Catalan Information

Catalonia is one of the seventeen Autonomous Communities of the Kingdom of Spain. Its capital city is Barcelona. Catalonia covers an area of 32,114 km² and has an official population of 7,475,420. It borders France and Andorra to the north, Aragon to the west, the Valencian Community to the south, and the Mediterranean Sea to the east . The official languages are Catalan, Spanish and Aranese.

The name Catalunya began to be used in the 12th century in reference to the group of counties that comprised the Marca Hispanica. The origin of the term is subject to diverse interpretations. A theory suggests that Catalunya derives from the term "Land of Castles", having evolved from the term castlà, the ruler of a castle . This theory, therefore, suggests that the term castellà would have been synonymous. Though critics usually consider it rather limited.

Another theory suggests that Catalunya derives from Gothia, "Land of the Goths", since the Spanish March was one of the places known as Gothia, whence Gothland and Gothlandia theoretically derived,

Wikipedia, Catalan, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalonia (as of Apr 1, 2010)

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