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Much of Barcelona was negatively affected by the Napoleonic wars, but the start of industrialisation saw the fortunes of the province improve.
Some remaining fragments of the Roman walls have been incorporated into the cathedral.
The origin of the earliest settlement at the site of present-day Barcelona is unclear.
The ruins of an early settlement have been found, including different tombs and dwellings dating to earlier than 5000 BC.
It is the largest metropolis on the Mediterranean Sea, located on the coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs, and bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola mountain range, the tallest peak of which is 512 metres (1,680 feet) high.
Founded as a Roman city, in the Middle Ages Barcelona became the capital of the County of Barcelona.