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…?

Barcelona: there's more to it than the football

The eyes of the Hotel Onha

Via Laietana: The eyes of the Hotel Onha | Photo: Tom Walton

Barcelona is about to go crazy (crazier than usual, that is) over the football (details below). But, between times, come along with us on our social programme and discover the rest of the city…

  • Tuesday 12th | 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 13th | 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 14th | 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 15th | We've got a Pop Corn Party for you this week at our Friday Club language exchange. In the bar/on the terrace, 19.00-21.00 (ok, really on the latter, with Spring here and Barcelona being at its most glorious!).

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

Also this week | Couple of huge games this week — in the Champions, Atlético Madrid vs Barça (Wednesday, kick-off 20.45), with Barça defending a slender 2-1 advantage; and on Sunday, Barça vs Valencia (kick-off 20.00), with Barça having taken only 1 point of the last 9 in La Liga and blowing what looked like an unassailable lead.

From the excellent TimeOut Barcelona Twitter feed, we picked up these 15 Barcelona bars with big screens (content in Catalan).

See also (same source) these 11 different ways to watch football in Barcelona.