In a privileged position on the north-eastern coast of the Iberian peninsula and the shores of the Mediterranean, Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain in both size and population. It is also the capital of Catalonia, one of the 17 autonomous communities that make up Spain. The capital of Catalonia is unequivocally a Mediterranean city, not only because of its geographic location but, above all, because of its history, tradition and cultural influences. The documented history of the city dates back to the founding of a Roman colony on its soil in the second century BC.
Modern Barcelona experienced spectacular growth and economic revival at the onset of industrialisation during the second half of the 19th century. The 1888 World’s Fair became a symbol of the capacity for hard work and the international outlook projected by the city. Culture and the arts flourished in Barcelona and in all of Catalonia; the splendour achieved by Catalonian modernism is one its greatest attractions.