Join us on our Barcelona social programme this week

Via Laietana: it sounds Roman but is in fact only just over 100 years old

Tuesday is a holiday so the first event on our social programme is on Monday this week. There's no class on Tuesday but you can expect the shops to be open with Christmas just a fortnight away!

  • Monday 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).
  • Tuesday 8th | National holiday in Spain
  • Wednesday 9th | Transformed for the 1929 Universal Exhibition, the Plaza España is within walking distance of so much: the Las Arenas shopping mall in the former bullring (great view from the top!); Miró's Dona i Ocell (no sniggering!); the outstanding art collection at the MNAC (housed in the Palacio Nacional, built for the Exhibition); the former factory, now art museum of the Caixa Forum… and lots more besides (16.00).
  • Thursday 10th | It's hard to believe, but Via Laietana (in the video above) is little more than 100 years old. Driven through the old city between 1908 and 1913, it's now one of Barcelona's busiest streets. Come with us and discover more of its history this afternoon (16.00).
  • Friday 11th | 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 | Spanish League, Barça vs Deportivo de La Coruña (Saturday, kick-off 16.00).

Last chance | The outstanding World Press Photo exhibition closes at the CCCB on Sunday (also closed today, Monday). Definitely a must-see.

Books and bookmarks for Sant Jordi

La ciudad de los prodigios

One for Sant Jordi — with an eco-friendly bookmark | Photo: Tom Walton

It's Sant Jordi on Thursday this week so we thought we'd make a couple of recommendations for books that you might like and which might make you a nice souvenir of Barcelona.

Reading is such a great way to improve any language and we've in fact now got quite a large section of books we recommend if it's Spanish you're learning.

In that section you'll find several by Eduardo Mendoza [ Wikipedia ], including two that are wonderful historical novels about Barcelona, set approximately in the period 1888-1929 — La verdad sobre el caso Savolta and La ciudad de los prodigios. Both are fascinating to read if you're interested in the history of Barcelona.

You might also like Sin noticias de Gurb, also by Mendoza, about an extraterrestrial who comes to Barcelona but then misses his spaceship back home (!). You could get stuck in worse places 😉 !

(The eco-friendly bookmark in the photo, by the way, we made from one of last year's surplus brochures, for the rose, and a used Metro ticket for the base | Video | Instagram.)

Discover the history of Barcelona on our social programme

Remains of Barcelona from 1714

Remains of the Barcelona of 1714 (see Thursday, below) | Photo: Tom Walton

If you're doing a Spanish course with us in Barcelona over Easter, don't miss the places the social programme takes us to this week. Barcelona has such a fascinating history!

  • Tuesday 31st | 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 1st | 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 2nd | Last year was the 300th anniversary of the siege of Barcelona and the Barcelona 1714 route is 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 interesting. Come along if you're interested in the history of the city (16.00).
  • Friday 3rd | Good Friday, national holiday

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

Note there is no Friday Club this week and that the school is closed on both Saturday and Monday 6th.

Última oportunidad: Josep Llimona en el MEAM

Josep Llimona, Desconsuelo

Josep Llimona, Desconsuelo | Photo: Tom Walton

This week is your last chance to see an exhibition about one of Barcelona's major sculptors

En el MEAM (Museu Europeu d'Art Modern) hay una exposición sobre Josep Llimona hasta el día 1 de marzo, así que te quedan pocos días para disfrutarla.

Josep Llimona es uno de los escultores catalanes más importantes del modernismo catalán y uno de los referentes visuales de los barceloneses, puesto que varias de sus obras se encuentran en los lugares más emblemáticos de la ciudad.

Por ejemplo, suya es la famosa escultura Desconsuelo que se puede ver en el centro de uno de los estanques del parque de la Ciudatella (una copia en nuestra imagen, ya que el original está en el MNAC), o la estatua ecuestre de Ramon Berenguer III en la Via Laietana, el forjador de la Plaça Catalunya, los relieves del friso del Arc de Triomf, el monumento a los héroes de 1808 frente al portal de Santa Eulalia (la entrada al claustro) de la Catedral, el monumento al Doctor Robert de la plaza Tetuan, que estaba antes en la plaza Universitat…

La entrada cuesta 9 euros.

Wikipedia Josep Llimona | Desconsuelo

  • Museu Europeu d'Art Modern, Barra de Ferro 5 [ mapa ]
  • Horario: de martes a domingo, de 10:00 a 20:00 h.

Happy New Year from Barcelona

Dragon!

Ramblas dragon | Photo: Tom Walton

Our first social programme of the New Year (don't forget that we're closed on Tuesday!):

  • Monday 5th | Come for a stroll around the Raval, the district on the right of the Ramblas as you head down towards the port — home to the CCCB and the MACBA and Fernando Botero's fat cat, and to the protagonists of many of Barcelona's novelas negras. And if you're really, really good we'll take you to see the Cabalgata de los Reyes, who may or may not be bringing you Christmas presents tomorrow (16.00)!
  • Tuesday 6th | Today is a national holiday, with no class, or event on the social programme, with Reyes being the day on which Spanish children traditionally get their Christmas presents.
  • Wednesday 7th | Come with this afternoon for a stroll down the Ramblas, to discover some of the amazing things on and just off it — including one of our favourite Barcelona dragons and the Palau Guell, one of the few Modernista buildings to be found outside the Eixample district (16.00).
  • Thursday 8th | Yes, it is now 2015, but last year was the 300th anniversary of the siege of Barcelona and the Barcelona 1714 route is a historically very important one. Come along if you're interested in the history of the city (16.00).
  • Friday 9th | Join us in the bar/on the terrace this evening for our first Friday Club language exchange of 2015 (19.00-21.00).

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

Also this week | Barça vs Atlético Madrid, Sunday 11th (kick-off 21.00).

¡Feliz Año Nuevo!