Spain is amongst the fifty largest countries in the world and covers an area of 505,955 square kilometres. Spain´s coastline, runs along the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Spain is a country of great and varied landscape and geographical wealth. The Spanish population in 2012 is estimated at just over 47 million. The province area of the capital, Madrid, has more than 6 million. Barcelona is the second largest city, with an official population of more than 5 million in the province area.
Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain and the capital of Catalonia, with an official population of 1.6 million. The municipal districts in the rest of the province raise this figure to more than 5 million. Barcelona is actually one of the six most populated urban areas in the European Union. Barcelona has a rich cultural heritage and is today an important cultural centre and a major tourist destination. Particularly renowned are the architectural works of Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner, which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The city is known for hosting the 1992 Summer Olympics as well as world-class conferences and expositions, including the 1888 Exposición Universal de Barcelona, the 1929 Barcelona International Exposition (Expo 1929), the 2004 Universal Forum of Cultures.
Barcelona is today one of the world’s leading tourist, economic, trade fair/exhibitions and cultural-sports centers, 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. One of Europe’s principal Mediterranean ports can be found here as well as Barcelona international airport, which handles above 34 million passengers per year. It also boasts an extensive motorway network and is a hub of high-speed rail, particularly that which is intended to link Spain with France and the rest of Europe.