The first records of the settlement date to the Neolithic era with artefacts showing human habitation in the Llobregat river area. Roman artefacts have been found dating to the 2nd century BC such as a funeral decoration representing the head of Medusa, now in the Archaeological Museum of Catalonia. However it is not until the 10th century that written references to Provençana (the city's original name) appear. The place had about 5,000 inhabitants by the turn of the 20th century..Throughout the early 20th century, it consisted of three different urban settlements, Centre, Sta. Eulàlia and Collblanc. Local agricultural output and profitability experienced a peak in this period. A chunk of the municipality (900 ha) was lost to the municipality of Barcelona in 1920. L'Hospitalet then became a primarily industrial municipality, focused on textile, metalworking, ceramic and building materials industries. The 1960s and 1970s saw a second population boom, caused by immigration from poorer regions of Spain: however this was not matched by construction of the necessary amenities and it was only in the 1990s that public investment resulted in additional schools, leisure facilities and housing.
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