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Barcelona, Spain
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Barcelona is the capital and most populous city of the Autonomous Community of Catalonia and the sec...
Barcelona is the capital and most populous city of the Autonomous Community of Catalonia and the second largest city in Spain, with a population of 1,615,908 in 2008. It is the eleventh-most populous municipality in the European Union and sixth-most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, London, Ruhr Area, Madrid and Milan with the population 4,185,000. 4,9 million people live in Barcelona metropolitan area. The main part of a union of adjacent cities and municipalities named ?rea Metropolitana de Barcelona (AMB) with a population of 3,186,461 in area of 636 km?? (density 5.010 hab/km??). It is located on the Mediterranean coast (41??23??N 2??11??E??? / ???41.383??N 2.183??E??? / 41.383; 2.183) between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Bes??s and is bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola ridge (512 m/1,680 ft). Barcelona is recognised as a global city because of its importance in finance, commerce, media, entertainment, arts and international trade. Barcelona is a major economic centre with one of Europe's principal Mediterranean ports, and Barcelona International Airport is the second largest in Spain after the Madrid-Barajas Airport (handles about 30 million passengers per year). Founded as a Roman city, Barcelona became the capital of the Counts of Barcelona. After merging with the Kingdom of Aragon, it became one of the most important cities of the Crown of Aragon. Besieged several times during its history, Barcelona is today an important cultural centre and a major tourist destination and has a rich cultural heritage. Particularly renowned are architectural works of Antoni Gaud?? and Llu??s Dom??nech i Montaner that have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The city is well known in recent times for the 1992 Summer Olympics. The headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean are located in Barcelona. As the capital of Catalonia, Barcelona houses the seat of the Catalan government, known as the Generalitat de Catalunya; of particular note are the executive branch, the parliament, and the Supreme Court of Catalonia. The city is also the capital of the Barcelon??s comarca (shire). Barcelona has a great number of museums, which cover different areas and eras. The National Museum of Art of Catalonia possesses a well-known collection of Romanesque art while the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art focuses on post-1945 Catalan and Spanish art. The Fundaci?? Joan Mir??, Picasso Museum and Fundaci?? Antoni T?pies hold important collections of these world-renowned artists. Several museums cover the fields of history and archeology, like the City History Museum, the Museum of the History of Catalonia, the Archeology Museum of Catalonia, the Barcelona Maritime Museum and the private-owned Egyptian Museum. The Erotic museum of Barcelona is among the most peculiar ones, while Cosmocaixa is a science museum that received the European Museum of the Year Award in 2006. The Barri G??tic (Gothic Quarter in Catalan) is the centre of the old city of Barcelona. Many of the buildings date from medieval times, some from as far back as the Roman settlement of Barcelona. Catalan modernisme architecture (often known as Art Nouveau in the rest of Europe), developed between 1885 and 1950 and left an important legacy in Barcelona. A great number of these buildings are World Heritage Sites. Especially remarkable is the work of architect Antoni Gaud??, which can be seen throughout the city. His best known work is the immense but still unfinished church of the Sagrada Fam??lia, which has been under construction since 1882, and is still financed by private donations. As of 2007, completion is planned for 2026. The Space-Time Towers in The Rise of Darkrai is also heavily based on the Sagrada Fam??lia church. Barcelona is also home to Mies van der Rohe's Barcelona Pavilion. Designed in 1929 for the Internation Exposition for Germany. It is an iconic building designed by one of the most influential architects of the 20th century. Barcelona won the 1999 RIBA Royal Gold Medal for its architecture,
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