La Mercè: Barcelona's festa major

Festa!

La Mercè. Party time in Barcelona! | Photo: Tom Walton

As well as what we have on our social programme this week, don't miss what's on at the Mercè (see Thursday, below).

  • Tuesday 20th | 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, 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 21st | 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 22nd | It's Barcelona's festa major, La Mercè, this week (full programme, information in Catalan). Come along with us this evening and we'll show you what it's all about (NB, we're meeting at 18.30).
  • Friday 23rd | 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 Atlético Madrid (Wednesday, kick-off 22.00).

Last chance this week: at the Palau de la Virreina (La Rambla 99, closed Mondays), there's a wonderful exhibition of photographs of Barcelona, 1860-2004, which covers the city's expansion and its sometimes tragic history.

Barcelona's fascinating history on this week's social programme

Picasso

Pablo…? | Photo: Tom Walton

Barcelona is a wonderful place if you're interested in history and on our social programme this week we've got a couple of trips you'll really like:

  • Tuesday 7th | 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 8th | Our walk this afternoon 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 Museo Picasso now stands (16.00).
  • Thursday 9th | It's hard to believe, but Via Laietana is little more than 100 years old. Driven through the heart of the old city between 1908 and 1913 [see video], it's now one of Barcelona's busiest streets. Come with us and discover more of its history this afternoon (16.00).
  • Friday 10th | 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.

Barcelona. La metrópolis en la era de la fotografía, 1860-2004

Barcelona. La metrópolis en la era de la fotografía, 1860-2004 from La Virreina Centre de la Imatge on Vimeo.

A super interesting exhibition for anyone interested in photography and the history of Barcelona…

En la  Virreina hay una exposición muy interesante sobre los cambios urbanísticos y sociales que ha experimentado Barcelona durante los últimos 150 años aproximadamente, período en el que la fotografía ha servido como medio de documentación de la transformación de la ciudad.

Si quieres saber más sobre los hitos históricos y los cambios sociales que han configurado el aspecto de la ciudad y sobre cómo manera la fotografía da testimonio sobre estos procesos, no puedes perdértela.

Tienes tiempo de visitarla hasta el 26 de junio.

Palau de la Virreina, La Rambla, 99 [ mapa ] . Abierto de martes a domingo de 12 a 20h (cerrado el 1 de mayo). Entrada libre.

La casa de Cervantes en Barcelona

Cervantes was here

Cervantes was here… Not that we make much of a fuss about it, as you can see!

Se sabe que Cervantes estuvo en Barcelona entre los días 5 y 10 de junio de 1610. Es incluso probable que se quedara en la ciudad hasta el día 29 y que tuviera la oportunidad de ver en el puerto una refriega entre ciudadanos y marineros de la que se tiene constancia y que podría haber inspirado el episodio que describe en su novela Las dos doncellas, en la que hace una alabanza de la ciudad condal que ya hemos mencionado en este blog.

¿Dónde se alojó Cervantes durante su visita?

Pues, al parecer, las investigaciones del cervantista Martín de Riquer confirman la leyenda de que Cervantes se quedó en la finca número 2 del actual Passeig de Colom [ mapa y en la foto ]. En cualquier caso, la efigie que aparece esculpida en la fachada no es de Cervantes. Sea verdad o no que la casa albergó a Cervantes, vale la pena acercarse hasta allí para ver el bonito edificio del siglo XVI, que, a pesar de haber sido remodelado en 1945 por el arquitecto Adolf Florensa, conserva las ventanas originales de las plantas tercera y cuarta y el aire renacentista.

Y, además, el carácter de una ciudad lo configuran, tanto como su historia, sus leyendas…

¡Nos preguntamos cómo hubiera reaccionado Don Quijote de haber visto la escultura de una gamba enorme que se encuentra justo al otro lado del Passeig de Colom 😉 !

Para aprender español:
Cuando lees una guía turística o un texto sobre arquitectura es posible que encuentres diferentes palabras para hablar de "casa". En este texto, por ejemplo, aparecen, además de "casa", las palabras "finca" y "edificio". Otra palabra que puedes encontrar es "bloque".

What the Romans left behind in Barcelona

What the #romans left behind in the #barriogotico in #barcelona (the #walls not the #bikes that is 😉

A photo posted by International House Barcelona (@ihbarcelona) on

Come and explore Barcelona with us on our social programme this week. There are some really interesting places to see if you are interested in the city's history.

  • Tuesday 1st | 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 2nd | Our walk this afternoon takes us to visit the lovely Parque de la Ciudadela. 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 3rd | 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 4th | We've a special 80s edition of the Friday Club this afternoon. 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.