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.

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!