Travel & Dream

The regions



New Special Programs

Catalunya is an autonomous region located in northeastern Spain, that includes the provinces of Barcelona, Gerona, Lerida, and Tarragona. The shape of an inverted triangle, Catalonia is bounded on the north by the Pyrenees Mountains, on the west by the region of Aragón, and on the east by the Mediterranean Sea. It is bisected by the Sierra de la Llena mountain range, which extends from the southwest to the northeast. Most of the territory is wooded and contains few meadows and little pastureland. Among the principal rivers are the Ebro, the Llobregat, and the Ter, which drain into the Mediterranean.

Catalunya is one of the most prosperous regions of Spain. Corn, wheat, rye, flax, and licorice are cultivated; pigs, goats, and sheep are raised; and almonds, chestnuts, walnuts, figs, oranges, and grapes are grown in Catalunya. Among the main industries are fishing, wine making, the manufacture of cotton textiles, and potash mining.

Catalunya was an early possession of the Romans, who lost it to the Goths and Alans about 470bc. The Moors conquered the region in AD 712, but were expelled 76 years later by Spaniards allied with Charlemagne. Frankish counts subsequently ruled Catalunya and made it an independent domain. In 1137 it was united with the kingdom of Aragón and later was included in the kingdom of Spain. The French held it as a possession from 1640 to 1659, from 1694 to 1697, and again from 1808 to 1813.

French influence in Catalunya contributed to the development of a distinct Catalan culture. In the 19th century a movement for cultural and governmental autonomy developed. In 1932, following the overthrow of King Alfonso XIII in the Spanish revolution of 1930 and 1931, Catalunya was granted the right to have its own president and parliament, within the framework of the Spanish republic. In the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), Catalunya supported the Republican cause against the counterrevolution led by General Francisco Franco. Franco was victorious, and under his regime (1939-1975) the autonomy of Catalunya was ended. In 1977, however, the Spanish government granted the Catalan provinces limited autonomy and permitted the reestablishment of the Generalitat, the provinces'historical governing body, both legislature and executive council; its members are elected for four-year terms.

The Catalunya's population is about 6,800,000 and the major cities are Barcelona, Tarragona, Lerida, Gerona and Reús.

USA .. +1 213 880 2251.......... FRANCE .. +33 669 259 395 .......... SPAIN .. +34 649 278 179