New classrooms in an old building

Posted on our Instagram page | Photo: @drak2506

Just out the back of IH Barcelona, literally on the other side of the street, there's a lovely old piece of Modernista industrial architecture, of which only the façade (above) and the shell of the building has survived.

You'll find further information here (in Spanish), along with a photo of the street — Carrer Ortigosa — when it was still cobbled (and with not a car in sight!)

It had been abandoned but work has now started on renovating it, as you can see in the photo below:

Current state of the premises

Current state of the building, August 2015 | Photo: Tom Walton

We never imagined when we posted a photo of it six years ago that one day we'd be moving in. That's right, because some time before Christmas (we hope!), we'll have new classrooms just across the road.

We'll keep you posted.

Also of interest:

Lovely week for a stroll, huge week for Barça

Stone carving lizard

Climbing the wall of one of Barcelona's amazing Modernista houses | Photo: Tom Walton

Come in shirt sleeves and light, comfortable shoes and bring your phone or camera with you on this week's social programme. Barcelona is so lovely at this time of year!

  • Tuesday 12th | Join us on our walk today round the  popular barrio of El Born, full of cool bars and history, home to the lovely church of Santa Maria del Mar and the Estación de Francia, which we'll also be visiting on our way to the Parque de la Ciudadela, one of Barcelona's nicest parks (16.00).
  • Wednesday 13th | First laid out in 1791, the Laberinto de Horta is one of the most romantic of the hidden corners of Barcelona (as well as being one of the settings for Tom Tykwer's 2006 film Perfume: The Story of a Murderer!). Come along and see it with us (16.00).
  • Thursday 14th | 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 15th | We've got a Mensajtos Party lined up for you at this week's Friday Club language exchange. To find out what that involves, why not come along and find out? Fun guaranteed! 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 | The Spanish League is virtually won, a place in the Champions Final all but guaranteed, but there are two big away games this week: Bayern Munich vs Barça (Tuesday, kick-off 20.45) and Atlético Madrid vs Barça (Sunday, kick-off 19.00).

TimeOut Barcelona had these suggestions for you last week, if you're looking for somewhere with great atmosphere and a big screen to watch the match:

Content in Catalan, but we reckon you can find your way to a bar ;-). Great to learn some Catalan while you're here, too!

Books about Barcelona to take home with you

Casa Tosquella

Casa Tosquella, in the barrio of El Putxet i el Farró | Photo: Tom Walton

If you're looking for a book to buy as a present tomorrow — Sant Jordi — there's a wonderful collection entitled Barcelona: Carnet de Voyage, published by the Ajuntament de Barcelona.

As you can see in the photo, above, the books in the series have urban art drawings of some of the well known (and less well known) buildings and other scenes in the different districts of the city.

In the picture, the Casa Tosquella (Ronda General Mitre, 219-225 [map]) is one we've mentioned before. It dates back to 1906, and was designed by Eduard Balcells i Buigas, one of the less well known Modernista architects possibly before the road it's on — General Mitre — became Barcelona's ugliest street.

See also the photos of Casa Tosquella we've posted previously — here, here and here.

If you have a favourite district of Barcelona, they make a wonderful souvenir of the city. If you have any trouble finding them, try the Sala Ciutat, just off the Plaça Sant Jaume.

Note the rose bookmark in the photo above, on sale for charity, Thursday 😉 !

Explore Barcelona with us on the social programme

Casa Vicens

Casa Viçens | Photo: Tom Walton

Do join us on the social programme in the afternoons, after class: it's a great way to explore the city and also to get some extra practice for your Spanish.

  • Tuesday 10th | Our first trip this week takes us into the bohemian district of Gracia [general information | map]: interesting history, lovely architecture, great bars! We'll also be seeing one of the less well-known Gaudí works, the Casa Viçens (16.00).
  • Wednesday 11th | This afternoon we'll be visiting the Parlament de Catalunya. Ironically housed in what was originally the arsenal of the fortress built to dominate the city after the 1713-14 siege, the building itself is lovely, the visit an interesting one also to discover how the Parlament works. The trip also takes us into the Parque de la Ciudadela, one of Barcelona's nicest parks (16.00).
  • Thursday 12th | Everyone who comes to Barcelona goes to see the Sagrada Familia but 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 (16.00).
  • Friday 13th | It's Tuesday 13th, not Friday 13th that is unlucky for Spanish people so you won't be put off coming to our Friday Club language exchange this week, will you? We're in the bar/on the terrace, 19.00-21.00 every Friday.

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

Also this week | Copa del Rey Semi-Final, first leg, Barça vs Villarreal (Wednesday, kick-off 20.00); Spanish League, Barça vs Levante (Sunday, kick-off 17.00).

Come and see Barcelona's art and architecture

Video | The Sagrada Familia: what it will look like in 2026, the 100th anniversary of Gaudí's death

Perhaps especially if you're interested in art and architecture, come with us on our social programme this week…

  • Tuesday 25th | 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 26th | Come 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 27th | You couldn't come to Barcelona and not go and see the Sagrada Familia, could you? Our trip will show you round the outside; if you want to go in, note that it costs a minimum of €14.80 (!!) and that it's best to book online and reserve a time in order to beat the queues (16.00).
  • Friday 28th | Among the other fun and games at this week's Friday Club language exchange, we've got a Trivia Quiz. Come along, it's always fun (in the bar/on the terrace, 19.00-21.00)!

We meet in Spanish Reception (C Floor), unless otherwise stated, at the times given above.