The discovery of the Barceloneta I ship, a type of medieval sailing vessel the likes of which has not been found elsewhere in the Mediterranean, heightened the importance already enjoyed by Barcelona as a trading hub as early as the 13th century, when it became one of the dominant ports in sea trade and maritime law. Since then, the port of Barcelona has been the main infrastructure and most important economic driving force of Catalonia.
Throughout the first half of the 15th century, the efforts made to build the first wharf laid the foundations for the development of the port of Barcelona against a background of sea trade that had reached an all-time high. The initiative was resumed several decades later, and the late-medieval wharf became the original core of the modern port, further extended and upgraded by dint of the reform work performed towards the end of the 19th century, until the old port was replaced by the sprawling contemporary port of the Llobregat Delta.
Like all its historical forerunners, the new port of Barcelona continues to link the city to the rest of the world, although it now does so with the volume, intensity and diversity befitting our globalised 21st-century world.