Located in the northeast of the Iberian Peninsula, Spain's richest region has its own language and a distinctive identity.
Catalonia is an autonomous community. Barcelona is the capital, and the largest city. The support for Catalan nationalism ranges from calls for further autonomy to demands of independence from the rest of Spain. The region has two official languages: Spanish and Catalan, both of which are spoken. In offices and schools, Catalan is the dominant language, while road signs and labels, for instance in museums, are usually bilingual. Approximately 11 million people live in the Catalan language area.
The trial of 12 Catalan separatist leaders has begun in the Spanish capital, Madrid. The defendants face charges of rebellion and sedition over their roles in the 2017 independence referendum. If convicted, they could be sentenced to decades in prison.