Spring in Barcelona - From Mediaeval to Modernisme

Prices from £2,390

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25 Apr 2019 - 29 Apr 2019
Duration: 4 nights
Ref: 19BARC
With: Dr Anne Anderson

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Single Supplement: £490
Deposit: £200

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SPRING IN BARCELONA - FROM MEDIAEVAL TO MODERNISME

With its roman walls and cobbled narrow streets of a thriving Gothic quarter which open out onto small squares with stunning churches, Barcelona is a city of many different identities. By the time of the Barcelona Universal Exhibition of 1888, the city’s flourishing bourgeoisie were keen to own houses which would show off their status with the latest trends in building. Such trends included elaborate ironwork and rich sculptural and ceramic work, which looked north towards Art Nouveau and Jugenstil. The hybrid style they created, called Modernisme, looked back nostalgically to Islamic and Gothic times but also embraced new technologies and materials.

Around the turn of the 20th century, the recently constructed Eixample was the playground of architects such as Gaudi, Puig I Cadafalch and Domènech i Muntaner, who were more than willing to indulge rich patrons such as Eusebi Guell. At the same time, painters such as Picasso and Ramon Casas, Rusinyol and Nonell depicted the underbelly of their city, the gypsies and dancers, the beggars and poor, the anarchists and the civil guard. Ravished by civil war and a dictatorship, Barcelona rose again in the 1980s and flourishes now with a rich contemporary artistic scene in all the arts, much of which we will encounter on this new Art Pursuits Abroad tour.

YOUR STUDY TOUR LECTURER - DR ANNE ANDERSON

Anne is a writer, lecturer and broadcaster with a background in archaeology, who is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. As an art historian, Anne specialises in art of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, particularly the Aesthetic movement, Arts & Crafts, Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Modernism. She lectures widely for many organiastions including the Arts Society.

DAY 1:

Fly at c. 9.30am with BA from London Heathrow to Barcelona El-Prat airport. Transfer by private coach to our centrally-located 4-star hotel to settle in. In the afternoon we set out on foot to explore the Gothic Quarter, the centre of old Barcelona. Our walk will take in the imposing church of Santa Maria del Mar before an evening visit to the Picasso Museum. Although the artist spent little over five years in the city during his youth, his legacy is kept alive through one of the most extraordinary collections — not just of the work he did as a teenager but also his gradual evolution into the variety of styles which kept him at the foreground of the International Avant Garde for decades. Dinner in a local restaurant.

DAY 2:

Our day begins at the MNAC (Museo De Arte Nacional de Cataluña) to see a beautiful collection in a stunning Neo Baroque building. Although the focus of our visit will be 20th-century artworks, we will also make time to visit the museum’s mediaeval rooms, where the spacious gallery will give us a chance to make sense of the climate of artistic fervour in this region of Spain. No trip to Barcelona is complete without Miró, and we pay homage to the artist in the afternoon with a visit to the Fundació Joan Miró. Created by Miró himself, the museum is an exciting mix of the artist’s own works, alongside other 20th- and 21st-century artists. We wind down by enjoying that most Spanish of evening pastimes, drinks and tapas.

DAY 3:

The Spanish poet Federico García Lorca once said that Las Ramblas was ‘the only street in the world which I wish would never end’ and our morning stroll to the Christopher Columbus Monument will take us along this popular pedestrianised route. After a visit to La Boqueria, the colourful and bustling market filled with delicacies of the region, our day will be devoted to an exploration of the Catalan Modernista style. Our first site of interest is the breathtakingly ornate Palau de la Música Catalana, the concert hall designed by architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner and completed in 1908. Gaudí’s iconic Casa Milà is no less spectacular, its undulating stone façade concealing an equally organic interior with an ingenious natural ventilation system.

DAY 4:

Morning visit to Gaudí’s magnum opus, the colossally ambitious Sagrada Família. An unmissable icon of Barcelona and the largest unfinished Roman Catholic church in the world, it is estimated that just 15-25% was completed during Gaudí’s lifetime. To date, two of the church’s three major façades – the Passion and Nativity façades - have been completed, with the Glory façade and ten of the eighteen proposed spires remaining, although it is hoped that total completion will coincide with the centennial anniversary of the architect’s death in 2026. The eccentric genius of Gaudí is further showcased at Park Güell, initially designed as a private residential park for sixty families, but reimagined as a municipal park when the housing development scheme failed. Early evening visit to the MACBA (Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona), an enormous collection dating from the mid-20th century onward, before we share a farewell dinner in a local restaurant.

DAY 5:

Morning visit to Gaudí’s magnum opus, the colossally ambitious Sagrada Família. An unmissable icon of Barcelona and the largest unfinished Roman Catholic church in the world, it is estimated that just 15-25% was completed during Gaudí’s lifetime. To date, two of the church’s three major façades – the Passion and Nativity façades - have been completed, with the Glory façade and ten of the eighteen proposed spires remaining, although it is hoped that total completion will coincide with the centennial anniversary of the architect’s death in 2026. The eccentric genius of Gaudí is further showcased at Park Güell, initially designed as a private residential park for sixty families, but reimagined as a municipal park when the housing development scheme failed. Early evening visit to the MACBA (Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona), an enormous collection dating from the mid-20th century onward, before we share a farewell dinner in a local restaurant.

Please note that at this stage the programme is still provisional. Although we aim at the greatest degree of accuracy from the outset, some details, especially the order of visits, may be subject to change.

STAMINA

Specific fitness requirements for this Study Tour:

This tour involves a lot of walking, up and downhill, and sometimes on uneven ground or pavements; museum and site visits require prolonged periods of standing without the possibility of a rest. Coach journeys should not exceed one hour in length.

Please note that all our Study Tours involve a significant amount of standing and walking, often across uneven ground, over cobbled streets, or up and down steps and inclines. While we do not have an upper age limit for participants, we require you to have a level of fitness which does not spoil other participents' enjoyment of the holiday and you should be able to walk at a reasonable pace and / or stand for at least thirty minutes without aid or requiring a rest.

If you are in any doubt as to whether a particular tour is suitable for you, please ring us to check before placing your booking.

PRICES:

Twin/double share: £2390 per person
Double room for sole use supplement: £490
Price of the tour without flights: £2290 per person
Deposit: £200 per person

INCLUDED IN THE PRICE:

  • Scheduled return flights (economy class) with BA between London Heathrow and Barcelona
  • Four nights B&B in the centrally located four- star Hotel España
  • Transfers and excursions by private coach
  • Three dinners and one lunch
  • Services of the lecturer and a tour manager
  • Detailed programme and study notes
  • All entrance fees, taxes, and gratuities for coach drivers and waiters
  • Small group between 12 and 22 participants

NOT INCLUDED:

  • Transport between home and London Heathrow
  • Travel insurance. We strongly advise you to be covered by adequate travel insurance

Hotel Espana****

Hotel España, was originally opened in 1859 with the name of Fonda de España and then went on to be refurbished by the celebrated Modernist architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, in the early 20th Century. The restoration project that the hotel underwent in 2010 has brought back the spirit conceived by Domènech i Montaner. The modernist spaces have been refurbished to their original design, and at the same time the hotel has been equipped with the latest technology, design and comfort.

GUEST ROOMS:

  • Minibar
  • Television
  • Free WiFi
  • Air conditioning

ADDITIONAL FACILITIES:

The hotel features the Fonda España restaurant run by the chef Martín Berasategui (7 Michelin stars), Bar Arnau and the Alaire Ramblas terrace.