport, Barcelona–El Prat Airport, which handles over 50 million passengers per year,[18] an extensive motorway network, and a high-speed rail line with a link to France and the rest of Europe.[19]

Names

The name Barcelona comes from the ancient Iberian Barkeno, attested in an ancient coin inscription found on the right side of the coin in Iberian script as Barkeno in Levantine Iberian script,[20] in ancient Greek sources as Βαρκινών, Barkinṓn;[21][22] and in Latin as Barcino,[23] Barcilonum[24] and Barcenona.[25][26][27]

Some older sources suggest that the city may have been named after the Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca, who was supposed to have founded the city in the 3rd century BC,[28] but there is no evidence that Barcelona was ever a Carthaginian settlement, or that its name in antiquity, Barcino, had any connection with the Barcid family of Hamilcar.[29] During the Middle Ages, the city was variously known as Barchinona, Barçalona, Barchelonaa, and Barchenona.

Internationally, Barcelona's name is wrongly abbreviated to 'Barça'. However, this name refers only to FC Barcelona, the football club. The common abbreviated form used by locals is Barna.

Another common abbreviation is 'BCN', which is also the IATA airport code of the Barcelona-El Prat Airport.

The city is also referred to as the Ciutat Comtal in Catalan, and Ciudad Condal in Spanish (i.e. Comital City or City of Counts), owing to its past as the seat of the Count of Barcelona.[30]