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Catalonia
Catalonia
(Catalan: Catalunya, Occitan: Catalonha, Spanish: Cataluña)[c] is an autonomous community of Spain
Spain
located on the northeastern extremity of the Iberian Peninsula. It is designated as a nationality by its Statute of Autonomy.[d][7] Catalonia
Catalonia
consists of four provinces: Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona. The capital and largest city is Barcelona, the second-most populated municipality in Spain
Spain
and the core of the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union. Catalonia
Catalonia
comprises most of the territory of the former Principality of Catalonia
Principality of Catalonia
(with the remainder Roussillon
Roussillon
now part of France's Pyrénées-Orientales). It is bordered by France
France
and Andorra
Andorra
to the north, the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
to the east, and the Spanish autonomous communities of Aragon
Aragon
to the west and Valencia to the south. The official languages are Catalan, Spanish, and the Aranese dialect
Aranese dialect
of Occitan.[8] In the late 8th century, the counties of the March of Gothia and the Hispanic March were established by the Frankish kingdom as feudal vassals across and near the eastern Pyrenees
Pyrenees
as a defensive barrier against Muslim
Muslim
invasions. The eastern counties of these marches were united under the rule of the Frankish vassal, the count of Barcelona, and were later called Catalonia. In 1137, Catalonia
Catalonia
and the Kingdom of Aragon
Aragon
were united by marriage under the Crown of Aragon, and the Principality of Catalonia
Principality of Catalonia
became the base for the Crown of Aragon's naval power and expansionism in the Mediterranean. In the later Middle Ages, Catalan literature
Catalan literature
flourished. Between 1469 and 1516, the king of Aragon
Aragon
and the queen of Castile married and ruled their kingdoms together, retaining all their distinct institutions, courts (parliament), and constitutions. During the Franco-Spanish War (1635–1659), Catalonia
Catalonia
revolted (1640–1652) against a large and burdensome presence of the royal army in its territory, becoming a republic under French protection. Within a brief period France
France
took full control of Catalonia, at a high economic cost for Catalonia, until it was largely reconquered by the Spanish army. Under the terms of the Treaty of the Pyrenees
Pyrenees
in 1659, which ended the wider Franco-Spanish War, the Spanish Crown
Spanish Crown
ceded the northern parts of Catalonia, mostly incorporated in the county of Roussillon, to France. During the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714), the Crown of Aragon
Crown of Aragon
sided against the Bourbon Philip V of Spain, whose subsequent victory led to the Nueva Planta decrees which abolished non-Castilian institutions in the Crown of Aragon, replaced Latin and other languages (such as Catalan) with Spanish in legal documents, abolished internal borders and customs except for the Basque and Navarrese territories and ended the Castilian monopoly over trade with the Spanish Empire. In the nineteenth century, Catalonia
Catalonia
was severely affected by the Napoleonic and Carlist Wars. In the second half of the century, Catalonia
Catalonia
experienced significant industrialisation. As wealth from the industrial expansion grew, Catalonia
Catalonia
saw a cultural renaissance coupled with incipient nationalism while several workers movements appeared. In 1914, the four Catalan provinces formed a commonwealth, and with the return of democracy during the Second Spanish Republic (1931–1939), the Generalitat of Catalonia
Generalitat of Catalonia
was restored as an autonomous government. After the Spanish Civil War, the Francoist dictatorship enacted repressive measures, abolishing Catalan institutions and banning the official use of the Catalan language again. From the late 1950s through to the early 1970s, Catalonia
Catalonia
saw rapid economic growth, drawing many workers from across Spain, making Barcelona
Barcelona
one of Europe's largest industrial metropolitan areas and turning Catalonia
Catalonia
into a major tourist destination. Since the Spanish transition to democracy (1975–1982), Catalonia
Catalonia
has regained considerable local autonomy in political, educational, environmental, and cultural affairs and is now one of the most economically dynamic communities of Spain.

Contents

1 Etymology and pronunciation 2 History

2.1 Prehistory 2.2 Pre-Roman and Roman period 2.3 Middle Ages 2.4 Modern Era 2.5 Industrialisation, Republic and civil war era 2.6 Under Franco's rule (1939–1975) 2.7 Contemporary era (1975–2014) 2.8 Independence movement (2014–present)

3 Geography

3.1 Climate 3.2 Topography 3.3 Flora and fauna 3.4 Hydrography

4 Politics

4.1 Statute of Autonomy 4.2 Government and law

4.2.1 Legislature 4.2.2 Presidency 4.2.3 Executive

4.3 Security forces and Justice 4.4 Administrative divisions

4.4.1 Provinces 4.4.2 Municipalities 4.4.3 Comarques 4.4.4 Vegueries

5 Economy

5.1 Transport

5.1.1 Airports 5.1.2 Ports 5.1.3 Roads 5.1.4 Railways

6 Demographics

6.1 Religion 6.2 Languages

7 Culture

7.1 Art and architecture

7.1.1 Monuments and World Heritage Sites

7.2 Literature 7.3 Festivals and public holidays 7.4 Music and dance 7.5 Media and cinema 7.6 Philosophy 7.7 Sport 7.8 Symbols 7.9 Cuisine

8 Image gallery 9 Twinning and covenants 10 See also 11 Notes 12 References 13 External links

Etymology and pronunciation The name Catalunya (Catalonia)—spelled Cathalonia, or Cathalaunia, in Mediaeval Latin—began to be used for the homeland of the Catalans (Cathalanenses) in the late 11th century and was probably used before as a territorial reference to the group of counties that comprised part of the March of Gothia and March of Hispania
Hispania
under the control of the Count of Barcelona
Barcelona
and his relatives.[9] The origin of the name Catalunya is subject to diverse interpretations because of a lack of evidence. One theory suggests that Catalunya derives from the name Gothia (or Gauthia) Launia ("Land of the Goths"), since the origins of the Catalan counts, lords and people were found in the March of Gothia, known as Gothia, whence Gothland > Gothlandia > Gothalania > Cathalaunia > Catalonia
Catalonia
theoretically derived.[10][11] During the Middle Ages, Byzantine
Byzantine
chroniclers claimed that Catalania derives from the local medley of Goths
Goths
with Alans, initially constituting a Goth-Alania.[12] Other less plausible or recent theories suggest:

Catalunya derives from the term "land of castles", having evolved from the term castlà or castlan, the medieval term for the ruler of a castle.[10][13] This theory therefore suggests that the names Catalunya and Castile have a common root. The source is of Celtic origin, meaning "chiefs of battle". Although the area is not known to have been occupied by Celts, a Celtic culture was present within the interior of Iberia
Iberia
in pre-Roman times.[14] The Lacetani, an Iberian tribe that lived in the area and whose name, due to the Roman influence, could have evolved by metathesis to Katelans and then Catalans.[15] Miguel Carrasquer Vidal [1], finding serious shortcomings with earlier proposals (such as that an original -t- would have, by normal sound laws in the local Romance languages, developed into -d-), suggested an Arabic etymology: qattāl (قتالو, pl. qattālūn قتالون) – meaning "killer" – could have been applied by Muslims
Muslims
to groups of raiders and bandits on the southern border of the Spanish March. The name, originally derogatory, could have been reappropriated by Christians as an autonym. This is comparable to attested development of the term Almogavar
Almogavar
in nearby areas. In this model, the country name Catalunya derives from the plural qattālūn while the adjective and language name català derives from the singular qattāl, both with the addition of common Romance suffixes.[citation needed]

In English, Catalonia
Catalonia
is pronounced /kætəˈloʊniə/. The native name, Catalunya, is pronounced [kətəˈluɲə] in Central Catalan, the most widely spoken variety, whose pronunciation is considered standard.[16] The Spanish name is Cataluña ([kataˈluɲa]), and the Aranese
Aranese
name is Catalonha ([kataˈluɲɔ]). History Main article: History of Catalonia Prehistory

The caves of El Cogul contain paintings protected as part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site

The first known human settlements in what is now Catalonia
Catalonia
were at the beginning of the Middle Palaeolithic. The oldest known trace of human occupation is a mandible found in Banyoles, described by some sources as pre- Neanderthal
Neanderthal
some 200,000 years old; other sources suggest it to be only about one third that old.[17] From the next prehistoric era, the Epipaleolithic
Epipaleolithic
or Mesolithic, important remains survive, the greater part dated between 8000 BC and 5000 BC, such as those of Sant Gregori (Falset) and el Filador ( Margalef
Margalef
de Montsant).[citation needed] The Neolithic
Neolithic
era began in Catalonia
Catalonia
around 5000 BC, although the population was slower to develop fixed settlements than in other places, thanks to the abundance of woods, which allowed the continuation of a fundamentally hunter-gatherer culture.[citation needed] The Chalcolithic (Eneolithic) period developed in Catalonia
Catalonia
between 2500 and 1800 BC, with the beginning of the construction of copper objects. The Bronze Age
Bronze Age
occurred between 1800 and 700 BC. There are few remnants of this era, but there were some known settlements in the low Segre zone. The Bronze Age
Bronze Age
coincided with the arrival of the Indo-Europeans through the Urnfield Culture, whose successive waves of migration began around 1200 BC, and they were responsible for the creation of the first proto-urban settlements. Around the middle of the 7th century BC, the Iron Age
Iron Age
arrived in Catalonia. Pre-Roman and Roman period

Iberian fortress Els Vilars in Arbeca

A Roman aqueduct
Roman aqueduct
in Tarragona

In pre-Roman times, the area that is now called Catalonia
Catalonia
in the north-east of Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
– like the rest of the Mediterranean side of the peninsula – was populated by the Iberians. The Iberians of this area – the Ilergetes, Indigetes
Indigetes
and Lacetani (Cerretains) – also maintained relations with the peoples of the Mediterranean. Some urban agglomerations became relevant, including Ilerda (Lleida) inland, Hibera (perhaps Amposta
Amposta
or Tortosa) or Indika (Ullastret). Coastal trading colonies were established by the ancient Greeks, who settled around the Gulf of Roses, in Emporion (Empúries) and Roses in the 8th century BC. The Carthaginians briefly ruled the territory in the course of the Second Punic War
Second Punic War
and traded with the surrounding Iberian population. After the Carthaginian defeat by the Roman Republic, the north-east of Iberia
Iberia
became the first to come under Roman rule and became part of Hispania, the westernmost part of the Roman Empire. Tarraco
Tarraco
(modern Tarragona) was one of the most important Roman cities in Hispania
Hispania
and the capital of the province of Tarraconensis. Other important cities of the Roman period are Ilerda (Lleida), Dertosa (Tortosa), Gerunda (Girona) as well as the ports of Empuriæ (former Emporion) and Barcino (Barcelona). As for the rest of Hispania, Latin law was granted to all cities under the reign of Vespasian
Vespasian
(69-79 AD), while Roman citizenship
Roman citizenship
was granted to all free men of the empire by the Edict of Caracalla in 212 AD (Tarraco, the capital, was already a colony of Roman law
Roman law
since 45 BC). It was a rich agricultural province (olive oil, vine, wheat), and the first centuries of the Empire saw the construction of roads (the most important being the Via Augusta, parallel to Mediterranean
Mediterranean
coastline) and infrastructure like aqueducts. Conversion to Christianity, attested in the 3rd century, was completed in urban areas in the 4th century. Although Hispania
Hispania
remained under Roman rule and did not fall under the rule of Vandals, Swabians
Swabians
and Alans
Alans
in the 5th century, the main cities suffered frequent sacking and some deurbanization. Middle Ages

Origins of the blason of the County
County
of Barcelona, by Claudi Lorenzale

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the area was conquered by the Visigoths
Visigoths
and was ruled as part of the Visigothic Kingdom
Visigothic Kingdom
for almost two and a half centuries. In 718, it came under Muslim
Muslim
control and became part of Al-Andalus, a province of the Umayyad Caliphate. From the conquest of Roussillon
Roussillon
in 760, to the conquest of Barcelona in 801, the Frankish empire
Frankish empire
took control of the area between Septimania
Septimania
and the Llobregat
Llobregat
river from the Muslims
Muslims
and created heavily militarised, self-governing counties. These counties formed part of the Gothic and Hispanic marches, a buffer zone in the south of the Frankish empire
Frankish empire
in the former province of Septimania
Septimania
and in the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula, to act as a defensive barrier for the Frankish empire
Frankish empire
against further Muslim
Muslim
invasions from Al-Andalus.

Petronilla of Aragon
Aragon
and Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Barcelona, dynastic union of the Crown of Aragon

These counties came under the rule of the counts of Barcelona, who were Frankish vassals nominated by the emperor of the Franks, to whom they were feudatories (801–987). The earliest known use of the name "Catalonia" for these counties dates to 1117. During the 9th century, the Count Wifred the Hairy
Wifred the Hairy
made its title hereditary and founded the dynasty of the House of Barcelona, which ruled Catalonia
Catalonia
until 1410. In 987 Borrell II, Count of Barcelona, did not recognise Hugh Capet
Hugh Capet
as his king, making his successors (from Ramon Borrell I to Ramon Berenguer IV) de facto independent of the Carolingian crown. At the start of eleventh century the Catalan Counties
Catalan Counties
suffer an important process of feudalisation, partially controlled by the Peace and Truce Assemblies and by the power and negotiation skills of the Counts of Barcelona
Barcelona
like Ramon Berenguer I. In 1137, Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Barcelona
Barcelona
decided to accept King Ramiro II of Aragon's proposal to marry Queen Petronila, establishing the dynastic union of the County of Barcelona
Barcelona
with the Kingdom of Aragon, joining the Crown of Aragon and making the Catalan counties that were united under the county of Barcelona
Barcelona
into a principality of the Aragonese Crown. In 1258, by means of the Treaty of Corbeil, the Count of Barcelona
Barcelona
and King of Aragon, of Mallorca and of Valencia, James I of Aragon renounced his family rights and dominions in Occitania
Occitania
and recognised the king of France
France
as heir of the Carolingian Dynasty. The king of France
France
formally relinquished his nominal feudal lordship over all the Catalan counties, except the County
County
of Foix, despite the opposition of the king of Aragon
Aragon
and count of Barcelona. This treaty transformed the principality's de facto union with Aragon
Aragon
into a de jure one and was the origin of the definitive separation between the geographical areas of Catalonia
Catalonia
and Languedoc.

A 15th-century miniature of the Catalan Courts

As a coastal territory, Catalonia
Catalonia
became the base of the Aragonese Crown's maritime forces, which spread the power of the Aragonese Crown in the Mediterranean, and made Barcelona
Barcelona
into a powerful and wealthy city. In the period of 1164–1410, new territories, the Kingdom of Valencia, the Kingdom of Majorca, Sardinia, the Kingdom of Sicily, Corsica, and (briefly) the Duchies of Athens and Neopatras, were incorporated into the dynastic domains of the House of Aragon. At the same time, the Principality of Catalonia
Principality of Catalonia
developed a complex institutional and political system based in the concept of a pact between the estates of the realm and the king. Laws had to be approved in the General Court of Catalonia, one of the first parliamentary bodies of Europe
Europe
that banned the royal power to create legislation unilaterally (since 1283).[18] The Courts were composed of the three Estates, were presided over by the king of Aragon, and approved the constitutions, which created a compilation of rights for the citizenship of the Principality. In order to collect general taxes, the Courts of 1359 established a permanent representative of deputies position, called the Deputation of the General (and later usually known as Generalitat), which gained political power over the next centuries. In 1410, King Martin I died without surviving descendants. Under the Compromise of Caspe, Ferdinand from the Castilian House of Trastámara received the Crown of Aragon
Crown of Aragon
as Ferdinand I of Aragon. During the reign of his son, John II, social and political tensions caused the Catalan Civil War
Catalan Civil War
(1462–1472). The domains of the Aragonese Crown were severely affected by the Black Death
Black Death
pandemic and by later outbreaks of the plague. Between 1347 and 1497 Catalonia
Catalonia
lost 37 percent of its population.[19] Modern Era

The Principality of Catalonia
Principality of Catalonia
(1608)

Ferdinand II of Aragon, the grandson of Ferdinand I, and Queen Isabella I of Castile
Isabella I of Castile
were married in 1469, later taking the title the Catholic Monarchs; subsequently, this event was seen by historiographers as the dawn of a unified Spain. At this time, though united by marriage, the Crowns of Castile and Aragon
Aragon
maintained distinct territories, each keeping its own traditional institutions, parliaments, and laws. Castile commissioned expeditions to the Americas
Americas
and benefited from the riches acquired in the Spanish colonisation of the Americas, but, in time, also carried the main burden of military expenses of the united Spanish kingdoms. After Isabella's death, Ferdinand II personally ruled both kingdoms. By virtue of descent from his maternal grandparents, Ferdinand II of Aragon
Aragon
and Isabella I of Castile, in 1516 Charles I of Spain
Spain
became the first king to rule the Crowns of Castile and Aragon
Aragon
simultaneously by his own right. Following the death of his paternal (House of Habsburg) grandfather, Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, he was also elected Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, in 1519.[20] Over the next few centuries, the Principality of Catalonia
Principality of Catalonia
was generally on the losing side of a series of wars that led steadily to more centralization of power in Spain. Despite this fact, between the 16th and 18th centuries, the participation of the political community in the local and the general Catalan government was increased, while the kings remained absent and its constitutional system continued to consolidate. The Catalan Revolt (1640–1652) saw Catalonia
Catalonia
rebel (briefly as a republic led by Pau Claris) with French help against the Spanish Crown
Spanish Crown
for overstepping Catalonia's rights during the Thirty Years' War. Most of Catalonia
Catalonia
was reconquered by the Spanish monarchy but Catalan rights were recognised. Roussillon
Roussillon
was lost to France
France
by the Peace of the Pyrenees
Pyrenees
(1659).

Corpus de Sang (7 June 1640), one of the main events of the Catalan Revolt. Painted in 1910

The most significant conflict concerning the governing monarchy was the War of the Spanish Succession, which began when the childless Charles II of Spain, the last Spanish Habsburg, died without an heir in 1700. Charles II had chosen Philip V of Spain
Spain
from the French House of Bourbon. Catalonia, like other territories that formed the Crown of Aragon, rose up in support of the Austrian Habsburg pretender Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor, in his claim for the Spanish throne as Charles III of Spain. The fight between the houses of Bourbon and Habsburg for the Spanish Crown
Spanish Crown
split Spain
Spain
and Europe. The fall of Barcelona
Barcelona
on 11 September 1714 to the Bourbon king Philip V militarily ended the Habsburg claim to the Spanish Crown, which became legal fact in the Treaty of Utrecht. Philip felt that he had been betrayed by the Catalan Courts, as it had initially sworn its loyalty to him when he had presided over it in 1701. In retaliation for the betrayal, the first Bourbon king introduced the Nueva Planta decrees that incorporated the territories of the Crown of Aragon, including Catalonia, as provinces under the Crown of Castile
Crown of Castile
in 1716, terminating their separate institutions, laws and rights, within a united kingdom of Spain. During the second half of 18th century Catalonia
Catalonia
started a successful process of proto-industrialization. Industrialisation, Republic and civil war era

Third Siege of Girona
Third Siege of Girona
(1809), Peninsular War
Peninsular War
against Napoleon

Proclamation of the First Spanish Republic
First Spanish Republic
in Barcelona, 1873

At the beginning of the nineteenth century Catalonia
Catalonia
was severely affected by the Napoleonic and Carlist Wars. In the latter half of the 19th century, it became an industrial center. This process was boosted by, amongst other things, national protectionist laws (although the policy of the Spanish government
Spanish government
during those times changed many times between free trade and protectionism) and the conditions of proto-industrialization of the prior two centuries of the Catalan urban areas and its countryside. To this day it remains one of the most industrialised areas of Spain. During those years, Barcelona
Barcelona
was the focus of important revolutionary uprisings, while the Catalan language saw a cultural renaissance (the Renaixença).

Demonstration after the Tragic Week, 1909

The Anarchists had been active throughout the early 20th century, achieving the first eight-hour workday in Europe
Europe
in 1919. In the first third of the 20th century, Catalonia
Catalonia
gained and lost varying degrees of autonomy several times. In 1914, the four Catalan provinces were authorized to create a Commonwealth (Mancomunitat), without any legislative power or specific autonomy, that was disbanded in 1925 by the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera. After the fall of the dictator and a brief proclamation of the Catalan Republic, it received its first Statute of Autonomy during the Second Spanish Republic
Second Spanish Republic
(1931), establishing an autonomous body, the Generalitat of Catalonia, which included a parliament, a government and a court of appeal, and the left-wing independentist leader Francesc Macià
Francesc Macià
was elected its first president. The governments of the Republican Generalitat tried to implement an advanced social program. This period was marked by political unrest and the preeminence of Revolutionary Catalonia
Revolutionary Catalonia
during the Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
(1936–1939). Under Franco's rule (1939–1975) Main article: Francoist Catalonia

Bombing of Barcelona
Barcelona
(1938)

The defeat of the Second Spanish Republic
Second Spanish Republic
in the Spanish Civil War brought ultraconservative dictator[21] Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco
to power. His regime imposed linguistic, political and cultural restrictions across Spain. In Catalonia, any kind of public activities associated with Catalan nationalism, republicanism, anarchism, socialism, liberalism, democracy or communism, including the publication of books on those subjects or simply discussion of them in open meetings, was banned.

Francisco Franco
Francisco Franco
in Reus, 1940

Franco's regime banned the use of Catalan in government-run institutions and during public events, and also the Catalan institutions of self-government were abolished. The pro-Republic of Spain
Spain
president of Catalonia, Lluís Companys, was taken to Spain
Spain
from his exile in the German-occupied France, and was tortured and executed in the Montjuïc Castle
Castle
of Barcelona
Barcelona
for the crime of 'military rebellion'.[22] During later stages of Francoist Spain, certain folkloric and religious celebrations in Catalan resumed and were tolerated. Use of Catalan in the mass media had been forbidden, but was permitted from the early 1950s[23] in the theatre. Despite the ban during the first years and the difficulties of the next period, publishing in Catalan continued throughout his rule.[24] The years after the war were extremely hard. Catalonia, like many other parts of Spain, had been devastated by the war. Recovery from the war damage was slow and made more difficult by the international trade embargo against Franco's regime. By the late 1950s the country had recovered its pre-war economic levels and in the 1960s was the second fastest growing economy in the world in what became known as the Spanish miracle. During this period there was a spectacular growth of industry and tourism in Catalonia
Catalonia
that drew large numbers of workers to the region from across Spain
Spain
and made the area around Barcelona
Barcelona
into one of Europe's largest industrial metropolitan areas. Contemporary era (1975–2014)

Federica Montseny
Federica Montseny
speaks at the meeting of the CNT in Barcelona
Barcelona
in 1977 after 36 years of exile.

After Franco's death in 1975, Catalonia
Catalonia
voted for the adoption of a democratic Spanish Constitution
Spanish Constitution
in 1978, in which Catalonia
Catalonia
recovered political and cultural autonomy, restoring the Generalitat (exiled since the end of the Civil War in 1939) in 1977 and adopting a new Statute of Autonomy in 1979. Today, Catalonia
Catalonia
is one of the most economically dynamic communities of Spain. The Catalan capital and largest city, Barcelona, is a major international cultural centre and a major tourist destination. In 1992, Barcelona
Barcelona
hosted the Summer Olympic Games. The new Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia, approved after a referendum in 2006, was contested by important sectors of the Spanish society, especially by the conservative Popular Party, which sent the law to the Constitutional Court of Spain. In 2010, the Court declared non valid some of the articles that established an autonomous Catalan system of Justice, better aspects of the financing, a new territorial division, the status of Catalan language
Catalan language
or the symbolical declaration of Catalonia
Catalonia
as a nation.[25] This decision was severely contested by large sectors of Catalan society, which increased the demands of independence.[26] Independence movement (2014–present) Main articles: Catalan independence
Catalan independence
and Catalan declaration of independence A controversial independence referendum was held in Catalonia
Catalonia
on 1 October 2017, using a disputed voting process.[27][28][29] It was declared illegal on 6 September 2017 and suspended by the Constitutional Court of Spain
Spain
because it breached the 1978 Constitution.[30][31] Subsequently, the European Commission
European Commission
agreed that the referendum was illegal.[28] The referendum asked the question: "Do you want Catalonia
Catalonia
to become an independent state in the form of a republic?". More than 2,020,000 voters (91.96%) answered "Yes" and around 177,000 answered "No",[32][33] on a turnout of 43.03%. The Catalan government estimated that up to 770,000 votes were not cast due to polling stations being closed off during the police crackdown, although the "universal census" system introduced earlier in the day allowed electors to vote in any given polling station. Catalan government officials have argued that the turnout would be higher were it not for Spanish police suppression of the vote,[34] and that were it not for closures and police pressure, turnout could have been as high as 55%.[35] On the other hand, many voters who did not support Catalan independence
Catalan independence
did not turn out.[36] Anti-independence groups have alleged that there are irregularities in the voting, such as the same people voting more than once.[37] In the first interview since the referendum, Catalonia's regional president, Carles Puigdemont, stated he would declare independence as soon as a final vote tally was determined, and would subsequently act in a matter of days.[38][39] Spain's King Felipe criticized the referendum for "erod[ing] the harmony and co-existence within Catalan society itself, managing, unfortunately, to divide it".[40]

Catalan general strike following Catalonia's referendum on independence, 3 October 2017

On 5 October, the Constitutional Court of Spain
Spain
suspended the Catalan parliamentary session on Monday, 9 October, after Puigdemont said they would be pushing for a declaration of independence.[41] On 10 October, Puigdemont signed a declaration of independence.[42] The referendum led to the arrests of Jordi Sànchez, speaker of the Catalan National Assembly and Jordi Cuixart, the leader of pro-independence group Òmnium Cultural.[43] On 22 October 2017, Catalans
Catalans
demonstrated against prime minister Mariano Rajoy's plan to impose direct rule. On 27 October 2017, the Catalan parliament voted in the afternoon to declare independence, a vote which 3 opposition parties boycotted. Right after the declaration was made, the Spanish Senate gave the Spanish government
Spanish government
permission to trigger Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution of 1978.[44] This was not the consequence of an impromptu meeting of the Senate, but the result of the parliamentary timing of the process for triggering this article. Before the voting Puigdemont missed two deadlines to clearly clarify whether or not independence had been declared and turned down the possibility to call snap elections himself.[45][46][47] That evening, after an emergency cabinet meeting and with the green light of the Senate, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy
Mariano Rajoy
dismissed the Executive Council of Catalonia, dissolving the Parliament of Catalonia
Parliament of Catalonia
and calling a snap regional election for 21 December 2017.[48] Afterwards on 30 October 2017, Spain's top prosecutor announced that Carles Puigdemont
Carles Puigdemont
and 13 other sacked Catalan cabinet ministers were being charged with rebellion, sedition, and embezzlement. Puigdemont and 5 other cabinet ministers slipped out of Spain
Spain
and fled to Brussels, Belgium
Belgium
that same day. On 2 November, 9 other members of the Catalan cabinet were jailed after appearing in court in Madrid, including Oriol Junqueras, Catalan vice-president, and Raül Romeva, Catalan foreign affairs chief.[49] As of 28 October 2017, the Catalan Republic is unrecognized by the international community, which regards the region as part of the Kingdom of Spain.[50] Geography Climate

Climates of Catalonia:

  Oceanic climate

  Alpine climate

   Mediterranean climate
Mediterranean climate
of alpine influence

  Inland Mediterranean
Mediterranean
climate

  Coastal Mediterranean
Mediterranean
climate

   Mediterranean climate
Mediterranean climate
of continental influence

The climate of Catalonia
Catalonia
is diverse. The populated areas lying by the coast in Tarragona, Barcelona
Barcelona
and Girona
Girona
provinces feature a Hot-summer Mediterranean climate
Mediterranean climate
(Köppen Csa). The inland part (including the Lleida
Lleida
province and the inner part of Barcelona province) show a mostly Mediterranean climate
Mediterranean climate
(Köppen Csa). The Pyrenean peaks have a continental (Köppen D) or even Alpine climate (Köppen ET) at the highest summits, while the valleys have a maritime or oceanic climate sub-type (Köppen Cfb). In the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
area, summers are dry and hot with sea breezes, and the maximum temperature is around 26–31 °C (79–88 °F). Winter is cool or slightly cold depending on the location. It snows frequently in the Pyrenees, and it occasionally snows at lower altitudes, even by the coastline. Spring and autumn are typically the rainiest seasons, except for the Pyrenean valleys, where summer is typically stormy. The inland part of Catalonia
Catalonia
is hotter and drier in summer. Temperature may reach 35 °C (95 °F), some days even 40 °C (104 °F). Nights are cooler there than at the coast, with the temperature of around 14–17 °C (57–63 °F). Fog is not uncommon in valleys and plains; it can be especially persistent, with freezing drizzle episodes and subzero temperatures during winter, mainly along the Ebro
Ebro
and Segre valleys and in Plain of Vic. Topography See also: List of mountains in Catalonia

Geomorphologic
Geomorphologic
map of Catalonia:

  Pyrenees   Pre-Pyrenees   Catalan Central Depression   Smaller mountain ranges of the Central Depression   Catalan Transversal Range   Catalan Pre-Coastal Range   Catalan Coastal Range    Catalan Coastal Depression
Catalan Coastal Depression
and other coastal and pre-coastal plains

Puig Sec in Catalan Pyrenees

Catalonia
Catalonia
has a marked geographical diversity, considering the relatively small size of its territory. The geography is conditioned by the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
coast, with 580 kilometres (360 miles) of coastline, and large relief units of the Pyrenees
Pyrenees
to the north. The Catalan territory is divided into three main geomorphological units:[51]

The Pyrenees: mountainous formation that connects the Iberian Peninsula with the European continental territory, and located in the north of Catalonia; The Catalan Coastal mountain ranges or the Catalan Mediterranean System: an alternating delevacions and planes parallel to the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
coast; The Catalan Central Depression: structural unit which forms the eastern sector of the Valley of the Ebro.

Pla de Bages
Bages
(part of the Central Depression) and the mountain of Montserrat

The Catalan Pyrenees
Pyrenees
represent almost half in length of the Pyrenees, as it extends more than 200 kilometres (120 miles). Traditionally differentiated the Axial Pyrenees
Pyrenees
(the main part) and the Pre-Pyrenees (southern from the Axial) which are mountainous formations parallel to the main mountain ranges but with lower altitudes, less steep and a different geological formation. The highest mountain of Catalonia, located north of the comarca of Pallars Sobirà
Pallars Sobirà
is the Pica d'Estats (3,143 m), followed by the Puigpedrós (2,914&nbspm). On the Pre- Pyrenees
Pyrenees
is located the Serra del Cadí, that separates the valley of Cerdanya
Cerdanya
from the Central Depression. Central Catalan
Central Catalan
Depression is a plain located between the Pyrenees
Pyrenees
and Pre-Coastal Mountains. The Depression lands are located between 200 and 600 metres (660 and 1,970 feet). The plains and the water that descend from the Pyrenees
Pyrenees
have made it fertile territory for agriculture and there are built numerous irrigation canals. Other important plain is the Empordà, located on the northeast. The Catalan Mediterranean
Mediterranean
system is based on two (more or less) parallel ranges to the coast, in a Northwest direction towards the Southwest. These two mountain ranges are the Coastal and the Pre-Coastal. The Coastal Range is minor extent and it has lower altitudes, while the Pre-Coastal is larger in both length and height. The most relevant mountains of this area are Montserrat, Montseny and Ports. Within the ranges are a series of plains, the entities over which form the Coastal and the Pre-Coastal Depressions. The Coastal Depression is located on the East of the Coastal Range towards the coast. The Pre-Coastal, on the other hand, is located in the interior, between the two mountain ranges, and constitutes the basis of the plains of Vallès
Vallès
and Penedès. Flora and fauna

Montseny brook newt (Calotriton arnoldi), endemic to the Montseny Massif

Catalonia
Catalonia
is a showcase of European landscapes on a small scale. Just over 30,000 square kilometres (12,000 square miles) hosting a variety of substrates, soils, climates, directions, altitudes and distances to the sea. The area is of great ecological diversity and a remarkable wealth of landscapes, habitats and species. The fauna of Catalonia
Catalonia
comprises a minority of animals endemic to the region and a majority of non-native animals. Much of Catalonia
Catalonia
enjoys a Mediterranean climate
Mediterranean climate
(except mountain areas), which makes many of the animals that live there adapted to Mediterranean
Mediterranean
ecosystems. Of mammals, there are plentiful wild boar, red foxes, as well as roe deer and in the Pyrenees, the Pyrenean chamois. Other large species such as the bear have been recently reintroduced. Waters of Balearic Sea
Balearic Sea
are rich in biodiversity, and even the megafaunas of ocean; various type of whales (such as fin, sperm, and pilot) and dolphins live within the area.[52][53] Hydrography See also: List of rivers of Catalonia

Lake of Banyoles

Tossa de Mar, Costa Brava

Most of Catalonia
Catalonia
belongs to the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Basin. The Catalan hydrographic network consists of two important basins, the one of the Ebro
Ebro
and the one that comprises the internal basins of Catalonia (respectively covering 46.84% and 51.43% of the territory), all of them flow to the Mediterranean. Furthermore, there is the Garona
Garona
river basin that flows to the Atlantic Ocean, but it only covers 1.73% of the Catalan territory. The hydrographic network can be divided in two sectors, an occidental slope or Ebro
Ebro
river slope and one oriental slope constituted by minor rivers that flow to the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
along the Catalan coast. The first slope provides an average of 18,700 cubic hectometres (4.5 cubic miles) per year, while the second only provides an average of 2,020 hm3 (0.48 cu mi)/year. The difference is due to the big contribution of the Ebro
Ebro
river, from which the Segre is an important tributary. Moreover, in Catalonia
Catalonia
there is a relative wealth of groundwaters, although there is inequality between comarques, given the complex geological structure of the territory.[54] In the Pyrenees there are many small lakes, remnants of the ice age. The biggest are the lake of Banyoles
Banyoles
and the recently recovered lake of Ivars. The Catalan coast is almost rectilinear, with a length of 580 kilometres (360 mi) and few landforms—the most relevant are the Cap de Creus
Cap de Creus
and the Gulf of Roses
Gulf of Roses
to the north and the Ebro
Ebro
Delta to the south. The Catalan Coastal Range
Catalan Coastal Range
hugs the coastline, and it is split into two segments, one between L'Estartit
L'Estartit
and the town of Blanes (the Costa Brava), and the other at the south, at the Costes del Garraf. The principal rivers in Catalonia
Catalonia
are the Ter, Llobregat, and the Ebro, all of which run into the Mediterranean. Politics

Catalonia

This article is part of a series on the politics and government of Catalonia

Statutes and constitutions

Statutes of Autonomy

1932 1979 2006

Constitutions (XV-XVIII)

Generalitat

President (list)

Vacant

Executive Council

Vice-President

Vacant

Present members

Parliament

President

Roger Torrent

Judiciary

Supreme Court of Spain Audiencia Nacional High Court of Justice

President: Jesús María Barrientos Pacho

Council of Statutarian Pledges Ombudsman Syndicate of Accounts Audiovisual Council

Public order

Ministry of Home Affairs Police of Catalonia

Political parties Parliamentary parties:

PDECAT ERC DC MES C's PSC PPC CSQP CUP

Elections

Recent elections

Parliamentary: 2017 2015 2012

Referendums: 2017 2014 2006

Divisions

Regional level

Provinces

Vegueries

Comarques

Local level

Metropolitan area

Municipalities

Other countries Atlas

v t e

Main articles: Politics of Catalonia, Politics of Spain, and Catalan independence

Lluís Companys, second president of the Generalitat of Catalonia between 1933 and 1940, executed by Franco's regime

After Franco's death in 1975 and the adoption of a democratic constitution in Spain
Spain
in 1978, Catalonia
Catalonia
recovered and extended the powers that it had gained in the Statute of Autonomy of 1932[55] but lost with the fall of the Second Spanish Republic[56] at the end of the Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
in 1939. This autonomous community has gradually achieved more autonomy since the approval of the Spanish Constitution
Spanish Constitution
of 1978. The Generalitat holds exclusive jurisdiction in culture, environment, communications, transportation, commerce, public safety and local government, and shares jurisdiction with the Spanish government
Spanish government
in education, health and justice.[57] In all, some analysts argue that formally the current system grants Catalonia
Catalonia
with "more self-government than almost any other corner in Europe".[58] The support for Catalan nationalism
Catalan nationalism
ranges from a demand for further autonomy and the federalisation of Spain
Spain
to the desire for independence from the rest of Spain, expressed by Catalan independentists.[59] The first survey following the Constitutional Court ruling that cut back elements of the 2006 Statute of Autonomy, published by La Vanguardia
La Vanguardia
on 18 July 2010, found that 46% of the voters would support independence in a referendum.[60] In February of the same year, a poll by the Open University of Catalonia
Open University of Catalonia
gave more or less the same results.[61] Other polls have shown lower support for independence, ranging from 40 to 49%.[62][63][64] Other polls shows more variable results, according with the Spanish CIS, as of December 2016, 47% of Catalans
Catalans
rejected independence and 45% supported it.[65] Although it is established in the whole of the territory, support for independence is significantly higher in the hinterland and the northeast, away from the more populated coastal areas such as Barcelona.[66] Since 2011 when the question started to be regularly surveyed by the governmental Center for Public Opinion Studies (CEO), support for Catalan independence
Catalan independence
has been on the rise.[67] According to the CEO opinion poll from July 2016, 47.7% of Catalans
Catalans
would vote for independence and 42.4% against it while, about the question of preferences, according to the CEO opinion poll from March 2016, a 57.2 claim to be "absolutely" or "fairly" in favour of independence.[68][69] Other polls have shown lower support for independence, ranging from 40 to 49%.[70][71][72] Other polls shows more variable results, according with the Spanish CIS, as of December 2016, 47% of Catalans
Catalans
rejected independence and 45% supported it.[73] Although it is established in the whole of the territory, support for independence is significantly higher in the hinterland and the northeast, away from the more populated coastal areas such as Barcelona.[74] In hundreds of non-binding local referendums on independence, organised across Catalonia
Catalonia
from 13 September 2009, a large majority voted for independence, although critics argued that the polls were mostly held in pro-independence areas. In December 2009, 94% of those voting backed independence from Spain, on a turn-out of 25%.[75] The final local referendum was held in Barcelona, in April 2011. On 11 September 2012, a pro-independence march pulled in a crowd of between 600,000 (according to the Spanish Government), 1.5 million (according to the Guàrdia Urbana de Barcelona), and 2 million (according to its promoters);[76][77] whereas poll results revealed that half the population of Catalonia
Catalonia
supported secession from Spain.

Prominent Catalan politicians in Spain.

Juan Prim (Spanish prime minister under regent don Francisco Serrano)

Estanislao Figueras
Estanislao Figueras
(president of the First Spanish Republic)

Francesc Pi i Margall

(president of the First Spanish Republic)

Two major factors were Spain's Constitutional Court's 2010 decision to declare part of the 2006 Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia unconstitutional, as well as the fact that Catalonia
Catalonia
contributes 19.49% of the central government’s tax revenue, but only receives 14.03% of central government's spending.[78] Parties that consider themselves either Catalan nationalist or independentist have been present in all Catalan governments since 1980. The largest Catalan nationalist party, Convergence and Union, ruled Catalonia
Catalonia
from 1980 to 2003, and returned to power in the 2010 election. Between 2003 and 2010, a leftist coalition, composed by the Catalan Socialists' Party, the pro-independence Republican Left of Catalonia
Catalonia
and the leftist-environmentalist Initiative for Catalonia-Greens, implemented policies that widened Catalan autonomy.[79] In the 25 November 2012 Catalan parliamentary election, sovereigntist parties supporting a secession referendum gathered 59.01% of the votes and held 87 of the 135 seats in the Catalan Parliament. Parties supporting independence from the rest of Spain
Spain
obtained 49.12% of the votes and a majority of 74 seats. Artur Mas, then the president of Catalonia, organised early elections that took place on 27 September 2015. In these elections, Convergència and Esquerra Republicana decided to join, and they presented themselves under the coalition named "Junts pel Sí" (in Catalan, "Together for Yes"). "Junts pel Sí" won 62 seats and was the most voted party, and CUP (Candidatura d'Unitat Popular, a far-left and independentist party) won another 10, so the sum of all the independentist forces/parties was 72 seats, reaching an absolute majority, but not in number of individual votes, comprising 47,74% of the total.[80] Statute of Autonomy Main article: Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia See also: Autonomous communities of Spain
Autonomous communities of Spain
and Nationalities and regions of Spain

The first Statute of Catalonia, 1932

The Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia
Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia
is the fundamental organic law, second only to the Spanish Constitution
Spanish Constitution
from which the Statute originates. In the Spanish Constitution of 1978
Spanish Constitution of 1978
Catalonia, along with the Basque Country and Galicia, was defined as a "nationality". The same constitution gave Catalonia
Catalonia
the automatic right to autonomy, which resulted in the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia
Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia
of 1979. Both the 1979 Statute of Autonomy and the current one, approved in 2006, state that "Catalonia, as a nationality, exercises its self-government constituted as an Autonomous Community in accordance with the Constitution and with the Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia, which is its basic institutional law, always under the law in Spain".[81] The Preamble of the 2006 Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia
Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia
states that the Parliament of Catalonia
Parliament of Catalonia
has defined Catalonia
Catalonia
as a nation, but that "the Spanish Constitution
Spanish Constitution
recognizes Catalonia's national reality as a nationality".[82] While the Statute was approved by and sanctioned by both the Catalan and Spanish parliaments, and later by referendum in Catalonia, it has been subject to a legal challenge by the surrounding autonomous communities of Aragon, Balearic Islands
Balearic Islands
and Valencia,[83] as well as by the conservative People's Party. The objections are based on various issues such as disputed cultural heritage but, especially, on the Statute's alleged breaches of the principle of "solidarity between regions" in fiscal and educational matters enshrined by the Constitution.[84] Spain's Constitutional Court assessed the disputed articles and on 28 June 2010, issued its judgment on the principal allegation of unconstitutionality presented by the People's Party in 2006. The judgment granted clear passage to 182 articles of the 223 that make up the fundamental text. The court approved 73 of the 114 articles that the People's Party had contested, while declaring 14 articles unconstitutional in whole or in part and imposing a restrictive interpretation on 27 others.[85] The court accepted the specific provision that described Catalonia
Catalonia
as a "nation", however ruled that it was a historical and cultural term with no legal weight, and that Spain
Spain
remained the only nation recognised by the constitution.[86][87][88][89] Government and law Main article: Generalitat of Catalonia

Parliament
Parliament
of Catalonia, located in Ciutadella park, Barcelona

The Catalan Statute of Autonomy establishes that Catalonia
Catalonia
is organised politically through the Generalitat of Catalonia, conformed by the Parliament, the Presidency of the Generalitat, the Government or Executive Council and the other institutions created by the Parliament.

Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya, Barcelona, seat of the Government and the Presidency of Catalonia

Government of Catalonia
Government of Catalonia
(2016–2017). Carles Puigdemont, Ex-president of the Generalitat, is at the centre of bottom row, Oriol Junqueras, the Ex-vice-president, on his right from his point of view

Legislature The Parliament of Catalonia
Parliament of Catalonia
(in Catalan: Parlament de Catalunya) is the legislative body of the Generalitat and represents the citizens of Catalonia. It is elected every four years by universal suffrage, and it has powers to legislate in different matters such as education, health, culture, internal institutional and territorial organization, election and control of the president of the Generalitat and the Government, budget and others, according with the Statute of Autonomy. The last Catalan election was held on 21 December 2017, and its current president is Roger Torrent, incumbent since January 2018. Presidency The president of the Generalitat of Catalonia
Generalitat of Catalonia
(in Catalan: president de la Generalitat de Catalunya) is the highest representative of Catalonia, and is also responsible of leading the government's action. Since the restoration of the Generalitat on the return of democracy in Spain, the presidents of Catalonia
Catalonia
have been Josep Tarradellas (1977–1980, president in exile since 1954), Jordi Pujol (1980–2003), Pasqual Maragall
Pasqual Maragall
(2003–2006), José Montilla (2006–2010), Artur Mas
Artur Mas
(2010–2016) and Carles Puigdemont (2016-2017). The position is currently administered directly from Madrid
Madrid
due to direct rule. Executive The Executive Council (in Catalan: Consell Executiu) or Government (Govern), is the body responsible of the government of the Generalitat, it holds executive and regulatory power. It comprises the president of the Generalitat, the First Minister (or the Vice President) and the Ministers (consellers). Its seat is the Palau de la Generalitat, in Barcelona. Security forces and Justice Main article: Mossos d'Esquadra Catalonia
Catalonia
has its own police force, the Mossos d'Esquadra
Mossos d'Esquadra
(officially called Mossos d'Esquadra-Policia de la Generalitat de Catalunya), whose origins date back to the 18th century. Since 1980 they have been under the command of the Generalitat, and since 1994 they have expanded in number in order to replace the national Civil Guard and National Police Corps, which report directly to the Homeland Department of Spain. The national bodies retain personnel within Catalonia
Catalonia
to exercise functions of national scope such as overseeing ports, airports, coasts, international borders, custom offices, the identification of documents and arms control, immigration control, terrorism prevention, arms trafficking prevention, amongst others. Most of the justice system is administered by national judicial institutions, the highest body and last judicial instance in the Catalan jurisdiction, integrating the Spanish judiciary, is the High Court of Justice of Catalonia. The criminal justice system is uniform throughout Spain, while civil law is administered separately within Catalonia. The civil laws that are subject to autonomous legislation have been codified in the Civil Code of Catalonia (Codi civil de Catalunya) since 2002.[90] Navarre, the Basque Country and Catalonia
Catalonia
are the Spanish communities with the highest degree of autonomy in terms of law enforcement. Administrative divisions

Administrative divisions of Catalonia

Catalonia
Catalonia
is organised territorially into provinces, further subdivided into comarques and municipalities. The 2006 Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia
Catalonia
establishes the administrative organisation of three local authorities: vegueries, comarques, and municipalities. Provinces Further information: Provinces of Spain Catalonia
Catalonia
is divided administratively into four provinces, the governing body of which is the Provincial Deputation (Catalan: Diputació Provincial, Spanish: Diputación Provincial). The four provinces and their populations are:[91]

Province of Barcelona: 5,507,813 population Province of Girona: 752,026 population Province of Lleida: 439,253 population Province of Tarragona: 805,789 population

Municipalities Further information: Municipalities of Catalonia There are at present 948 municipalities (municipis) in Catalonia. Each municipality is run by a council (ajuntament) elected by the residents in local elections. The council consists of a number of members (regidors) depending on population, who elect the mayor (alcalde or batlle). Its seat is the town hall (ajuntament, casa de la ciutat or casa de la vila).

Catalan capital cities

An aerial view of Barcelona

The city of Tarragona

The city of Lleida

The city of Girona

Comarques Main article: Comarques of Catalonia Comarques are entities composed by the municipalities to manage their responsibilities and services. The current regional division has its roots in a decree of the Generalitat de Catalunya
Generalitat de Catalunya
of 1936, in effect until 1939, when it was suppressed by Franco. In 1987 the Government adopted the territorial division again and in 1988 three new comarques were added (Alta Ribagorça, Pla d'Urgell
Pla d'Urgell
and Pla de l'Estany), and in 2015 was created the last comarca, the Moianès. At present there are 41. Every comarca is administered by a comarcal council (consell comarcal) The comarca of Val d'Aran
Val d'Aran
(Aran Valley) is officially considered as "unique territorial entity" has a special status and its autonomous government is named Conselh Generau d'Aran.[92] Vegueries Main article: Vegueries of Catalonia The vegueria is a new type of division defined as a specific territorial area for the exercise of government and inter-local cooperation with legal personality. The current Statute of Autonomy states vegueries are intended to supersede provinces in Catalonia, and take over many of functions of the comarques. The territorial plan of Catalonia
Catalonia
(Pla territorial general de Catalunya) provided six general functional areas,[93] but was amended by Law 24/2001, of 31 December, recognizing the Alt Pirineu i Aran
Alt Pirineu i Aran
as a new functional area differentiated of Ponent.[94] On 14 July 2010 the Catalan Parliament
Parliament
approved the creation of the functional area of the Penedès.[95]

Alt Pirineu i Aran: Alta Ribagorça, Alt Urgell, Cerdanya, Pallars Jussà, Pallars Sobirà
Pallars Sobirà
and Val d'Aran. Àmbit Metropolità de Barcelona: Baix Llobregat, Barcelonès, Garraf, Maresme, Vallès
Vallès
Oriental and Vallès
Vallès
Occidental. Camp de Tarragona: Tarragonès, Alt Camp, Baix Camp, Conca de Barberà and Priorat. Comarques gironines: Alt Empordà, Baix Empordà, Garrotxa, Gironès, Pla de l'Estany, La Selva
Selva
and Ripollès. Comarques centrals: Anoia
Anoia
(8 municipalities of 33), Bages, Berguedà, Osona
Osona
and Solsonès. Penedès: Alt Penedès, Baix Penedès, Anoia
Anoia
(25 municipalities of 33) and Garraf. Ponent: Garrigues, Noguera, Segarra, Segrià, Pla d'Urgell
Pla d'Urgell
and Urgell. Terres de l'Ebre: Baix Ebre, Montsià, Ribera d'Ebre
Ribera d'Ebre
and Terra Alta.

Economy Main article: Economy of Spain

Peach fields in Aitona

Industrial park in Castellbisbal

A highly industrialized land, the nominal GDP of Catalonia
Catalonia
in 2014 was €200 billion (usually the highest in Spain) and the per capita GDP was €27,000 ($30,000), behind Madrid
Madrid
(€31,000), the Basque Country (€30,000), and Navarre
Navarre
(€28,000).[96] In that year, the GDP growth was 1.4%.[96] In recent years there has been a negative net relocation rate of companies based in Catalonia
Catalonia
moving to other autonomous communities of Spain. In 2014, for example, Catalonia
Catalonia
lost 987 companies to other parts of Spain
Spain
(mainly Madrid), gaining 602 new ones from the rest of the country.[97] Catalonia's long-term credit rating is BB (Non-Investment Grade) according to Standard & Poor's, Ba2 (Non-Investment Grade) according to Moody's, and BBB- (Low Investment Grade) according to Fitch Ratings.[98][99][100] Catalonia's rating is tied for worst with between 1 and 5 other autonomous communities of Spain, depending on the rating agency.[100] In the context of the 2008 financial crisis, Catalonia
Catalonia
was expected to suffer a recession amounting to almost a 2% contraction of its regional GDP in 2009.[101] Catalonia's debt in 2012 was the highest of all Spain's autonomous communities,[102] reaching €13,476 million, i.e. 38% of the total debt of the 17 autonomous communities,[103] but in recent years its economy recovered a positive evolution and the GDP grew a 3.3% in 2015.[104] In 2011, Catalonia
Catalonia
ranked the 64th largest country subdivision by GDP (nominal). Catalonia
Catalonia
belongs to the organisation Four Motors for Europe. The distribution of sectors is as follows:[105]

Primary sector: 3%. The amount of land devoted to agricultural use is 33%. Secondary sector: 37% (compared to Spain's 29%) Tertiary sector: 60% (compared to Spain's 67%)

Factories, La Pobla de Mafumet, Tarragona

The main tourist destinations in Catalonia
Catalonia
are the city of Barcelona, the beaches of the Costa Brava
Costa Brava
in Girona, the beaches of the Costa del Maresme
Maresme
and Costa del Garraf
Garraf
from Malgrat de Mar
Malgrat de Mar
to Vilanova i la Geltrú and the Costa Daurada
Costa Daurada
in Tarragona. In the High Pyrenees
Pyrenees
there are several ski resorts, near Lleida. On 1 November 2012, Catalonia started charging a tourist tax.[106] The revenue is used to promote tourism, and to maintain and upgrade tourism-related infrastructure. Many savings banks are based in Catalonia, with 10 of the 46 Spanish savings banks having headquarters in the region. This list includes Europe's premier savings bank, La Caixa.[107] The first private bank in Catalonia
Catalonia
is Banc Sabadell, ranked fourth among all Spanish private banks.[108] The stock market of Barcelona, which in 2016 had a volume of around €152 billion, is the second largest of Spain
Spain
after Madrid, and Fira de Barcelona
Barcelona
organizes international exhibitions and congresses to do with different sectors of the economy.[109] The main economic cost for the Catalan families is the purchase of a home. According to data from the Society of Appraisal on 31 December 2005 Catalonia
Catalonia
is, after Madrid, the second most expensive region in Spain
Spain
for housing: 3,397 €/m² on average (see Spanish property bubble). Transport Airports

Barcelona
Barcelona
airport tower

See also: List of airports in Catalonia Airports in Catalonia
Catalonia
are owned and operated by Aena
Aena
(a Spanish Government entity) except two airports in Lleida
Lleida
which are operated by Aeroports de Catalunya
Aeroports de Catalunya
(an entity belonging to the Government of Catalonia).

Barcelona
Barcelona
El Prat Airport (BCN, Aena) Girona- Costa Brava
Costa Brava
Airport (GRO, Aena) Reus
Reus
Airport (REU, Aena) Lleida-Alguaire Airport
Lleida-Alguaire Airport
(ILD, Aeroports de Catalunya) Sabadell Airport
Sabadell Airport
(QSA, Aena) La Seu d' Urgell
Urgell
Airport (LEU, Aeroports de Catalunya)

Ports See also: List of ports in Spain Since the Middle Ages, Catalonia
Catalonia
has been well integrated into international maritime networks. The port of Barcelona
Barcelona
(owned and operated by Puertos del Estado, a Spanish Government
Spanish Government
entity) is an industrial, commercial and tourist port of worldwide importance. With 1,950,000 TEUs in 2015, it is the first container port in Catalonia, the third in Spain
Spain
after Valencia and Algeciras
Algeciras
in Andalusia, the 9th in the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
Sea, the 14th in Europe
Europe
and the 68th in the world. It is sixth largest cruise port in the world, the first in Europe
Europe
and the Mediterranean
Mediterranean
with 2,364,292 passengers in 2014. The ports of Tarragona
Tarragona
(owned and operated by Puertos del Estado) in the southwest and Palamós
Palamós
near Girona
Girona
at northeast are much more modest. The port of Palamós
Palamós
and the other ports in Catalonia
Catalonia
(26) are operated and administered by Ports de la Generalitat, a Catalan Government entity. The development of these infrastructures, resulting from the topography and history of the Catalan territory, responds strongly to the administrative and political organization of this autonomous community. Roads See also: List of primary highways in Catalonia

Autovia C-16 (Eix del Llobregat)

There are 12,000 kilometres (7,500 mi) of roads throughout Catalonia. The principal highways are  AP-7  (Autopista de la Mediterrània) and  A-7  (Autovia de la Mediterrània). They follow the coast from the French border to Valencia, Murcia and Andalusia. The main roads generally radiate from Barcelona. The  AP-2  (Autopista del Nord-est) and  A-2  (Autovia del Nord-est) connect inland and onward to Madrid. Other major roads are:

ID Itinerary

 N-II  Lleida-La Jonquera

 C-12  Amposta-Àger

 C-16  Barcelona-Puigcerdà

 C-17  Barcelona-Ripoll

 C-25  Cervera-Girona

 A-26  Llançà-Olot

 C-32  El Vendrell-Tordera

 C-60  Argentona-La Roca del Vallès

Public-own roads in Catalonia
Catalonia
are either managed by the autonomous government of Catalonia
Catalonia
(e.g.,  C-  roads) or the Spanish government (e.g.,  AP- ,  A- ,  N-  roads). Railways See also: Rail transport in Catalonia

High-speed train (AVE) at Camp de Tarragona

Catalonia
Catalonia
saw the first railway construction in the Iberian Peninsula in 1848, linking Barcelona
Barcelona
with Mataró. Given the topography most lines radiate from Barcelona. The city has both suburban and inter-city services. The main east coast line runs through the province connecting with the SNCF
SNCF
(French Railways) at Portbou
Portbou
on the coast. There are two publicly owned railway companies operating in Catalonia: the Catalan FGC that operates commuter and regional services, and the Spanish national RENFE
RENFE
that operates long-distance and high-speed rail services ( AVE
AVE
and Avant) and the main commuter and regional service Rodalies de Catalunya, administered by the Catalan government since 2010. High-speed rail
High-speed rail
(AVE) services from Madrid
Madrid
currently reach Lleida, Tarragona
Tarragona
and Barcelona. The official opening between Barcelona
Barcelona
and Madrid
Madrid
took place 20 February 2008. The journey between Barcelona
Barcelona
and Madrid
Madrid
now takes about two-and-a-half hours. A connection to the French high-speed TGV network has been completed, but is awaiting the completion of stations along the route to begin passenger service in April 2013. This new line (currently the LGV Perpignan–Figueres-Vilafant) passes through Girona
Girona
and Figueres
Figueres
with a tunnel through the Pyrenees. There is a direct train from Barcelona Estació de França to Paris Austerlitz along the older railway tracks.

Demographics Main article: Catalan people

 

v t e

Largest in Catalonia Institut d'Estadística de Catalunya (2016)

Rank

Comarca Pop. Rank

Comarca Pop.

Barcelona

L'Hospitalet de Llobregat 1 Barcelona Barcelonès 1,608,746 11 Girona Gironès 98,255

Badalona

Terrassa

2 L'Hospitalet de Llobregat Barcelonès 254,804 12 Sant Cugat del Vallès Vallès
Vallès
Occidental 88,921

3 Badalona Barcelonès 215,634 13 Cornellà de Llobregat Baix Llobregat 86,072

4 Terrassa Vallès
Vallès
Occidental 215,121 14 Sant Boi de Llobregat Baix Llobregat 82,402

5 Sabadell Vallès
Vallès
Occidental 208,246 15 Rubí, Barcelona Vallès
Vallès
Occidental 75,167

6 Lleida Segrià 138,144 16 Manresa Bages 74,752

7 Tarragona Tarragonès 131,094 17 Vilanova i la Geltrú Garraf 65,972

8 Mataró Maresme 125,517 18 Viladecans Baix Llobregat 65,779

9 Santa Coloma de Gramenet Barcelonès 117,153 19 Castelldefels Baix Llobregat 64,829

10 Reus Baix Camp 103,615 20 El Prat de Llobregat Baix Llobregat 63,457

Historical population

Year Pop. ±%

1900 1,966,382 —    

1910 2,084,868 +6.0%

1920 2,344,719 +12.5%

1930 2,791,292 +19.0%

1940 2,890,974 +3.6%

1950 3,240,313 +12.1%

1960 3,925,779 +21.2%

1970 5,122,567 +30.5%

1981 5,949,829 +16.1%

1990 6,062,273 +1.9%

2000 6,174,547 +1.9%

2010 7,462,044 +20.9%

2017 7,441,176 −0.3%

Source: INE

As of 2016, the official population of Catalonia
Catalonia
was 7,448,332.[110] About 1,104,782 residents had non-Spanish nationalities representing about 15% of the population.[111] The Urban Region of Barcelona
Barcelona
includes 5,217,864 people and covers an area of 2,268 km2 (876 sq mi). The metropolitan area of the Urban Region includes cities such as L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Sabadell, Terrassa, Badalona, Santa Coloma de Gramenet
Santa Coloma de Gramenet
and Cornellà de Llobregat. In 1900, the population of Catalonia
Catalonia
was 1,966,382 people and in 1970 it was 5,122,567.[110] The sizeable increase of the population was due to the demographic boom in Spain
Spain
during the 60s and early 70s[112] as well as in consequence of large-scale internal migration from the rural economically weak regions to its more prospering industrial cities. In Catalonia
Catalonia
that wave of internal migration arrived from several regions of Spain, especially from Andalusia, Murcia[113] and Extremadura.[114] Immigrants from other countries settled in Catalonia
Catalonia
in the 1990s and 2000s; a large percentage came from Africa
Africa
and Latin America, and smaller numbers from Asia
Asia
and Eastern Europe, often settling in urban centers such as Barcelona
Barcelona
and industrial areas.[115] Religion Main article: Religion in Catalonia

Religion in Catalonia
Religion in Catalonia
(2014)[116]    Catholic Church
Catholic Church
(52.4%)    Atheism
Atheism
(18.2%)    Agnosticism
Agnosticism
(12%)    Islam
Islam
(7.3%)    Protestantism
Protestantism
(2.5%)   Other religions (2.3%)    Buddhism
Buddhism
(1.3%)    Orthodox Church
Orthodox Church
(1.2%)    Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses
(0.4%)   No answer/do not know (2.4%)

Historically, virtually all the Catalan population was Christian, specifically Catholic, but since the 1980s there has been a trend of decline of Christianity
Christianity
and parallel growth of irreligion (including stances of atheism and agnosticism) and other religions. According to the most recent study sponsored by the government of Catalonia, 56.5% of the Catalans
Catalans
still identify as Christians, of whom 52.4% Catholics, 2.5% Protestants and Evangelicals, 1.2% Orthodox Christians and 0.4% Jehovah's Witnesses. At the same time, 18.2% of the population identify as atheists, 12% as agnostics, 7.3% as Muslims, 1.3% as Buddhists, and a further 2.3% as being of other religions.[116] Languages Main article: Languages of Catalonia See also: Catalan language, Spanish language, Occitan
Occitan
language, and Catalan Sign Language

Catalan-speaking regions of Europe

According to the linguistic census held by the Government of Catalonia in 2013, Spanish is the most spoken language in Catalonia
Catalonia
(46.53% claim Spanish as "their own language"), followed by Catalan (37.26% claim Catalan as "their own language"). In everyday use, 11.95% of the population claim to use both languages equally, whereas 45.92% mainly use Spanish and 35.54% mainly use Catalan. There is a significant difference between the Barcelona
Barcelona
metropolitan area (and, to a lesser extent, the Tarragona
Tarragona
area), where Spanish is more spoken than Catalan, and the more rural Catalonia, where Catalan clearly prevails over Spanish.[117] Since the Statute of Autonomy of 1979, Aranese
Aranese
(a dialect of Gascon Occitan) has also been official and subject to special protection in Val d'Aran. This small area of 7,000 inhabitants was the only place where a dialect of Occitan
Occitan
has received full official status. Then, on 9 August 2006, when the new Statute came into force, Occitan
Occitan
became official throughout Catalonia. Occitan
Occitan
is the mother tongue of 22.4% of the population of Val d'Aran.[118] Catalan Sign Language is also officially recognised.[8] Originating in the historic territory of Catalonia, Catalan has enjoyed special status since the approval of the Statute of Autonomy of 1979 which declares it to be "Catalonia's own language",[119] a term which signifies a language given special legal status within a Spanish territory, or which is historically spoken within a given region. The other languages with official status are Spanish, which has official status throughout Spain, and Aranese
Aranese
Occitan, which enjoys co-official status with Catalan and Spanish in the Val d'Aran. Although not considered an "official language" in the same way as Catalan, Spanish, and Aranese, Catalan Sign Language, with about 18,000 users in Catalonia,[120] is granted official recognition and support: "The public authorities shall guarantee the use of Catalan sign language and conditions of equality for deaf people who choose to use this language, which shall be the subject of education, protection and respect."[8]

Fragment of the Greuges de Guirard Isarn (c. 1080–1095), one of the earliest texts written almost completely in Catalan,[121][122] predating the famous Homilies d'Organyà
Homilies d'Organyà
by a century

Under the Franco dictatorship, Catalan was excluded from the public education system and all other official use, so that for example families were not allowed to officially register children with Catalan names.[123] Although never completely banned, Catalan language publishing was severely restricted during the early 1940s, with only religious texts and small-run self-published texts being released. Some books were published clandestinely or circumvented the restrictions by showing publishing dates prior to 1936.[124] This policy was changed in 1946, when unrestricted publishing in Catalan resumed.[125] Rural–urban migration originating in other parts of Spain
Spain
also reduced the social use of Catalan in urban areas and increased the use of Spanish. Lately, a similar sociolinguistic phenomenon has occurred with foreign immigration. Catalan cultural activity increased in the 1960s and Catalan classes began thanks to the initiative of associations such as Òmnium Cultural. After the end of Franco's dictatorship, the newly established self-governing democratic institutions in Catalonia
Catalonia
embarked on a long-term language policy to increase the use of Catalan[126] and has, since 1983, enforced laws which attempt to protect and extend the use of Catalan. This policy, known as the "linguistic normalisation" (normalització lingüística in Catalan, normalización lingüística in Spanish) has been supported by the vast majority of Catalan political parties through the last thirty years. Some groups consider these efforts a way to discourage the use of Spanish,[127][128][129][130] whereas some others, including the Catalan government[131] and the European Union[132] consider the policies respectful,[133] or even as an example which "should be disseminated throughout the Union".[134] Today, Catalan is the main language of the Catalan autonomous government and the other public institutions that fall under its jurisdiction. Basic public education is given in Catalan, except for two hours per week of Spanish medium instruction. Businesses are required to display all information (e.g. menus, posters) in Catalan under penalty of fines. There is no obligation to display this information in either Occitan
Occitan
or Spanish, although there is no restriction on doing so in these or other languages. The use of fines was introduced in a 1997 linguistic law[135] that aims to increase the public use of Catalan and defend the rights of Catalan speakers. The law ensures that both Catalan and Spanish – being official languages – can be used by the citizens without prejudice in all public and private activities,[136] but primary education can only be taken in Catalan language. The Generalitat uses Catalan in its communications and notifications addressed to the general population, but citizens can also receive information from the Generalitat in Spanish if they so desire.[137] Debates in the Catalan Parliament
Parliament
take place almost exclusively in Catalan and the Catalan public television broadcasts programs only in Catalan. Due to the intense immigration which Spain
Spain
in general and Catalonia
Catalonia
in particular experienced in the first decade of the 21st century, many foreign languages are spoken in various cultural communities in Catalonia, of which Rif-Berber,[138] Moroccan Arabic, Romanian[139] and Urdu
Urdu
are the most common ones.[140] Recently, some of these policies have been criticised for trying to promote Catalan by imposing fines on businesses. For example, following the passage of a March 2010 law on Catalan cinema, which establishes that half of the movies shown in Catalan cinemas must be in Catalan, a general strike of 75% of the cinemas took place.[141] In Catalonia, on the other hand, there is a high social and political consensus on the language policies favoring Catalan, also among Spanish speakers and speakers of other languages.[142][142][143][144][145] The United Nations Human Rights Committee ruled in 1993 against similar policies in Quebec
Quebec
stating that "A State may choose one or more official languages but it may not exclude outside the spheres of public life, the freedom to express oneself in a certain language".[146] The US government, based on its Human Rights Report,[147] questions the linguistic law[148] and reports irregularities of the rights of the Spanish speakers in Catalonia. On the other hand, such organisations as Plataforma per la Llengua reported different violations of the linguistic rights of the Catalan speakers in Catalonia
Catalonia
and the other Catalan-speaking territories in Spain, most of them caused by the institutions of the Spanish government
Spanish government
in these territories.[149] In Catalonia, the Catalan language
Catalan language
policy has been challenged by some Catalan intellectuals like Albert Boadella. Since 2006, the liberal Citizens - Party of the Citizenry, currently the main opposition party, has been one of the most consistent critics of the Catalan language policy within Catalonia. The local Catalan branch of the People's Party has a more ambiguous position on the issue: on one hand, it demands a bilingual Catalan–Spanish education and a more balanced language policy that would defend Catalan without favoring it over Spanish,[150] whereas on the other hand, a few local PP politicians have supported in their municipalities measures privileging Catalan over Spanish[151] and it has defended some aspects of the official language policies, sometimes against the positions of its colleagues from other parts of Spain.[152] Culture Art and architecture Main articles: Art of Catalonia
Catalonia
and Architecture of Catalonia

Left: Joan Miró. Right: Antoni Gaudí

Catalonia
Catalonia
has given to the world many important figures in the area of the art. Catalan painters internationally known are Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró
Joan Miró
and Antoni Tàpies. Closely linked with the Catalan pictorial atmosphere, Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso
lived in Barcelona
Barcelona
during his youth, training them as an artist and creating the movement of cubism. Other important artists are Ramon Casas, Josep Maria Subirachs
Josep Maria Subirachs
and Marià Fortuny. The most important painting museums of Catalonia
Catalonia
are the Teatre-Museu Dalí, Picasso Museum, Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Joan Miró Foundation, the National Art Museum of Catalonia
National Art Museum of Catalonia
(MNAC), the Barcelona
Barcelona
Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA), the Centre of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona
Barcelona
(CCCB) and the CaixaForum.

Left: Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Barcelona. Right: Dalí Museum, Figueres

In the area of architecture were developed and adapted to Catalonia different artistic styles prevalent in Europe, leaving footprints in many churches, monasteries and cathedrals, of Romanesque[153] (the best examples of which are located in the northern half of the territory) and Gothic styles. During the Middle Ages, many fortified castles were built by feudal nobles to mark their powers. There are some examples of Renaissance, Baroque
Baroque
and Neoclassical architectures. Modernism (Art Nouveau) in the late nineteenth century appears as the national art. The world-renowned Catalan architects of this style are Antoni Gaudí, Lluís Domènech i Montaner and Josep Puig i Cadafalch. In the field of architectural rationalism, highlighting Josep Lluís Sert and Torres Clavé and, in contemporany architecture, Ricardo Bofill. Monuments and World Heritage Sites

Sagrada Família, Barcelona

There are several UNESCO
UNESCO
World Heritage Sites
World Heritage Sites
in Catalonia:

Archaeological Ensemble of Tarraco, Tarragona Catalan Romanesque Churches of the Vall de Boí, Lleida
Lleida
province Poblet
Poblet
Monastery, Poblet, Tarragona
Tarragona
province Works of Lluís Domènech i Montaner:

Palau de la Música Catalana, Barcelona Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona

Works of Antoni Gaudí:

Sagrada Família, Barcelona Parc Güell, Barcelona Palau Güell, Barcelona Casa Milà
Casa Milà
(La Pedrera), Barcelona Casa Vicens, Barcelona Casa Batlló, Barcelona The Church of Colònia Güell, Santa Coloma de Cervelló, Barcelona province

Literature Main article: Literature of Catalonia

Mercè Rodoreda

Ana María Matute

Literary use of the Catalan language
Catalan language
is considered to have started with the religious text known as Homilies d'Organyà, written either in late 11th or early 12th century. There are two historical moments of splendor of Catalan literature. The first begins with the historiography chronicles of the 13th century (chronicles written between the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries narrating the deeds of the monarchs and leading figures of the Crown of Aragon) and the subsequent Golden Age of the 14th and 15th centuries. After that period, between the 16th and 19th centuries the Romantic historiography defined this era as the Decadència, considered as the "decadent" period in Catalan literature
Catalan literature
because of a general falling into disuse of the vernacular language in cultural contexts and lack of patronage among the nobility. The second moment of splendor began in the 19th century with the cultural and political Renaixença
Renaixença
(Renaissance) represented by writers and poets such as Jacint Verdaguer, Narcís Oller, Joan Maragall and Àngel Guimerà. During the 20th century were developed the avant-garde movements initiated by the Generation of '14 (called Noucentisme
Noucentisme
in Catalonia), represented by Eugeni d'Ors, Joan Salvat-Papasseit, Josep Carner, Carles Riba, J.V. Foix and others. During the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera, the Civil War (Generation of '36) and the Francoist period, Catalan literature
Catalan literature
is maintained despite the repression against the Catalan language, being often produced in exile. The most outstanding authors of this period are Salvador Espriu, Josep Pla, Josep Maria de Sagarra
Josep Maria de Sagarra
(the latter three being considered as the main responsible of the renewal of Catalan prose), Mercè Rodoreda, Joan Oliver Sallarès or "Pere Quart", Pere Calders, Gabriel Ferrater, Manuel de Pedrolo, Agustí Bartra or Miquel Martí i Pol. In addition, several foreign writers who fought in the framework of the International Brigades
International Brigades
then recount their experiences of fighting in their works, historical or fictional, with for example Homage to Catalonia
Homage to Catalonia
of the British George Orwell
George Orwell
in 1938 or Le Palace in 1962 and The Georgics in 1981 by Frenchman Claude Simon. After the transition to democracy (1975–1978) and the restoration of the Generalitat (1977), literary life and the editorial market have returned to normality and literary production in Catalan is being bolstered with a number of language policies intended to protect Catalan culture. Besides the aforementioned authors, other relevant 20th-century writers of the Francoist and democracy periods include Joan Brossa, Agustí Bartra, Manuel de Pedrolo, Pere Calders
Pere Calders
or Quim Monzó. Ana María Matute, Jaime Gil de Biedma, Manuel Vázquez Montalbán
Manuel Vázquez Montalbán
and Juan Goytisolo
Juan Goytisolo
are among the most prominent Catalan writers in the Spanish language
Spanish language
since the democratic restoration in Spain. Festivals and public holidays Main article: Traditions of Catalonia

Castell
Castell
4 de 9 amb folre i pilar by Colla Vella de Valls

Castells are one of the main manifestations of Catalan popular culture. The activity consists in constructing human towers by competing colles castelleres (teams). This practice originated in Valls, on the region of the Camp de Tarragona, during the 18th century, and later it was extended along the next two centuries to the rest of the territory. The tradition of els Castells i els Castellers was declared Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO
UNESCO
in 2010. In the greater celebrations other elements of the Catalan popular culture are usually present: the parades of gegants (giants) and correfocs of devils and firecrackers. Another traditional celebration in Catalonia
Catalonia
is La Patum de Berga, declared Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO
UNESCO
on 25 November 2005.[154]

Gegants and capgrossos during the festa major of La Seu d'Urgell

There are some local Christmas traditions; one of them is the popular figure of the Tió de Nadal, consisting in a hollow log which after few days taking care of it, during Christmas Day
Christmas Day
or on Christmas Eve one orders it to defecate presents and, in order to make this, children beats the tió with sticks, while they singing various traditional songs. Another custom is to make a pessebre (Nativity scene), and usually includes the caganer, a figurine depicted in the act of defecation.[155] In addition to traditional local Catalan culture, traditions from other parts of Spain
Spain
can be found as a result of migration from other regions, for instance the celebration of the Andalusian Feria de Abril in Catalonia. On 28 July 2010, second only after the Canary Islands, Catalonia became another Spanish territory to forbid bullfighting. The ban, which went into effect on 1 January 2012, had originated in a popular petition supported by over 180,000 signatures.[156] Music and dance Main article: Music of Catalonia

Sardana

The sardana is considered to be the most characteristic Catalan folk dance, interpreted to the rhythm of tamborí, tible and tenora (from the oboe family), trumpet, trombó (trombone), fiscorn (family of bugles) and contrabaix with three strings played by a cobla, and are danced in a circle dance. Other tunes and dances of the traditional music are the contrapàs (obsolete today), ball de bastons (the "dance of sticks"), the moixiganga, the goigs (popular songs), the galops or the jota in the southern part. The havaneres are characteristic in some marine localities of the Costa Brava, especially during the summer months when these songs are sung outdoors accompanied by a cremat of burned rum. Performances of opera, mostly imported from Italy, began in the 18th century, but some native operas were written as well, including the ones by Domènec Terradellas, Carles Baguer, Ramon Carles, Isaac Albéniz and Enric Granados. The Barcelona
Barcelona
main opera house, Gran Teatre del Liceu (opened in 1847), remains one of the most important in Spain, hosting one of the most prestigious music schools in Barcelona, the Conservatori Superior de Música del Liceu. Several lyrical artists trained by this institution gained international renown during the 20th century, such as Victoria de los Ángeles, Montserrat Caballé, Giacomo Aragall and Josep Carreras. Cellist Pau Casals
Pau Casals
is admired as an outstanding player. Other popular musical styles were born in the second half of the 20th century such as Nova Cançó from the 1960s with Lluís Llach
Lluís Llach
and the group Els Setze Jutges, the Catalan rumba in the 1960s with Peret, Catalan Rock from the late 1970s with La Banda Trapera del Río and Decibelios for Punk Rock, Sau, Els Pets, Sopa de Cabra
Sopa de Cabra
or Lax'n'Busto
Lax'n'Busto
for Pop Rock or Sangtraït for hard rock, electropop since the 1990s with OBK and indie pop from the 1990s. Media and cinema Main articles: Media of Catalonia
Catalonia
and Cinema of Catalonia Catalonia
Catalonia
is the autonomous community, along with Madrid, that has the most media (TV, Magazines, Newspapers etc.). Televisió de Catalunya, which broadcasts entirely in the Catalan language, is the main Catalan public TV. It has five channels: TV3, El 33/Super3, 3/24, Esport3
Esport3
and TV3CAT. TV3 compete in audience with the state televisions that broadcast in Catalonia
Catalonia
in Spanish language: Televisión Española
Televisión Española
(with few emissions in Catalan), Antena 3, Cuatro, Telecinco, and La Sexta. Other smaller television channels include; 8TV, Grup Godó, El Punt Avui
El Punt Avui
TV, Barça TV and the local televisions, the greatest exponent of which is Barcelona
Barcelona
TV, which also broadcasts in Catalan. The two main Catalan newspapers of general information are El Periódico de Catalunya and La Vanguardia, both with editions in Catalan and Spanish. Catalan only published newspapers include, Ara and El Punt Avui
El Punt Avui
(from the fusion of El Punt
El Punt
and Avui
Avui
in 2011), as well as most part of the local press. The Spanish newspapers, such as El País, El Mundo or La Razón, can be also acquired. The public Catalunya Ràdio
Catalunya Ràdio
and the private RAC 1 (belonging to Grup Godó) are the two main radios of Catalonia, both in Catalan. Philosophy Main article: Catalan philosophy See also: Seny Seny
Seny
is a form of ancestral Catalan wisdom or sensibleness. It involves well-pondered perception of situations, level-headedness, awareness, integrity, and right action. Many Catalans
Catalans
consider seny something unique to their culture, is based on a set of ancestral local customs stemming from the scale of values and social norms of their society. Sport Main article: Sport in Catalonia

Olympic Stadium Lluís Companys, in Montjuïc, Barcelona

Sport has an important incidence in Catalan life and culture since the beginning of the 20th century and, as a result, it has a well developed sport infraestructure. The main sports are football, basketball, handball, rink hockey, tennis and motorsport. Despite the fact that the most popular sports are represented outside by the Spanish national teams, Catalonia
Catalonia
can officially play as itself in some others, like korfball, futsal or rugby league.[157]

Nou Camp, home of FC Barcelona

The Catalan Football
Football
Federation also periodically fields a national team against international opposition, organizing friendly matches. In the recent years they have played with Bulgaria, Argentina, Brazil, Basque Country, Colombia, Nigeria, Cape Verde and Tunisia. The biggest football clubs are FC Barcelona
Barcelona
(also known as Barça), who have won five European Cups (UEFA Champions League), and RCD Espanyol, who have twice been runner-up of the UEFA Cup. Both play in La Liga. The Catalan waterpolo is one of the main powers of the Iberian Peninsula. The Catalans
Catalans
won triumphs in waterpolo competitions at European and world level by club (the Barcelona
Barcelona
was champion of Europe in 1981/82 and the Catalonia
Catalonia
in 1994/95) and national team (one gold and one silver in Olympic Games and World Championships). It also has many international synchronized swimming champions. Motorsport
Motorsport
has a long tradition in Catalonia
Catalonia
involving many people, with some world champions and several competitions organized since the beginning of the 20th century. The Circuit de Catalunya, built in 1991, is one of the main motorsport venues, holding the Catalan motorcycle Grand Prix, the Spanish F1 Grand Prix, a DTM race, and several other races. Catalonia
Catalonia
hosted many relevant international sport events, such as the 1992 Summer Olympics
1992 Summer Olympics
in Barcelona, and also the 1955 Mediterranean Games or the 2013 World Aquatics Championships. It held annually the fourth-oldest still-existing cycling stage race in the world, the Volta a Catalunya
Volta a Catalunya
(Tour of Catalonia).[158] Symbols Main article: National symbols of Catalonia

Flag of Catalonia

Catalonia
Catalonia
has its own representative and distinctive national symbols such as:[159]

The flag of Catalonia, called the Senyera, is a vexillological symbol based on the heraldic emblem of Counts of Barcelona
Barcelona
and the coat of arms of the Crown of Aragon, which consists of four red stripes on a golden background. It has been an official symbol since the Statute of Catalonia
Catalonia
of 1932. The National Day of Catalonia[160] is on 11 September, and it is commonly called la Diada. It commemorates the 1714 Siege of Barcelona defeat during the War of the Spanish Succession. The national anthem of Catalonia
Catalonia
is Els Segadors
Els Segadors
and was written in its present form by Emili Guanyavents in 1899. The song is official by law from 25 February 1993.[161][162] It is based on the events of 1639 and 1640 during the Catalan Revolt. St George's Day
St George's Day
(Diada de Sant Jordi) is widely celebrated in all the towns of Catalonia
Catalonia
on 23 April, and includes an exchange of books and roses between couples or family members.

Cuisine Main article: Catalan cuisine

Pa amb tomàquet
Pa amb tomàquet
(bread with tomato)

Catalan gastronomy has a long culinary tradition. Various local food recipes have been described in documents dating from the fifteenth century. As with all the cuisines of the Mediterranean, Catatonian dishes make abundant use of fish, seafood, olive oil, bread and vegetables. Regional specialties include the pa amb tomàquet (bread with tomato), which consists of bread (sometimes toasted), and tomato seasoned with olive oil and salt. Often the dish is accompanied with any number of sausages (cured botifarres, fuet, iberic ham, etc.), ham or cheeses. Others dishes include the calçotada, escudella i carn d'olla, suquet de peix (fish stew), and a dessert, Catalan cream. Catalan vineyards also have several Denominacions d'Origen wines, such as: Priorat, Montsant, Penedès
Penedès
and Empordà. There is also a sparkling wine, the cava.[163] Catalonia
Catalonia
is internationally recognized for its fine dining, including restaurants like El Bulli
El Bulli
or El Celler de Can Roca, both of which regularly dominate international rankings of restaurants.[164] Image gallery

Catalonia
Catalonia
gallery

Forest in the Montseny Massif

Mont-rebei Gorge, Lleida

Val de Ruda, Val d'Aran

Aigua Blava

Montserrat

Montblanc during the Medieval Week

Tortosa

Park Güell, Barcelona

Poblet
Poblet
Monastery

Medieval Bridge of Besalú

Twinning and covenants

Nuevo León, Mexico[165][166][167] California, United States[168] Quebec, Canada

See also

European Union
European Union
portal Spain
Spain
portal Catalan-speaking countries portal

Outline of Catalonia List of Catalans Catalan Countries List of European regions by GDP

Notes

^ Catalan and Occitan
Occitan
are the own languages of Catalonia
Catalonia
and Aran (respectively) and official languages of the autonomous community of Catalonia
Catalonia
according with its Statue of Autonomy.[4] ^ As "the official language of the State", according with the Spanish Constitution.[5] ^ Pronunciation:

English: "Catalonia" /kætəˈloʊniə/ Catalan: Catalunya [kətəˈluɲə] (Central – Standard variety), [kataˈluɲɛ] (Western) Occitan
Occitan
(Aranese): Catalonha [kataˈluɲɔ] Spanish: Cataluña [kataˈluɲa]

^ Catalonia
Catalonia
and the Catalan people
Catalan people
are defined as a nation in the preambule of the 2006 Statute of Autonomy, although it was rejected and modified by the Constitutional Court of Spain, which declared this definition without legal standing.[6]

References

^ "IIdescat. Statistical Yearbook of Catalonia. Population density. Counties and Aran, areas and provinces". www.idescat.cat. Retrieved 13 July 2017.  ^ "Indicadors geogràfics. Superfície, densitat i entitats de població: Catalunya". Statistical Institute of Catalonia. Retrieved 23 November 2015.  ^ a b National Statistics Office (Spain's GDP and GRP), National Statistics Office Archived 24 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine.. GDP Figures of Spanish autonomous communities and provinces 2008–2012. ^ " Statute of Autonomy of Catalonia". Gencat.cat. Archived from the original on 28 May 2008. Retrieved 13 September 2013.  ^ "The Spanish Constitution" (PDF). Agencia Estatal Boletín Oficial del Estado. BOE. Retrieved 26 July 2016.  ^ "Court to reject 'nation' in Catalonia
Catalonia
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Comarques of Catalonia

Comarques of Autonomous Community of Catalonia

Alt Camp Alt Empordà Alt Penedès Alt Urgell Alta Ribagorça Anoia Aran Bages Baix Camp Baix Ebre Baix Empordà Baix Llobregat Baix Penedès Barcelonès Berguedà Cerdanya Conca de Barberà Garraf Garrigues Garrotxa Gironès Maresme Moianès Montsià Noguera Osona Pallars Jussà Pallars Sobirà Pla de l'Estany Pla d'Urgell Priorat Ribera d'Ebre Ripollès Segarra Segrià Selva Solsonès Tarragonès Terra Alta Urgell Vallès
Vallès
Occidental Vallès
Vallès
Oriental

Historical comarques of Northern Catalonia, France

Alta Cerdanya Capcir Conflent Rosselló Vallespir

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Provinces of Catalonia

Barcelona Girona Lleida Tarragona

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 159380011 LCCN: n79089624 ISNI: 0000 0001 2331 7762 GND: 4029916-8 SELIBR: 150096 SUDOC: 026436051 BNF: cb11950591d (data) ULAN: 500307057 NDL: 00628351

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