Catalonia, an old European Country

The book of OUTSTANDING CATALAN CONTRIBUTIONS is a sample of this ability to contribute internationally to all areas of human activity, from its beginnings as a distinct people to the present day.

Map of Catalonia

Catalonia is an old European country of seven and a half million inhabitants, situated between the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean, whose history spans more than a thousand years. Its origins are marked by an Iberian substrate, significant contact with Greek culture as well as an intense Romanisation, a close bond with the Languedoc region and its forming part of the Carolingian empire. The Catalan language is spoken in an area with a population of over fourteen million people.

Map of the geographical extent of the Catalan language

Over the course of time, an extensive Mediterranean confederation was built and, in the Middle Ages, Catalonia was one of the most socially and culturally advanced countries on the European Continent. The nation suffered various historical vicissitudes, and following the union of the crowns of Catalonia & Aragon and Castile, the monarchy looked increasingly towards Castile. Catalonia’s international political influence diminished, especially following the War of Succession (of the Hispanic kingdoms, between the houses of Austria and Bourbon) and the fall of Barcelona in 1714.

Expansion of the Crown of Catalonia & Aragon in the 13th, 14th and 15th Centuries

Despite everything, Catalonia was able, with no institutional aid and no significant natural resources, to initiate an industrial revolution and a powerful cultural renaissance which continues to this day. This is thanks to a European mindset, a propensity for dialogue and the creativity and work ethic of its people, the sum of which has lead to an outstanding ability to contribute to human progress that surpasses its frontiers.