Night of the Museums 2015

The Night of the Museums is an event we enjoy every year. This free late night viewing of exhibitions is not exclusive to Barcelona but forms a part of an initiative running right across Europe. It doesn’t matter whether you are a local or a tourist. This is simply a great activity for all and it will take part all around the city on May the 16th, from 7pm until 1 am.

Some venues will include special activities such as live performances and music. Here is a guide to Museum Night 2015.

GOTHIC QUARTER AND EL BORN:

Museu D’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)

If you are into modern art then check out the hip MACBA. Activities happening from 7 pm onwards include tours for families and workshops for teenagers from 14 to 18 years old.

Museu Marítim de Barcelona

The former Drassanes shipbuilding yard, now a museum, gives a fascinating insight into the maritime history of Barcelona.
From the everyday routine of sailors, to how their actual ships operated, the museum is highly educational. To one side of the building (on Paral.lel Street) is the most intact part of Barcelona’s medieval defensive wall.

To celebrate Museum Night there will be a symphonic orchestra performing inside the building from 8.30pm until 12.30am.

Museu de Cultures del Món

Travel through cultures from Asia, the Americas, Africa and Oceania at one of Barcelona’s newest additions. In honour of Museum Night they are putting on a concert of music from Northern India. It starts at 8, 9, 10 and 11 pm, and lasts 30 minutes.

EIXAMPLE AND ART NOUVEAU:

Fundació Antoni Tàpies

Tàpies is one of Barcelona’s most challenging and interesting artists. He is famous for using materials other than oil paint on his canvases.
The Fundació Antoni Tàpies is housed in a building by Domènech I Montaner, one of the earlier works in Catalan Art Nouveau period.

Museu del Modernisme Català

Keeping with the art nouveau theme, be sure to have a peek at the wonderful Catalan Art Nouveau Museum. It features a comprehensive collection of art, furniture and other decorative elements.

MONTJÜIC:

Fundació Joan Miró

This exciting 20th century Mediterranean structure holds a detailed and varied collection of Miró’s work. The artist was alive at the time of the construction and was involved in its design.

Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC)

The Romanesque mural collection is one of the best in Europe, it features the fully preserved interiors of ancient churches from all over Catalunya. The Gothic Art section also is a delight. Modern collections can be found on the upper floor.

To celebrate Museum Night, a swing concert will be playing in the oval salon from 9 pm until 12 am.

As well as the Museum Night festivities, don’t forget that some museums will offer free entrance on Sunday the 17th or Monday the 18th as part of the International Museum Day programme.

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Our 5 favourite paella and rice restaurants in Barcelona

Paella comes from Valencia and is not a native Catalan dish. Here we prefer our rice dishes more soupy, slowly cooked in a rich Catalan fumet fish stock, and full of mouth watering shell fish such as clams, prawns and mussels. We might even add some rich aioli!

Choosing a top 5 was difficult, we had to visit all out favourites again just to be sure!

Arrosseria Xàtiva

Les Corts

With no fewer than 28 different rice dishes, Arrosseria Xàtiva is one we go back to time and time again. Set in a former textile factory in the Les Corts district, they even offer up Paellas to eat straight from the pan with a wooden spoon. What’s not to like?

Be sure to sample the delightful ‘passejat’ rice, not a light or diet option, but utterly delicious. It contains chickpeas, chicken, pig’s ears and ‘morcilla’ blood sausage. Nyam nyam.

El Suquet de l’Almirall

Port Vell

The terrace at El Suquet de l’Almirall is one of the most popular places to enjoy eating and drinking outdoors in the city. Their famous Barceloneta paella is perhaps one of the most popular dishes as well/ dishes. Quim Marquès’s touch is noticeable in the cuisine of this restaurant, especially in the handling of Catalan fumet fish stock that enriches his rices and seafood sauces. This is one of the best and most authentic locations in Port Vell and well deserves its place in our top 5.

La Mar Salada

La Barceloneta

Any discussion of paella in Barcelona cannot avoid mention of La Barceloneta. La Mar Salada is not only famous for its Paellas, it is known as one of the finest seafood restaurants in Barcelona. With a former El Bulli chef, Albert, in the kitchen, it is no wonder that dishes such as their black ‘de senyoret’ rice with razorfish, monkfish and prawns continue to amaze.

Can Solé

La Barceloneta

Another Barceloneta institution, Can Solé has fed seafood rice to its hungry clientele for over a hundred years. To show their appreciation these diners have added to the framed photos, sketches and paintings that line the sky-blue walls.

Tuck in to incredibly fresh shellfish, pulled out of the water just next door. Try a plate of ‘chipirones’ in onion and garlic, Cantabrian anchovies or red shrimp to start. Next you can enjoy fillets of wild turbot, lobster stews and sticky paellas.

Cheriff

El Poble-sec

Away from Barceloneta but still close to the sea, as well as Las Ramblas, is Cheriff. We love this restaurant, as well as the relaxed and friendly neighbourhood of Poble Sec where it is located.

The best seafood paella in Barcelona? Maybe, it certainly comes close, but all our team members have their personal favourite. As well as their seafood rices, be sure to try their incredible lobster stew.

Posted in Areas - Barceloneta, Areas - The Beach, Areas - The Old Town & Ramblas, Barcelona Gastronomy, barcelona port vell | Leave a comment

Sergi Aguilar. Revers i anvers (1972-2015)

Sergi Aguilar i Sanchis is a Catalan sculptor, metalworker, artist and photographer. Sergi Aguilar. Revers i anvers (1972-2015) is a retrospective exhibition at the MACBA tracing a path through Aguilar’s work over more than 40 years. It opens on the 30th of April 2015 and runs until the

Born in Barcelona in 1946, at the start of his career, Aguilar i Sanchis studied at the Escuela Massana and the Conservatory of the Arts of the Book of Barcelona (1962-67). After graduating, from 1968 to 1971 Aguilar i Sanchis lived in many different cities, including Paris, London, Prague, Stuttgart and Menorca.

His work explores concepts taken from nature and geometry concepts (much like Gaudi). Interestingly, initially Aguilar i Sanchis worked in jewellery, formulating his own modern and innovative style. From 1972 he moved into sculpture, retaining his innovative use of materials and shapes, working in bronze, brass and marble, in a minimalist style influenced by Russian Constructivism and the work of modern sculptors such as Julio González, Jorge Oteiza, Eduardo Chillida and Constantin Brâncuşi.

From the start of the 1980s he experimented with new techniques such as collage, and new materials including iron, wood, steel and aluminium. In the 1990s he added other media including drawings, photographs, maps and topographical plans.

The show Revers i anvers (1972-2015) consists of four parts that establish a dialogue between the works and the themes of these different periods. The idea of continuity resides over this exhibition in which the artist tries to ‘undress’ the architecture of the MACBA building with a recreation of the logic and atmosphere of his own working space.

To accompanying the exhibition the artist has written a book featuring many key pieces made between 1972 and 2015, written by the artist in the manner of a diary or travelogue, revisiting the main questions that have guided his long artistic trajectory.

Find our more here.

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International Day of Dance in Barcelona

April the 29th is International Day of Dance. The UNESCO International Dance Committee established this event in 1982, picking this day in order to commemorate the birth of Jean-Georges Noverre (April 29, 1727), who is generally considered to be the father of modern ballet.

Spain is a country with many famous dances. Flamenco of course is the most famous, but many other fine traditional dances exist, including Sevillanas, also from Andalucia, as well as Catalunya’s own Sardanes – a communal event danced in groups.

In Barcelona, International Day of Dance is being celebrated through several fun performances on Wednesday the 29th of April.
At 1.15pm, at 8, La Rambla, thirty 30 tap and flamenco dancers will perform for 10 minutes in the street.

As well as this street performance, professional dancers will perform short sets in these theatres before the evening show on that day.

  • 7.40pm: Teatre Nacional de Catalunya
  • 8.15pm: Teatre Lliure
  • 8.15pm: Mercat de les Flors

If you are in Barcelona on the 29th, why not drop in on some of these events for the chance to learn more about Spain’s rich dance heritage ?

Posted in Activities - Spring, Barcelona a world city, Catalan traditions and culture, Concerts in Barcelona, Exhibitions in Barcelona, Flamenco, Music in Barcelona, Nightlife in Barcelona, shows and concerts in Barcelona | Leave a comment

Gabriel Casas at the MNAC

Gabriel Casas is one of Spain’s most important photographers. Born in Barcelona in 1892, he was active between the wars and during the Spanish civil war, of which he was an important documenter. Like many other artists of the inter-war period, Casas turned to photography as a powerful method of communication and of capturing modern industrial society at a time when the face of Catalunya, and Barcelona in particular, was changing rapidly due to industrialisation.

Working as a photojournalist, Casas had a successful career until the beginning of the Franco era, when he was prosecuted, incarcerated and banned from the media due to his political beliefs.

Casa was also one of the first artists to bring the innovative New Vision photography movement from Germany to the Iberian Peninsula. Yet he remains relatively unheard of outside of Catalunya and Spain.

A new retrospective at the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC) is set bring the work of Casas to a new audience. The exhibition at the MNAC showcases 120 of his works dating from 1929 to the end of the Spanish Civil War in 1939.

The exhibition opens on the 22nd of April and runs until the 30th of August 2015.

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Morrissey live at Razzmatazz

Steven Patrick Morrissey commonly known by his last name, Morrissey, or Moz, rose to prominence in the 1980s as the vocalist of The Smiths. When the band broke up in 1987, Morrissey began a solo career.

Music magazine NME considers Morrissey to be “one of the most influential artists ever”. His lyrics have been described as “dramatic, bleak, funny vignettes about doomed relationships, lonely nightclubs, the burden of the past and the prison of the home”. His forthright and often contrarian opinions have often created controversy, as has his advocacy of vegetarianism and animal rights.

His latest album World Peace Is None Of Your Business (2014) is taking the world by storm and Morrissey lands in Barcelona on the 29th of April at Razzmatazz (Almogàvers 121, 08018 Barcelona) at 8pm.

Tickets are €55 + fee. More info.

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Plans for a Woody Allen museum in Barcelona

Maybe you weren’t aware of it, but the Catalans are huge fans of Woody Allen. The respect is mutual. Woody Allen’s relationship with Barcelona has grown over the years and he is known to love the city. In 2008 he filmed Vicky Cristina Barcelona in the city, making a number of friends here. And last December he played in a live concert at the Gran Teatro del Liceo on new year’s eve, along with The New Orleans Jazz Band.

So, it comes as no surprise that Barcelona could soon host the world’s first Woody Allen museum. A project is afoot to convert the former School of Arts and Crafts, known as La Llotja or Borsí, into a center dedicated to the work of Woody Allen.

Picasso himself was a student at La Llotja for a time, so it is a location with an impressive cultural legacy. Owned by the Generalitat de Catalunya, the local government, the property has abandoned since December 2009, and so the Generalitat plans to hold a competition to choose a project to find a new use for the space. It is the intention of Barcelona’s Mediapro group to renovate the building for use as The Woody Allen Center.

According to Mediapros’s owner Jaume Roures, a personal friend of Allen, as well as the producer of three of his films, the Hollywood star “was surprised” initially but having seen seeing the details gave his approval and applauded the proposal.

The proposed center would occupy three floors and offer visitors an experience over some 2,000m2 for a price “similar to that of a movie ticket.” It would of course feature references to the film ‘Vicky Cristina Barcelona’, filmed in Barcelona, as well as frequent themes in Allen’s filmography, such as love, humour, sex, death and religion. Visitors would be greeted by a large psychoanalysis couch in the lobby.

La Llotja is a distinctive neoclassical building built in 1883, overlooking a small square on Carre Avinyó in the heart of Barcelona’s old town. Watch this space!

Posted in Areas - The Old Town & Ramblas, Art in Barcelona, Barcelona's Museums, Film in Barcelona, Picasso Barcelona | Leave a comment

La Barceloneta – a favourite neighbourhood

La Barceloneta is built on reclaimed land between the old town the former Maians Island, and is where Barcelona’s most central beach is found.

An evocative name, La Barceloneta, this is Barcelona’s much loved neighbourhood by the sea, where the people of Barcelona love to come and eat fish, seafood and “tapas”. A little grubby but choc-full of charm and faded grandeur, the Barcelones would not love La Barceloneta any other way.

A beautiful neighbourhood to explore, la Barceloneta boasts beaches on one side, the quaint Port Vell (old port) on the other. It absolutely must be explored on foot, as the streets are generally too narrow for cars.

Once Barcelona’s fishing district, this working class neighbourhood was redeveloped before the 1992 Olympic Games and is home to one of Barcelona’s best-loved beaches. This was not always the case, Barcelona was a city that turned its back on the sea until the 1992 Olympics, and the coast here was formerly squalid and dirty, a far sight from the clean sand and clear water enjoyed today.

The beach is thought to have inspired Miguel de Cervantes for the setting for the fight between Don Quixote and the Knight of the White Moon – it was here that the knight errant was finally defeated and abandoned his quest.

The promenade of La Barceloneta is a wonderful place full of life, perfect in fact to enjoy a stroll and feel a sea breeze on your face. Activities abound here; there is a gymnastics area, facilities for beach volleyball, beach tennis, and table tennis tables.

As spring gathers momentum and the first breath of summer is being felt over our city, be sure to come down to the Barceloneta when you visit Barcelona and enjoy its beaches, sea food, and laid back old world charm.

Posted in Activities - Spring, Activities - Summer, Areas - The Beach, Areas - The Old Town & Ramblas, Barcelona Beaches, Barcelona Gastronomy, barcelona port vell, Tapas in Barcelona | Leave a comment

German film in Barcelona

Until May, The Goethe Film Club will be hosting a series exciting recent German films at the Goethe-Institut in Barcelona. A social event will take place after every film at the Berlin Eixample Bar on Diagonal, offering you the chance to discuss the film with other lovers of German cinema.

The Goethe-Institut promotes the study of the German language and culture abroad and is found at Calle Roger de Flor 224 in Barcelona.

The following films are showing in April, every Wednesday at 8pm, with free admission. More information click here.

April film schedule:

April 8th Good Bye, Lenin!, Wolfgang Becker, Germany 2003.
April 15th Halbe Treppe (A media escalera), Andreas Dresen, Germany 2001.
April 22nd Prinzessinnenbad, Bettina Blümner, Germany 2006.
April 29th Das Wunder von Bern (El Milagro de Berna), Sönke Wortmann, Germany 2003.
May 6th Sonnenallee, Leander Haußmann, Germany 1998/99.
May 13th Soul Kitchen Fatih Akin, Germany 2008/09.

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Van Van food market

Van Van, Barcelona’s food truck market would be equally at home in Melbourne, East London, San Francisco or Berlin. Come along and enjoy some high quality, healthy, locally and ethically sourced organic street food at this global village food market where the cuisine of Thailand, China, Mexico, Peru, Vietnam, India, as well as many others, will be cooked up in the back of over 20 food trucks. Everyone is sure to find something to suit their tastes and not to go home hungry.

The event coincides with the reopening of Plaça de les Glòries, where the Lost and Found Vintage Market will also be happening, and takes place on Saturday the 28th and Sunday the 29th from 11am-9.30pm.

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