19. The Barcelona of the Counts
The resources generated by the struggle against the Islamic taifas and agricultural expansion revived construction and demand. Crafts and the market flourished and immigrants poured in. This growth underpinned the power of the counts as a result of taxation and the mills on the Comtal irrigation channel. It also laid the foundations for international trade and credit with the vigorous involvement of the Jewish minority, which eventually became an aljama or political community.
The marriage alliance with the Kingdom of Aragon in 1137 brought the crown and enabled territorial expansion to the west and south, opening up the Ebro trade route to Barcelona and in the subsequent century the territory of Valencia as well.