Romans, architecture, magic fountains: come and explore Barcelona with us

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

Touch wood, the oppressive summer heat is over in Barcelona and now it's just nice and warm — perfect for a stroll on our social programme ! This week we have:

  • Tuesday 28th | 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 29th | 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).
  • Thursday 30th | Note the change from the usual time today: this evening we're going to the spectacular light and sound show of the Magic Fountains of Montjuic (20.00).
  • Friday 31st | Come 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 Huesca (Sunday, kick-off 18.30). Excuse our sniggering at what a ridiculous mismatch that would appear to be.

Architecture and the Festa Major de Sants on this week's social programme


El Quadrat d'Or (1990) por manuelhuerga

The wonderful video shows you what the Quadrat d'Or looked like in 1900 (with no cars!), at the time Barcelona's Eixample district was just acquiring its amazing Modernista architecture. Come along with us on our social program Tuesday to see it for yourself…

  • Tuesday 21st | 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).
  • Wednesday 22nd | The Sant Antoni Market dates back to 1882, the work of the architect Antoni Rovira i Trias, and has just reopened after extensive restoration work. This article in El Periódico gives you a taste of the kind of stall you'll find there. Note also the second hand book fair that is held every Sunday. If you want to know more, try Wikipedia or the market's official website — or why not just come along with us (16.00)?
  • Thursday 23rd | The Festa Major de Gràcia is over but it's now time for the Festa Major de Sants. Like Gràcia, it also has some pretty amazing street decorations and a great party atmosphere — and is another of the barrios of the city that are way less touristy and have a character of their own. More information on the Festa on barcelona.cat (in Catalan) or on Wikipedia (in Spanish or Catalan). Come along with us and see for yourself (note that we meet at 18.00 today).
  • Friday 24th | Kick off the weekend — and practise your Spanish — 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.

Barcelona's architecture on this week's social programme

Market stall

Fruit stall, Santa Caterina market, Barcelona | Photo: Tom Walton

There's so much more to Barcelona's architecture than "only" Gaudí, as you'll discover if you come with us on our social programme this week…

  • Tuesday 8th | 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 9th | Come with us this afternoon to visit two of Barcelona's food markets: Santa Catalina, which is under 10 minutes away, and then across the Barrio Gótico to the Ramblas and the Boqueria [ video ], the more famous of the two. Incidentally, both are great places to go for lunch. Bring your camera (16.00)!
  • Thursday 10th | 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 (and book online if you want to do that) but is definitely not something to be missed (16.00). See also some of the cool pictures to be found on the official Sagrada Familia Instagram feed.
  • Friday 11th | Come 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 | In the Spanish League, with Barça just three games away from going the entire season unbeaten, it's Barça vs Villareal, the latter a merely 30 points behind, in sixth place (Sunday, kick-off 21.00).

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.