Barcelona this week: Flower Power and the Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada Familia: come with us and see, Thursday | Photo: Tom Walton

Our social programme this week. Note that if you want to come with us to the Sagrada Familia on Thursday, you need to book your place by Tuesday at the latest.

  • Tuesday 17th | The barrio of Barceloneta was built on reclaimed land and dates back only to the 18th century but once housed Barcelona's fishermen and then, later, factories. Both are now long gone and have been replaced by a lot of noisy tourists, but the district still retains a peculiar, original flavour. Come and explore with us (16.00).
  • Wednesday 18th | Our walk this afternoon takes us to see some of Picasso's Barcelona: it includes some of the most picturesque of the streets of the Barrio Gótico (Petrixol, Avinyó…); places like the 4 Gats restaurant (a bohemian tavern in Picasso's time); the Estación de Francia (from where he first travelled to Paris at the age of 21); and the Carrer de Montcada, where the Picasso Museum now stands (16.00).
  • Thursday 19th | One you just must see: the best known Gaudí building in Barcelona, the still unfinished Sagrada Familia, though it's supposed to be finished in 2026 (see this video if you can't wait that long!). See also some of the cool pictures to be found on the official Sagrada Familia Instagram feed. It's definitely not something to be missed so why not come with us today (entrance €15; 16.00)?
  • Friday 20th | Join us on the terrace and in the bar after class today for our very popular Friday Club language exchange. This week, we have a Flower Power Party for you. Peace and love, brothers (19.00-21.00)!

Join us in Spanish Reception (C floor), unless otherwise stated, at the times given above.

Friday Club back on this week's social programme

CaixaForum Barcelona

CaixaForum, one of Barcelona's most curious pieces of Modernista architecture (and one of its best art galleries) | Photo: Tom Walton

We're back with our Friday Club language exchange on our social programme this week (and it's Tuesday 13th, not Friday, that we consider unlucky in Spain, in case you wondered).

  • Tuesday 10th | Although in Roman times Barcelona was far less important than Tarragona, 100km down the coast, the Romans left behind the remains of the city of Barcino that they founded in 15 BC: the Roman Temple and the traces of the Roman walls on top of which the city's medieval walls were largely built are among the things you'll see on our walk this afternoon (16.00).
  • Wednesday 11th | Transformed for the 1929 Universal Exhibition, the Plaza España is within walking distance of so much: the Las Arenas shopping mall in the former bullring (great view from the top!); Miró's Dona i Ocell (no sniggering!); the outstanding art collection at the MNAC (housed in the Palacio Nacional, built for the Exhibition); the former factory, now art museum of the CaixaForum (photo, above) and lots more besides. We won't actually be going into the latter, but you might want to, afterwards (16.00).
  • Thursday 12th | It's hard to believe, but Via Laietana (just along the road from IH Barcelona) is little more than 100 years old. Driven through the heart of the old city between 1908 and 1913 [see video], it's now one of Barcelona's busiest streets. Come with us and discover more of its history this afternoon (16.00).
  • Friday 13th | Our first Friday Club of 2017! If you want to practice your Spanish (and any other languages you happen to know!), we're on the terrace/in the bar 19.00-21.00 every Friday except during the holidays.

Join us in Spanish Reception (C floor), unless otherwise stated, at the times given above.

Also this week | Two chances to see Barça at home! In the Copa, the return leg of the Barça vs Athletic Bilbao tie (Wednesday, kick-off 21.15, with Barça 2-1 down after the first game); and in the Spanish League, Barça vs Las Palmas (Saturday, kick-off 16.15). Prices start at €18 and €33 respectively for those (that's cheap for a Barça game).

Our first social programme of 2017! Feliz año nuevo!

The Kings

Just exactly how good have you been? | Photo and figures: Tom Walton

We have a social programme for you as usual this week for the first week of 2017 (¡Feliz año nuevo!) but minus Friday Club.

  • Tuesday 3rd | Join us today on our walk round one of our favourite barrios, El Born, full of cool bars and history, home to the lovely church of Santa Maria del Mar (the setting for the novel La catedral del mar) and the Estación de Francia, as well as the fascinating remains of the medieval city of Barcelona found under the old Born Market (16.00).
  • Wednesday 4th | We cross over on to the other side of Via Laeitana today for our walk. If you didn't have your Christmas cake this year we'll show you some Spanish alternatives and if you're looking for a souvenir to take home for the family, we'll show you the place to get some turrón — plus some of the other hidden corners of the Barrio Gótico.
  • Thursday 5th | Tomorrow in Spain, traditionally at least, is when the Kings bring presents, so be especially good this week as they'll leave you a lump of coal if you haven't been! This afternoon we'll be going down to the Feria de Reyes to see what all the fuss is about (16.00).
  • Friday 6th | National holiday in Spain

Join us downstairs at the front door (school closes at 16.00 this week).

Note that there's no Friday Club this week (it will be back on January 13th — Friday 13th! Aaargh!) and that the school will be closed January 6th-8th.

Christmas in Barcelona on this week's social programme

Happy Christmas

Nativity scene beneath our Christmas tree in our new building on Ortigosa | Photo and figures: Tom Walton

We have a social programme for you as usual this week, though we'll be closed Saturday, Sunday and Monday for Christmas, with classes starting again on Tuesday 27th.

  • Tuesday 20th | Our walk this afternoon takes us to the Manzana de la Discordia, the block on Passeig de Gracia with three of Barcelona's best examples of Modernista architecture — the Casa Batlló (Gaudí); the Casa Amatller (Puig i Cadafalch); and the Casa Lleó i Morera (Domènech i Montaner); as well as to the Casa Milà (also by Gaudí), which is further up the street on the other side (16.00).
  • Wednesday 21st | One of our Christmas traditions in Barcelona is to buy (or make!) figures to create a Nativity scene at the Santa Llúcia Christmas fair, which has been held for the last 225 plus years [website]). Come along with us this afternoon to see (16.00).
  • Thursday 22nd | Bring your camera and comfortable shoes with you today and come with us for a stroll round one of Barcelona's food markets, fascinating at any time of the year, but perhaps especially so at Christmas (16.00).
  • Note that there's no Friday Club this week: it won't be back until January 13th.

Join us in Spanish Reception (C floor), unless otherwise stated, at the times given above.

Also this week | In the Copa, your last chance to see Barça at home this year: Barça vs Hércules (Wednesday, kick-off 20.00).

Art and football: isn't that what Barcelona is all about?

MNAC

The MNAC: an outstanding art collection | Photo: Tom Walton

Our social programme for you this week:

  • Tuesday 13th | Come with us for a stroll around the Raval, the district on the right of the Ramblas as you head down towards the port. One of the best places in Barcelona to go to find street art, it was once a rather seedy red light district but is now home to the CCCB and the MACBA (not to be confused with the MNAC, where we're going tomorrow) and Fernando Botero's fat cat, and (in keeping with its past) to the protagonists of many of Barcelona's novelas negras (16.00).
  • Wednesday 14th | Our trip this afternoon takes us down to the Plaza España to see the 1000 years of art in the outstanding collection at the MNAC, the Museo Nacional de Arte de Cataluña. Possibly one for art-lovers only, but if that's you, outstanding (16.00).
  • Thursday 15h | Take a walk with us this afternoon along the Moll de la Fusta [see photos], which takes us from the wonderful Catalan History museum, across the old port past the Maremagnum shopping and leisure centre to the statue of Columbus and the bottom of the Ramblas (16.00).
  • Friday 16th | It's the last Friday Club of 2016 today so, though it's just ever so slightly early, we have our Friday Club Christmas Party this evening. In the bar/on the terrace, 19.00-21.00.

Join us in Spanish Reception (C floor), unless otherwise stated, at the times given above.

Also this week | In the Spanish League we have the local derby, Barça vs Espanyol, a huge grudge match for the latter but one Barça will expect to win without breaking sweat (Sunday, kick-off 20.45).