Come for a stroll down the Ramblas with us

Ramblas

Come with us for a stroll down the Ramblas, Wednesday | Photo: Tom Walton

It's one of those crazy weeks in Barcelona when (because of the football) people either don't mention the subject or else just go completely bonkers. Not edifying. Meanwhile, on our social programme:

  • Tuesday 7th | Come with us today to explore the bohemian district of Gracia [map]: interesting history, lovely architecture, great bars (and, in August, a great festa major)! We'll also be pass by one of the less well-known Gaudí works, the Casa Viçens, though it's currently largely obscured by tarpaulins for restoration work (16.00).
  • Wednesday 8th | Come with this afternoon 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 Güell, one of the few Modernista buildings to be found outside the Eixample district. If you are an Antonioni fan, the Palau Güell is where Jack Nicholson meets Marie Schneider in The Passenger (16.00).
  • Thursday 9th | 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).
  • Friday 10th | Join us on the terrace and in the bar after class today for our 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 | Champions ), Barça vs PSG (Wednesday, kick-off 20.45; last 16, return leg), with Barça 0-4 down (!) after an embarrassing trashing in Paris and a mountain to climb: such a disadvantage has never before been overturned at this stage in the Champions history.

Get yourself to a bar with a large TV screen just in case the impossible occurs [content in Catalan]!

This week: Barça vs Real Madrid, plus the social programme

Centre Cultural del Born

Nativity scene in the remains of the Barcelona of 1714 (see Tuesday, below) | Photo: Tom Walton

Apart from what we have on our social programme this week, there's the football (see below), which brings one of the city's most curious phenomena: at around 18.00 on Saturday, Barcelona will either go completely crazy or else fall deathly silent.

  • Tuesday 29th | 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. Particularly curious are the remains of the city blocks demolished to build the post-siege fortress, now to be seen at the Born Centre Cultural (16.00).
  • Wednesday 30th | Come with us 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 Güell, one of the few Modernista buildings to be found outside the Eixample district (16.00).
  • Thursday 1st | Everyone who comes to Barcelona goes to see the Sagrada Familia but 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 (16.30).
  • Friday 2nd | Join us on the terrace and in the bar after class today for our very popular Friday Club language exchange (19.00-21.00).

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

Also this week | In the Spanish League, it's the big one: Barça vs Real Madrid (Saturday, kick-off 16.15). That would be "from €1300" if you want a ticket (well, it is the "VIP Experience"). We'll be honest: it's pretty shameful that anyone will pay that to watch a football match.

Saturday 16.15 is probably the time to go see World Press Photo at the CCCB (at other times it gets a bit too crowded). €4. Closed Mondays.

If you really must watch the football, find yourself a bar with a big screen (content in Catalan).

Barcelona's art and architecture on this week's social programme

Streetart MNAC

The Palau Nacional, home to the MNAC, painted on the side of a newspaper kiosk | Photo: Tom Walton

There's lots this week on our social programme for those of you interested in art and architecture. If football is more your thing, it all (er…) kicks off again on Wednesday.

  • Tuesday 9th | 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 10th | 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 (photo, above) (16.00).
  • Thursday 11th  | 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 12th | It's a long weekend — with no class on Monday 15th — and what better place to kick it off (as well as practise your Spanish) than 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: Your first chance to see them at home this seasons (assuming you think a minimum €39 for a ticket is worth it), in the Trofeo Joan Gamper, Barça vs Sampdoria (kick-off, 20.30).

Lots of Barcelona history on this week's social programme

Casa Amatller, Casa Batllo

The Casa Amatller (left) and the Casa Batlló (right) | Photo: Tom Walton

We've got lots for you our social programme this week, perhaps particularly for those of you interested in Barcelona's fasincating history.

  • Tuesday 28th | 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 29th | The 1992 Olympics changed large parts of Barcelona — among them Montjuïc [Flickr | Wikipedia], which is where we're going this afternoon. Bring your camera or phone along: the views are fantastic (16.00) !
  • Thursday 30th | The 300th anniversary of the siege of Barcelona has been and gone 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 (16.00).
  • Friday 1st | Join us this evening at our Friday Club language exchange. It's a great place to start the weekend — and to practise your Spanish ! 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 | Eurocopa 2016, in the last 16, Spain vs Italy (Monday, kick-off 18.00) and then in the Quarter Finals, Spain vs either Germany or Slovakia (Saturday, kick-off 21.00 — and yes, we like to count our chickens, here in Spain 😉 !

Euro 2016 or really getting to know Barcelona?

Gaudí dragon, Finca Güell

Gate guard, Finca Güell | Photo: Tom Walton

You're not just going to watch football this week, are you 😉 ? We've got some great things on our social programme this week (as usual), some of which will, admittedly clash with the games kicking off at 15.00…

  • Tuesday 14th | 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, later, 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 and explore with us (16.00).
  • Wednesday 15th | Our trip this afternoon takes us to the lovely gardens of the Palacio Real de Pedralbes, which was home to the Spanish monarchy 1919-1931 whenever they visited the city, and also takes in the remarkable Gaudí dragon (photo, above) on the gate of the Finca Güell, the summer home of Eusebi Güell, Gaudí's great patron (16.00).
  • Thursday 16th | 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 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 17th | Start the weekend — and practise your Spanish — at our Friday Club language exchange and you can still catch the Spain game (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 | Euro 2016, Spain vs Czech Republic (Monday, kick-off 15.00), Spain vs Turkey (Friday, kick-off 21.00). You really want to know when England are playing…?