Catalonia (Catalan: Catalunya) is a self-governing region of north-western Spain. The administrative capital is Barcelona. Catalonia is based on the medieval kingdom of Aragon that merged into a united Spain on the marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella.
Brief independence during the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39 was ended by the victory of General Francisco Franco in 1939. Barcelona during the Civil War is notably described in George Orwell's memoir Homage to Catalonia. Catalonia has experienced a relatively high level of ETA activity. The State Department recognizes the ETA as a terrorist group.
Catalonia has its own distinct language, known as the Catalan language.