Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia and the second largest city of Spain. It lies on the Mediterranean Sea, about 120 kilometers south of the Pyrenees and the border with France. Barcelona is the administrative center of the province and the Comarca Barcelonès.
Within the metropolitan area population of about 1.6 million people, including foreigners 15.9 per cent (as at 31 December 2005). Thus, Barcelona is the eleventh largest municipality of the European Union and after Hamburg’s second biggest, which is not the capital of a Member State. Together with the Àrea Metropolitana de Barcelona member municipalities of the agglomeration, the population of 3.16 million. In the greater catchment area of the metropolitan region (Ambit Metropolità de Barcelona) total 4.86 million people live.
Barcelona is located in the northeast of the Iberian peninsula on the coast of the Mediterranean on a five-mile-wide plateau of the mountain range of Serra de Collserola and the rivers Llobregat in the south and Besòs is bordered to the north. The Pyrenees are about 120 kilometers north of the city.
The Serra de Collserola, part of the coastal mountain range forms the gently rounded background of the city. Its highest point, the Tibidabo is 512 meters high and is of the 288.4-meter-high transmission tower seen from afar, and Torre de Collserola overlooked. The highest point of the city center is the 12-meter-high Mont Taber on which the cathedral is built. The town is small, usually cultivated hills criss-crossed, the set up on their neighborhoods gave the name of Carmel (267 meters), Monterols (121 meters), Putxet (181 meters), Rovira (261 meters) and Peira (133 meters). The mountain Montjuïc (173 meters) is located in the southwest and overlooks the harbor. On him lies the fortress from the 17th and 18 Century, as a replacement for the Ciutadella controlled the city. Today the fort is a military museum, and the mountain is home to several Olympic and cultural facilities as well-known gardens.
The history of Barcelona began 2000 years ago with the Iberian settlement Barkeno. Their easily defended position on a coastal plain between the Mediterranean and the Collserola ridge route from Central Europe to the Iberian Peninsula, the importance of this city has secured for all time.