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Barcelona

Barcelona (English /bɑrsɨˈlnə/, Catalan: [bərsəˈɫonə], Spanish: [barθeˈlona]) is the capital city of the autonomous community of Catalonia in Spain, and the second largest city in the country, with a population of 1,620,943 within its administrative limits. The urban area of Barcelona extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of around 4.5 million,[citation needed] being the sixth-most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, London, the Ruhr, Madrid and Milan. About five million people live in the Barcelona metropolitan area. It is the largest metropolis on the Mediterranean Sea, located on the coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs, and bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola mountain range, the tallest peak of which is 512 metres (1,680 ft) high.


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Arc de Triomf

The Arc de Triomf (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈarɡ də tɾiˈomf]) is an arch in the manner of a memorial or triumphal arch in Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain). It was built as the main access gate for the 1888 Barcelona World Fair by architect Josep Vilaseca i Casanovas.

The arch is built in reddish brickwork in the Neo-Mudéjar style. The front frieze contains the stone sculpture Barcelona rep les nacions (Catalan for "Barcelona welcomes the nations") by Josep Reynés. The opposite frieze contains a stone carving entitled Recompensa (Recompense), a work from Josep Llimona's the earliest period, representing the granting of awards to the participants in the World Exposition. The friezes along the sides of the arch include allegories of Agriculture and Industry, works by Antoni Vilanova, and of Trade and Art by Torquat Tassó.

The arch presides over Passeig de Lluís Companys, a wide promenade leading to the Ciutadella Park. It is located at the top of the promenade, where it meets Passeig de Sant Joan.


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Tourism in Spain

Tourism in Spain today is a major contributor to the national economic life contributing with 6.4% of Spain's GDP and ever since the 1960s and 1970s, when the country became a popular destination for summer holidays, especially with the tourists from the British Isles, Portugal, France, Central Europe and Scandinavia. Spain has held strong position in world's tourism, being among the largest markets for holidays. In 2007, Spain became the second most visited country in the world after France. That year, almost 60 million foreign visitors came to visit Spain, according to the World Tourism Organization, which has its headquarters in Madrid.

However, in 2010 Spain dropped to the fourth most visited country in the world after France, the United States and China with 53 million visitors.

Spain's tourism industry contributed directly with 6.4% of GDP or around €62.1 billion ($81.8 billion) in 2010 according to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the fifth largest income from tourism industry after the United States with $510.8 billion, Japan $172.5 billion, China $113.4 billion and France $107.6 billion based on 2010 World Travel and Tourism Council figures. It is worth noting that UNWTO measures tourism income differently and in its Tourism Highlights report, 2010 edition, places Spain ($53 billion) second only to US ($93.9 billion) in 2009 for "International Tourism Receipts". The UNWTO's own methodological notes explain the meaning of International Tourism Receipts and may help to explain the differences in the two organizations figures.