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.
There were arrests and injuries after Catalan separatists threw colored powder, ran at police lines and clashed with a pro-police rally. The Barcelona events came just days before the anniversary of the referendum.
After an international arrest warrant against him was dropped, ex-Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont returned to Belgium from Germany. The ousted leader vowed to continue fighting for Catalonia's independence from Spain.
Spain's Supreme Court has withdrawn its extradition requests for six Catalan separatist politicians, including ex-regional president Carles Puigdemont, who is in Germany. They were wanted on rebellion charges.
The court has said the former Catalan leader can be extradited to Spain for graft and not rebellion. Puigdemont faces charges of rebellion and corruption in connection with Catalonia's failed bid for independence.