Taxdirt Street: Barcelona's curious streetnames

Carrer de Taxdirt

Taxdirt Street

One of Barcelona's more curious streetnames — Carrer de Taxdirt — which is funny if you think what it means in English, and decidedly unfunny if you think how Spain's politicians and footballers get away with not paying their taxes. In fact, the origin of the name of this street in the barrio of the Guinardó lies in a cavalry charge in Spain's war in Morocco in 1909-10 (YouTube).

You can discover the origins of Barcelona's streetnames on bcn.cat. Our street — Trafalgar — shouldn't need any explanation but the name of street out back — Ortigosa — where we have classrooms in our new building comes from a village in the province of Logrono, the birth place of the landowner whose family sold the land to the city so that the road could be built.

Nothing to do with stinging nettles (Sp = ortigas), in other words!

Barcelona: so many different barrios to explore

Street Art PobleNou

Street art in Poble Nou | Photo: Tom Walton

Bring your walking shoes with you on our social programme and come and explore three very different Barcelona barrios.

  • Tuesday 8th |  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 (see photo, above). 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 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 | Take a walk with us this afternoon along the Moll de la Fusta, 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).
  • Friday 11th | Our Friday Club language exchange is one of the most popular events on our social program. Why not join us on the terrace and in the bar after class this evening (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 Getafe (Saturday, kick-off 16.00).

Discover two of Barcelona's most distinctive barrios with us this week

Street art in Poble Nou

Anti-capitalism street art mural by RocBlackBlock in Poble Nou | Photo: Tom Walton

We do take you to the usual places, like the Sagrada Familia for example, on our social programme but we like to get to places a bit further off the beaten track, too. Shirt sleeves, sunglasses, comfortable shoes and a camera will be in order this week!

  • Tuesday 19th |  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 20th | 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).
  • Tuesday 21st | The barrio of Barceloneta was built on reclaimed land and dates back only to the 18th century but — once — housed Barcelona's fishermen and then factories. Both are now long gone and have been replaced by a lot of noisy tourists, but the district still retains a peculiar, original flavour. Come with us and see for yourself (16.00).
  • Friday 22nd | This week, it's Flower Power Friday at our Friday Club language exchange. Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair… | sing it 😉 ! 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 | Newly crowned champions Barça vs Deportivo La Coruña in the last La Liga game of the season (Saturday, kick-off 18.30).

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 😉 !