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The cathedral, also known as the Basilica La Seu, is said to have been founded in 343.

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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.

After being conquered by the Arabs in the early 8th century, it was conquered in 801 by Charlemagne's son Louis, who made Barcelona the seat of the Carolingian "Hispanic March" (Marca Hispanica), a buffer zone ruled by the Count of Barcelona.

The Counts of Barcelona became increasingly independent and expanded their territory to include all of Catalonia, although on 6 July 985, Barcelona was sacked by the army of Almanzor.

The forging of a dynastic link between the Crowns of Aragon and Castile marked the beginning of Barcelona's decline.

The Bank of Barcelona (Taula de canvi), probably the oldest public bank in Europe, was established by the city magistrates in 1401.

During the Middle Ages, the city was variously known as Barchinona, Barçalona, Barchelonaa, and Barchenona.

Internationally, Barcelona's name is wrongly abbreviated to 'Barça'.

Particularly renowned are the architectural works of Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner, which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

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