Art and architecture and Barcelona's best bravas on this week's social programme

MNAC

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

It's one of those crazy weeks when Spain still thinks it's a good idea to have a holiday on a Thursday so there's no class and no event on our social programme then — but we do have two events for you on Friday.

  • Tuesday 4th | 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 5th | 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 (16.00).
  • Thursday 6th | National holiday in Spain for the Día de la Constitución
  • Friday 7th | Come with us for a stroll this afternoon to see something of the Ruta del Modernismo. We can't and won't (promise!) take you to see all the 116 Modernista buildings officially included in the Route, but you'll get at least a taste of Barcelona's magnificent architecture. It's Antoni Gaudí that got all the fame and credit for it, but we'll also be telling you about Josep Puig i Cadafalch and Lluís Domènech i Montaner (with an honourable mention for Enric Sagnier (16.00).
  • Friday 7th | Come and join us on the terrace/in the bar after class this afternoon 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.

Note that Saturday is also a holiday (Spain is still different!), this time for the Immaculate Conception, so school will be closed then, too.

Also this week | In the Copa del Rey, it's the return leg of the Barça vs Cultural Leonesa tie (Wednesday, kick-off 21.30, with Barça 1-0 after the first leg); while on Saturday in the Spanish League we have the local derby, Español vs Barça (Saturday, kick-off 20.45).

Barcelona barrios old and new on this week's social programme

Glories

Plaça de les Glòries, with (l-r) the Encants, very ugly Design Musuem and Torre Agbar all visible | Photo: Tom Walton

We've some nice contrasts for you on our social programme this week, between barrios old and new. Come with us and explore…

  • Tuesday 20th | 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 (16.00).
  • Wednesday 21st | Our trip today takes us down to Glorias, (that's the Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes, to give it its full, official name), which is home to the singular Torre Agbar, a huge shopping centre and the Encants, possibly the only flea market in the world with a designer roof (which, in true Barcelona fashion, leaked the first time it rained!). There's also the new Design Musuem down there too. It's an area that's been transformed  in the last 25 years — and still being transformed, with the Plaça, once a massive roundabout, to become a large park) (16.00).
  • Thursday 22nd | Come with us for a stroll this afternoon to see something of the Ruta del Modernismo. We can't and won't (promise!) take you to see all the 116 Modernista buildings officially included in the Route, but you'll get at least a taste of Barcelona's magnificent architecture (16.00).
  • Friday 23rd | 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 | In the Spanish League, we have Barça (who lead) way to Atlético Madrid (who are joint second, just a point behind). Find yourself a bar (Saturday, kick-off 20.45)!

Barcelona this week: football and a lot more too

The Sagrada Familia | Photo: Tom Walton

What's happening in Barcelona this week? Football and then more football (see below)! You want some actual culture to go with that? Here's what we have on our social programme this week!

  • Tuesday 23rd | 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 24th | 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 (16.00).
  • Thursday 25th | 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!). It now actually finally has a building licence, which it was lacked for the last 136 years. Spain is different! See also some of the cool pictures to be found on the official Sagrada Familia Instagram feed. If you want to go inside, note that it costs a minimum €15 (and book online if you want to do that) but is definitely not something to be missed (16.00).
  • Friday 26th | Join us this evening for a special Halloween edition of our Friday Club language exchange (dressing up optional 😉 ) ! Yeah, we know it's not quite yet Halloween, but that won't stop us having a bit of fun on Friday! 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 | We have two big games this week in Barcelona. First, in the Champions, it's Barça vs Inter Milan (Wednesday, kick-off 21.00).; and then in the Spanish League we have, Barça vs Real Madrid (Sunday, kick-off 16.15).

Shoutout for Espanyol, Barcelona's "other" La Liga team, currently second, just a point behind Barça, but regrettably most unlikely to do a Leicester City on them.

This week in Barcelona: the city's fascinating history

Montjuic

Montjuic: overlooking Barcelona | Photo: Tom Walton

There's no Friday Club on our social programme this week because of the holiday, but we've still got plenty more for you, especially so if you're interested in Barcelona's fascinating history.

  • Tuesday 9th | 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 10th | The 1992 Olympics changed large parts of Barcelona — among them the mountain of Montjuïc [ Wikipedia ], which overlooks the city and which is where we're going this afternoon. The fortress at the top dates back to 1640 and from it the city has been bombarded on a number of occasions. Bring your camera or phone along: the views [ Flickr | Instagram ] are fantastic (16.00) !
  • Thursday 11th | 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 12th | National holiday in Spain — school closed, no class!

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

Barcelona's history and architecture on this week's social programme

Josep Llimona, Desconsuelo | Photo: Tom Walton

Desconsuelo, statue by Josep Llimona in the Parque de la Ciudadela | Photo: Tom Walton

Note that there's a national holiday in Catalonia on Tuesday so (exceptionally) we have something for you on Monday on our social programme this week:

  • Monday 10th | Come with us today to explore the popular district of Gracia [information & map]: interesting history, lovely architecture, great bars (and, in August, a really great festa major)! We'll also be seeing one of the less well-known Gaudí works, the Casa Viçens, now open to the public if you want to go inside (in which case book yourself a ticket online, min €16) (16.00).
  • Tuesday 11th | National holiday in Catalonia for the Diada, which commemorates the fall of Barcelona during the War of the Spanish Succession in 1714 and the loss of Catalan independence. School will be closed.
  • Wednesday 12th | Our walk this afternoon takes us to visit the lovely Parque de la Ciudadela, which lies on the site of the fortress built to dominate the city after the siege of 1714, which was demolished in 1868 and then became the site — in 1888 — of Barcelona's first Universal Exposition. If you're interested in architecture, and the history of Barcelona, there are some fascinating things to see on today's trip (16.00).
  • Thursday 13th | 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!). If you want to go inside, note that it costs a minimum €15 but is definitely not something to be missed. Book your ticket online if you want to do that. See also some of the cool pictures to be found on the official Sagrada Familia Instagram feed (16.00).
  • Friday 14th | 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.