When the Roman Empire entered years of crisis around 300 peoples from the north started the invade the area of modern Spain. The Visigoths were one of the new people coming from north. In 415 the Visigoth King Ataulfo made Barcelona his capital.
The Arab period
After the Visigoths came the Arabs. In 711 they would cross the Strait of Gibraltar and start their voyage up north. In just 7 years they controlled most of the Iberian Peninsula. Barcelona became Arabic.
Today very little if left from the Arabs in Barcelona. Together with the Franks the Moors were fought. And under the leadership of Guifré el Pilos (Wilfred the Hairy) the county of Barcelona took control over what is modern Catalonia.
A few centuries later an important occurrence took place: on August 11th 1137 the 2-year-old daughter of Ramir II of Aragon was married to the Count of Barcelona, Ramon Berenguer IV. Thus Catalonia got a much sought-after King’s title. This created the ground for an expansion period, which should make the Catalonia-Aragon to a superpower in the Mediterranean Sea on the side of the powers such as Genoa and Venice. In subsequent years, Catalonia took Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, Valencia, Sicily, Naples and Sardinia. For a short period of time, Catalonia even controlled Athens.
In the beginning the the 15th century the king Martin the Human didn’t succed in having any children and so Catalonia became under control of the Antequera Kings in Madrid. After the Spanish Succession War, Catalonia’s position was further weakened. Catalonia had backed the Austrian King of in the major conflict and was punished by the winner of the war – the French king, Felipe V.