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Madrid became the centre of political power whilst the colonisation of the Americas reduced the financial importance (at least in relative terms) of Mediterranean trade.Barcelona was a centre of Catalan separatism, including the Catalan Revolt (1640–52) against Philip IV of Spain.The city is known for hosting the 1992 Summer Olympics as well as world-class conferences and expositions and also many international sport tournaments.Barcelona is one of the world's leading tourist, economic, trade fair and cultural centres, and its influence in commerce, education, entertainment, media, fashion, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world's major global cities.
The headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean is located in Barcelona.
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.
After merging with the Kingdom of Aragon, Barcelona continued to be an important city in the Crown of Aragon as an economic and administrative centre of this Crown and the capital of the Principality of Catalonia.
Barcelona has a rich cultural heritage and is today an important cultural centre and a major tourist destination.