Our first Barcelona social programme of the new decade

Proverbs 11, 25: He who is generous thrives… Plaque (not an original) in Barcelona's Jewish quarter | Photo: Tom Walton

Today (Monday 6th) is holiday in Spain (so there's no class today!) but we have a full social programme for you for the rest of the week:

  • Tuesday 7th | Our walk this afternoon takes us round the barrios of La Ribera and El Born, full of cool bars and history, home to the lovely church of Santa Maria del Mar and the Estación de Francia, as well as the fascinating remains of the medieval city of Barcelona in the old Born Market (16.30).
  • Wednesday 8th | The Call is the area of narrow streets (which is what Call means) just off the Plaça Sant Jaume that was Barcelona's historic Jewish quarter. One of the most medieval parts of the Barrio Gótico. Why not come with us and explore (16.30)?
  • Thursday 9th | The Pueblo Español (or "Spanish Village") comprises over 100 buildings, many of them traditional Spanish house types, built in 1929 for Barcelona's second Universal Exhibition. Entrance is €7.00 but if you're interested in architecture and traditional crafts (not to mention some shopping!) it's well worth a visit (16.30).

Important We've changed the start time for a social programme. As of this week, join us half an hour later, at 16.30. We meet as before at Ground Floor Reception, by the front door..

Our last social programme of the decade!

Santa Maria del Mar

Santa María del Mar | Photo: Constanze Wutke

Note that Wednesday 1st is a national holiday in Spain, so there's no class then and an event on our social programme on Friday this week. Monday 6th is also a holiday.

  • Tuesday 31st | 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 (14.00)
  • Thursday 2nd | Apart from Sagrada Familia, Barcelona 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 its nativity scene 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 (16.00).
  • Friday 3rd | Plaza de España, another place where there's a Christmas fair on, or rather the Feria de Reyes, to give it its proper name. And, of course, Christmas isn't over yet for us here in Spain: traditionally its the Three Kings (the Reyes) that bring the presents on January 6th (16.00).

Join us in Ground Floor Reception, by the front door, unless otherwise stated, at the times given above.

Also this week | After its Christmas break, the Spanish League is back with the local derby, Barça away to local rivals Espanyol (Saturday, kick-off 21.00). Sadly, for Espanyol fans, that's currently top vs bottom, with Espanyol only having won twice in 18 games this season.

Celebrate Christmas with us in Barcelona!

The fascinating Boqueria market. Come with us and see, Tuesday!

Both Christmas Day and San Esteban (the 26th) are national holidays in Spain, so there's no class this week on Wednesday or Thursday. We do, however, have events on our social programme for you on each of the other days:

  • Monday 23rd | Come with us this afternoon to visit the Christmas fair to be found in the park in front of the Sagrada Familia and discover some of the ways in which we celebrate Christmas in Barcelona — and decorate our houses for the festive season (14.00)
  • Tuesday 24th | Come with us this afternoon to visit two of Barcelona's food markets: Santa Catalina, which is under 10 minutes away, and then across the Barrio Gótico to the Ramblas and the Boqueria [ video ], the more famous of the two. Especially interesting at this time of the year, both are also great places to go for lunch. Bring your camera (14.00) !
  • Friday 27th | Built for the 1929 Universal Exhibition, with full-scale replicas of buildings from all over Spain, the Pueblo Español is now 90 years old. Architecturally, it's very interesting and if there's still a spot of Christmas shopping you need to do, not a bad place to be! Come with us and see (16.00)!

Join us in Ground Floor Reception, by the front door, at the times given above.

Christmas is coming to Barcelona!

Christmas greetings from IH | Photo: Tom Walton

Come with us on our social programme this week and discover some of the curious traditions we have here in Barcelona over Christmas time.

  • Tuesday 17th | Apart from the amazing Gaudí buildings (and those of his contemporary architects), there are many other manifestations of Modernisme to be found in Barcelona. Come with us for a stroll round the Eixample this afternoon and see some of the curious things (the stone carviings, the chemists and grocery stores you might otherwise miss (16.00).
  • Wednesday 18th | One of the typically Christmas things in Spain is the tradition of the belén viviente (a live Nativity scene). We're going to the Torre del Suro this afternoon (note the slightly later start time) to see one, staged for the last 25 years by young people with special needs (17.00).
  • Thursday 19th | We're staying closer to home this afternoon for a look at how Christmas tranforms the city centre. Come and see how we celebrate Christmas in Barcelona (16.00).

Join us in Ground Floor Reception, by the front door, unless otherwise stated, at the times given above.

Also this week | In the Spanish League this week we have the big game of the season, el clásico, Barça vs Real Madrid (Wednesday, kick-off 20.00) and only goal difference separating them at the top; and there's then Barça vs Alaves (Saturday, kick-off 16.00), the last game of the year before the Christmas break.

Come and stroll back in time through Barcelona's history with us

Museo de la Historia

The Barcelona history museum: come with us Wednesday | Photo: Tom Walton

It's particularly Barcelona's history that we're exploring on this week's social programme:

  • Tuesday 10th | Come for a stroll with us this afternoon up the Paseo de Gracia, from Plaza Cataluña to the Pedrera. Among other sights to see is 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, 1904-1906); the Casa Amatller (Puig i Cadafalch, 1898-1900); and the Casa Lleó i Morera (Domènech i Montaner, 1902-1905); as well as to the Casa Milà (also by Gaudí, 1906-1912), which is further up the street on the other side. Shoutout for the Casa Mulleras (Nº37, 1898-1906) by the astonishingly prolific Enric Sagnier (1858-1931) (16.00).
  • Wednesday 11th | 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).
  • Thursday 12th | The Barcelona history museum — the MUHBA — which is spread over different locations in the city is an interesting one. Come with us this afternoon to see the Flashback exhibition (16.00).

Join us in Ground Floor Reception, by the front door, unless otherwise stated, at the times given above.