Catalonia (Span. Catalutla), a maritime division of Spain, on the Mediterranean, lying between lat. 40° 30' and 42° 51' N., and lon. 0° 15' and 3° 21' E.; area 12,504 sq. m.; pop. in 18G7, 1,744,052. It is bounded N. by the Pyrenees, E. by the Mediterranean, S. by Valencia, and W. by Aragon. The coast line is about 240 m.; the principal ports are Barcelona, Rosas, and Tarragona, connected by railway with other parts of the Spanish coast and with the interior. Catalonia is divided into the provinces of Barcelona, Tarragona, Lerida, and Gerona. The face of the country is much broken by spurs of the Pyrenees. Some of these mountain ranges diverge toward the Mediterranean; others, of which the chief is the Sierra de la Llena, pursue a S. W. direction to the Ebro, and form a watershed in which 2G rivers have their rise, and flow either westward to the Ebro or eastward to the sea. The principal of these streams are the Segre, a tributary of the Ebro, the Noguera Pallaresa and Noguera liivagorzana, tributaries of the Segre, the Llo-bregat, Francoli, Tordera, Ter, and Fluvia. None of these are navigable to any great extent.
The general grade of the country is a descent from the mountain altitudes of the Pyrenees to the plateaus of upper Catalonia, and thence to the plains which skirt the Mediterranean. Most of the inland mountains are of granitic formation; those near the coast are limestone. Traces of volcanic origin are found especially in the vicinity of Barcelona. Val-levs of remarkable fertility intersect the moun-tains. Such are the plateau of Urgel, and the valleys of Cerdafia, Tarragona, Vails, La Selva, Igualada, Cervera, Ampurdan, and Lerida. About half the surface is susceptible of cultivation, the rest consisting of rocks, barrens, and woodlands. Forests of beech, pine, elm, and cork are found in the mountainous districts. Iron, copper, lead, and manganese are found; coal is met with in quantity, but it has been turned to little account; crystals, amethysts, topaz, jasper, and marble occur; and there are hot and mineral springs in various parts. Of alum, nitre, and rock salt the supplies are inexhaustible; at Cardona is a mound of pure salt, 500 ft. in height and 3 m. in circumference. Near Olot. 55 m. N. of Barcelona, is a remarkable district of extinct volcanoes.
Montserrat is a single and precipitous mountain, composed of a number of conical hills heaped in confusion over one another, and broken into fantastic shapes of parti-colored limestone. The climate of Catalonia varies with the altitude of the region, but is in general temperate, the heat being moderated by sea or mountain breezes. The country is considered healthy, the interior more so than the coast. Although the orange, lemon, almond, olive, and fig grow on the plains, they are produced in less abundance than in other districts of Spain; but orchard fruits ripen in perfection. The vine is exceedingly productive, and wine is the staple export. Agriculture is further advanced in Catalonia than in any other part of Spain. This is partly owing to the industrious character of the people, partly to the nature of the soil, and in a considerable measure to the more equitable tenure of land. All kinds of grain are cultivated and consumed at home, leaving no surplus for export. The soil is usually a light loam, easily worked. Irrigation being necessary to make it productive, it is found profitable to grow wine and oil in preference to breadstutfs. Flax, hemp, dyesturfs, honey, and wax are produced in considerable quantity. Nuts and cork are important articles of export.
Silk growing is but little attended to, and the raising of wool and cattle is of comparatively small extent. Since the liberation of the South American provinces, the commerce of Catalonia has greatly fallen off. The shoe trade, calico weaving, and ship building, which were formerly important branches of industry, have almost ceased to exist. Activity, however, continues in the fabrication of silks, velvets, ribbons, hosiery, linen and laces, leather, hats, cordage, brandy, cannon and small arms, glass, soap, hollow ware, and copper utensils. These are exported to France, England, and Holland, in exchange for textiles, jewelry, codfish, herring, and other articles of consumption. Along the coast a large proportion of the inhabitants are engaged in the fisheries, and there are few good harbors. - Catalonia under the Romans originally belonged to Hispania Citerior, but in the time of Augustus it formed part of the Pro-vincia Tarraconensis. Csesar made Tarragona the centre of his operations during his first war in Spain, and it was the chief place of residence of the generals who succeeded him.
Early in the 5th century the province was occupied by the Goths and Alans, and its name is supposed by some to be derived from a combination of the names of these two nations, and to have been at first Gothalania. In 712 it was occupied by the Moors, who held it only a few years; and in 788 it formed part of the vast empire of Charlemagne. His successors, however, maintained only a nominal sovereignty over it, the real power being in the hands of several counts among whom its territory was divided. In the early part of the 12th century the most powerful among these was Raymond Berenger, count of Barcelona, who succeeded in reducing all the others to subjection. In 1137 he married Petronilla, heiress of the throne of Aragon, and Catalonia was united to that kingdom. It afterward rebelled several times, but toward the end of the 15th century it became an integral part of the Spanish empire, though still retaining many of its peculiar rights and privileges. Philip IV. having attempted to take these away, it revolted in 1610, and in 1641 gave itself up to Louis XIII. of France. It was restored to Spain in 1659, and again occupied by the French from 1694 to 1697. During the war of the succession it supported the archduke Charles. After the treaty of Utrecht in 1713, by which the right of Philip V. to the throne of Spain was acknowledged, Catalonia continued for a year to resist, but was subdued and deprived of its ancient rights and liberties in 1714. The French occupied it in 1808, after having been strongly resisted by the inhabitants, and again evacuated it in 1813. In 1823 it offered a staunch resistance to the restoration of absolutism under Ferdinand VII. Its rural inhabitants have always been warm supporters of the Carlist party, and it is at present (1873) the chief scene of their operations.
Barcelona, on the other hand, has made itself equally conspicuous by its republican spirit.