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Catalonia

Autonomous community in northeastern Spain / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Catalonia (/ˌkætəˈlniə/; Catalan: Catalunya [kətəˈluɲə]; Spanish: Cataluña [kataˈluɲa] ; Occitan: Catalonha [kataˈluɲa])[8] is an autonomous community of Spain, designated as a nationality by its Statute of Autonomy.[lower-alpha 4][10] Most of its territory (except the Val d'Aran) lies on the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula, to the south of the Pyrenees mountain range. Catalonia is administratively divided into four provinces or eight regions, which are in turn divided into 42 comarques. The capital and largest city, Barcelona, is the second-most populated municipality in Spain and the fifth-most populous urban area in the European Union.[11]

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Catalonia
Anthem: Els Segadors (Catalan)
"The Reapers"
Map of Catalonia in Spain
Location of Catalonia (red) in Spain
Catalonia in Spain and Europe
Location of Catalonia (dark green)

 in Europe (green & dark grey)
 in Spain (green)

Coordinates: 41°50′15″N 01°32′16″E
CountryFlag_of_Spain.svg Spain
StatusAutonomous community (styled as nationality)
Formation801 (County of Barcelona)
1137 (Dynastic union with Aragon)
1283 (Catalan constitutions)
1516 (Dynastic union with Castile under Charles I)
1716 (Nueva Planta)
Statute of Autonomy9 September 1932
18 September 1979
9 August 2006 (in force)
Capital
and largest city
Barcelona
41°23′N 2°11′E
Government
  TypeDevolved government in a constitutional monarchy
  BodyGeneralitat of Catalonia
  PresidentPere Aragonès (ERC)
  Parliament SpeakerAnna Erra (Junts)
  LegislatureParliament of Catalonia
  Congress of Deputies48 Deputies (of 350)
  Senate24 Senators (of 265)
Area
  Total32,113.86 km2 (12,399.23 sq mi)
  Rank6th in Spain
Population
 (2023)
  Total8,005,784[2]
  Rank2nd in Spain (16%)
  Density241/km2 (620/sq mi)
DemonymsCatalan or Catalonian
català, -ana (ca)
catalán, -ana (es)
catalan, -a (oc)
GDP
  Total€255.154 billion (2022)
  Per capita€32,550 (2022)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Area code+34 93 (Barcelona area)
+34 97 (rest of Catalonia)
ISO 3166 codeES-CT
Official languages
Patron saintsSaint George (Sant Jordi), Virgin of Montserrat
Websitegencat.cat
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Modern-day Catalonia comprises most of the medieval and early modern Principality of Catalonia (with the remainder northern area now part of France's Pyrénées-Orientales). It is bordered by France (Occitanie) and Andorra to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the east, and the Spanish autonomous communities of Aragon to the west and Valencia to the south. The official languages are Catalan, Spanish and the Aranese dialect of Occitan.[5]

In the late 8th century, various counties across the eastern Pyrenees were established by the Frankish kingdom as a defensive barrier against Muslim invasions. In the 10th century, the County of Barcelona became progressively independent.[12] In 1137, Barcelona and the Kingdom of Aragon were united by marriage, resulting in a composite monarchy known as the Crown of Aragon. Within the Crown, the Catalan counties merged in to a polity, the Principality of Catalonia, developing its own institutional system, such as Catalan Courts, Generalitat and constitutions, becoming the base for the Crown's Mediterranean trade and expansionism. In the later Middle Ages, Catalan literature flourished. In 1469, the king of Aragon and the queen of Castile were married and ruled their realms together, retaining all of their distinct institutions and legislation.

During the Franco-Spanish War (1635–1659), the Principality of Catalonia revolted (1640–1652) against a large and burdensome presence of the royal army, being briefly proclaimed a republic under French protection until it was largely reconquered by the Spanish armies. By the Treaty of the Pyrenees (1659), the northern parts of Catalonia, mostly the Roussillon, were ceded to France. During the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714), the Crown of Aragon sided against the Bourbon Philip V of Spain, but after the Peace of Utrecht (1713) the Catalans were defeated with the fall of Barcelona on 11 September 1714. Philip V subsequently imposed a unifying administration across Spain, enacting the Nueva Planta decrees which, like in the other realms of the Crown of Aragon, suppressed Catalan institutions and legislation. As a consequence, Catalan as a language of government and literature was eclipsed by Spanish. Throughout the second half of the 17th and the 18th centuries, Catalonia experienced economic growth.

In the 19th century, Catalonia was severely affected by the Napoleonic and Carlist Wars. In the second third of the century, it experienced industrialisation. As wealth from the industrial expansion grew, it saw a cultural renaissance coupled with incipient nationalism while several workers' movements appeared. The establishment of the Second Spanish Republic (1931–1939) granted self-government to Catalonia, being restored the Generalitat as the Catalan autonomus government. After the Spanish Civil War, the Francoist dictatorship enacted repressive measures, abolishing Catalan self-government and banning the official use of the Catalan language. After a period of autarky, from the late 1950s through to the 1970s Catalonia saw rapid economic growth, drawing many workers from across Spain, making Barcelona one of Europe's largest industrial metropolitan areas and turning Catalonia into a major tourist destination. During the Spanish transition to democracy (1975–1982), the Generalitat was reestablished and Catalonia regained self-government, remaining one of the most economically dynamic communities in Spain.

Since the 2010s, there has been growing support for Catalan independence. On 27 October 2017, the Catalan Parliament unilaterally declared independence following a referendum that was deemed unconstitutional by the Spanish state. The Spanish Senate voted in favour of enforcing direct rule by removing the Catalan government and calling a snap regional election. The Spanish Supreme Court imprisoned seven former ministers of the Catalan government on charges of rebellion and misuse of public funds, while several others—including then-President Carles Puigdemont—fled to other European countries. Those in prison[lower-alpha 5] were pardoned by the Spanish government in 2021.

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