Art, architecture, history, street art, there's so much to see in Barcelona

Street art Poble Nou Barcelona

Street art in Poble Nou | Photo: Tom Walton

Art, architecture, history, street art… we've got it all for you on our social programme this week!

  • Tuesday 14th | Today's trip takes us into the barrio of Poble Nou, which is home to the iconic Torre Agbar, the nightclub Razzmatazz and some of Barcelona's best street art. But come along with us and discover a whole lot more about one of the city's most interesting, most genuine barrios (16.00).
  • Wednesday 15th | One for more traditional art lovers, Come with us down to the Plaza España this afternoon to see the 1000 years of art in the outstanding collection at the MNAC, the Museo Nacional de Arte de Cataluña (16.00).
  • Thursday 16th | It's a couple of years now since the 300th anniversary of the siege of Barcelona but the Barcelona 1714 route is still a historically fascinating one. The remains of the city blocks demolished to build the post-siege fortress now to be seen at the Born Centre Cultural are particularly curious. If you've been following what's happening in Catalonia, 1714 was one of the previous times we lost our independence (16.00)!
  • Friday 17th | Join us on the terrace and in the bar after class today for our very popular Friday Club language exchange (19.00-21.00).

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

Also this week | One of the less well-known Gaudí houses, the Casa Viçens, built as you can tell from its façade for a rich tile manufacturer, is opening its doors to the public for the first time this week.

 

The Raval, Andy Warhol and Modernist architecture on this week's social programme

Street art, Raval

Street art in the Raval, by Guaté Mao | Photo: Tom Walton

It's just got noticeably colder in Barcelona (ok, yes, it is mid-November!) so bring a jacket with you if you come with us on our social programme this week, though you can still expect it to be sunny! Cold but sunny — the time Barcelona looks its finest.

  • Tuesday 7th | Come 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 (see photo, above), it was a rather seedy red light district but is now home to the CCCB and the MACBA 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 8th | 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).
  • Thursday 9th | Until Decemmber 31st, the CaixaForum has an Andy Warhol exhibition on. Formerly a textile factory, later used as police horse stables, it's now one of Barcelona's best art museums and, designed by Josep Puig i Cadafalch, an excellent example of how Modernist architecture wasn't just used to build houses for the rich! Entrance fee €4 (16.00).
  • Friday 10th | You've got to start your Barcelona weekend somewhere. Why not start it with us at our Friday Club language exchange, where you can practise all the languages you know? 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 | If film is your thing, you might like Barcelona's Asian Film Festival, on until November 12.

Barcelona's wonderful architecture on this week's social programme

The prize-winning video of one of Gaudí's most famous Barcelona houses, the Casa Batlló

Here in Barcelona we have another of those crazy weeks with a holiday in the middle of it. But that won't stop social programme ! It's perhaps especially interesting this week if you have an interest in architecture….

  • Tuesday 31st | 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 1st | National holiday in Spain (Día de Todos los Santos), no classes, school closed
  • Thursday 2nd | Apart from Sagrada Familia, the city has a number of other lovely churches. Come with us today to see the Joyas del Gótico, the "Gothic jewels" of Barcelona — the Cathedral and the wonderful churches of Santa María del Pí and Santa María del Mar, the latter the subject of a book we always recommend, La Catedral del Mar (16.00).
  • Friday 3rd | 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 (in the video, above), it's now one of Barcelona's busiest streets. Come with us and discover more of its history this afternoon (16.00).
  • Friday 3rd | Come back to school after our walk and get yourself some extra Spanish practice at our Friday Club language exchange (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 | Spanish League, Barça vs Seville (Saturday, kick-off 20.45).

If Game of Thrones, rather than football is your thing, the Game of Thrones Exhibition is now open at the Maritime Museum.

Our social program in Barcelona this week

On a wall in the Barrio Gótico this week | Photo: Tom Walton

By Thursday evening, word is that we'll be living in an independent country (glups!). Meanwhile, that won't stop this week's social programme 😉 !

  • Tuesday 24th | We have a trip up to the barrio of Sarrià [map] this afternoon. A separate town until it was incorporated into Barcelona in 1921, Sarrià still feels a little like a small town. Look out for wild boar, stop off at the posh bakers Foix de Sarrià (Plaça de Sarrià 12-13) if you're feeling peckish — or try the world's best ever patatas bravas at Bar Tomás (Major de Sarrià 49). Shame it's rather expensive to find a flat there (16.00) !
  • Wednesday 25th | This afternoon's trip 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 taberna 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 26th | We have a stroll round the Barrio Gótico today, taking you to see some of the hidden corners you might otherwise miss. Come with us and explore (and see also these other hidden corners of Barcelona, in other barrios).
  • Friday 27th | Join us this evening at our Friday Club language exchange. It's a great place to kick off the weekend — and to practise your Spanish !! 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.

Come and explore Barcelona on our social programme

Plaza España

Plaza España and Las Arenas | Photo: Tom Walton

So we didn't in the end become an independent nation last week (though we might be by the time you read this!) Meanwhile, on our social programme

  • Tuesday 17th | 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 18th | 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 and lots more besides. We won't actually be going into the latter, but you might want to, afterwards (16.00).
  • Thursday 19th | Our "Barcelona y el mar" walk today takes us down to the port and the seafront, and to the barrio of Barceloneta (where they aren't too happy with noisy tourists!) for a different perspective on the city (16.00)!
  • Friday 20th | It's Selfie Night at this week's Friday Club language exchange. Join us for the fun and games 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 | Champions, Barça vs Olympiakos (Wednesday, kick-off 20.45); Spanish League, Barça vs Malaga (Saturday, kick-off 20.45).