Barcelona is the capital and largest city of Catalonia and Spain's second largest city, with a population of over one and half million people (over five million in the whole province).
The exact circumstances of the founding of the city of Barcelona are uncertain, but the remains of a settlement many thousands of years old have been found in the neighborhood of Raval. While legend has Hannibal's father founding Barcelona in the 3rd Century B.C., there is no substantiating evidence. The Roman Period Around 15 B.C., the Romans established the military camp of Faventia near the present-day Barcelona city hall. The colony was, at first, dwarfed in size by nearby Tarraco but soon grew large and prosperous, largely due to its excellent harbor. To this day, there are vestiges in Barcelona of its Roman past, many on display at the Barcelona City History Museum. In the city's historic center, the original Roman street grid is still discernible. There are also fragments of ancient Roman walls built into the Basilica La Seu, a cathedral dating from the 4th Century A.D. Medieval Times Invading Visigoths captured Barcelona in the 5th Century and made it, though briefly, the capital of Gothic Spain. By the 8th Century, Islamic invaders took the city, but in 801, the French wrested it back into Christian hands and made it the capital of a new buffer state called the "Hispanic March.