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The History of Barcelona

The Seaport city Barcelona is city in northeast Spain on the Mediterranean Sea. Located in the comarca of Barcelonès, along the Mediterranean coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs, Barcelona is the largest port, the second largest city, and chief commercial & industrial hub of Spain. Barcelona is capital of Catalonia autonomous region.

The story of Barcelona began more than 2,500 years ago when Phoenicians and Carthaginians settled on the commercial port. Barcelona is believed to be founded by the Carthaginians around 230 BC. The name of Carthaginian ruler Amilcar Barca is often referred to as the origin of the name Barcino.

The Carthaginians were replaced by the Romans in the 1st century B.C. After the fall of Roman empire, the Visigoths invaded the city in the early 5th century and renamed the city as “Barcinona.” The moors conquered Barcelona during their drive from northern Africa to the south of France in 8th century.

Only one hundred years later, the Franks led by Louis the Pious occupied Barcelona and established a strong military presence in what became known as the Spanish Mark, the front line of a constant battle between the Christian kingdoms of the North with the Arabs. This conflict eventually evolved into what became known as the Reconquest.

The Carolingian Empire established a number of Counties and Barcelona was the most important of them all. The origin of the Catalan nation was founded in Wilfred the Hairy, Count of Barcelona who established a hereditary system of succession. He managed to unify the county of Barcelona with the rest of the Carolingian territories before his death in the year 898. In the year 988 Count Borrell II achieved independence from the Carolingian kings for the County of Barcelona and became the dominant political and military force in the region later known as Catalonia.

The counts of Catalans later confederated their forces and formed the Crown of Aragon who conquered many overseas possessions, ruling the western Mediterranean Sea with outlying territories as far as Athens in the 13th century. The Catalans managed to keep their creative forces intact, and by the 14th century Barcelona ruled a mini-empire including Sicily, Malta, Sardinia, Valencia, the Balearics, the French regions of Rousillon and Cerdagne and parts of Greece.

Barcelona and the province of Catalonia were annexed by the French Empire of Napoleon after he invaded Spain and put his brother Joseph on the Spanish throne, but it was returned to Spain after Napoleon's downfall.

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Orson Johnson writes for Holiday Velvet, a website providing
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