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Barcelonas and Beyond #15 - Monday 12th to Sunday 18th December
December 10, 2016
Welcome to Issue Fifteen of Barcelonas and Beyond for Monday 12th to Sunday 18th December. This week we feature Les Fires de Nadal or Santa Llúcia, or Christmas Markets in Catalonia.
I send the newsletter every Saturday with information for the coming week starting the following Monday mixture of what to do information, including festivals, concerts and of course football so please feel free to pass this email on to your friends and contacts.
Les Fires de Santa LlúciaTuesday December 13th is the Saints' Day of Santa Llúcia, which is traditionally the day for the opening of Christmas markets, known as Fires de Nadal or Fires de Santa Llúcia, around Catalonia.
Given the consumerist age we live in, Barcelona's two main Christmas fairs - the Fira de Santa Llúcia outside Barcelona Cathedral and the Sagrada Familia Christmas Market - have been up and running for a couple of weeks already.
We actually get most of our Christmas decorations from El Mercat de la Concepció just round the corner but I generally try to make it to one or both of the Christmas markets mainly because they are the best places to get fresh country honey at this time of year.
The atmosphere is pretty festive here in Barcelona with the Christmas lights up and the shoppers on Passeig de Gràcia and Portal de l'Àngel going absolutely nuts.
Check out the Christmas markets in Catalonia below to find out what's happening in some of the smaller
This Week's Football
Today (Saturday 10th) FC Barcelona are away to Osasuna in La Liga at the annoying time of 1 pm. On Sunday Espanyol are at home to Sporting de Gijón at 6.30 pm.
Next weekend is the big Barcelona derby with Barça taking on Espanyol at Camp Nou on Sunday December 18th at 8.45 pm. The kick-off is a bit late on Sunday evening for my liking but the Espanyol have recently had a good run of form so I'm expecting a hard fought game.
This Week's Historical and Cultural Highlights
Monday December 12th
On December 12th 1889 in Barcelona, Catalan engineer Francesc Bonet i Dalmau patented an automobile powered by combustion engine, which would be known as the Bonet.
Catalan painter, Antoni Tàpies, was born in Barcelona on December 13th 1923.
December 13th is the Saints Day of Santa Llúcia and as we're in the lead up to Christmas is an excuse for fairs and festivals throughout Catalonia.
On December 14th 1927, the first Barcelona-Madrid air route opened and Iberia makes its first commercial flight.
The Castilian noble, Fernando de Trastámara, was chosen as Ferran I, King of Aragon, at the Compromise of Casp on December 14th 1412.
Eusebi Güell i Bacigalupi, Catalan factory owner, politician and benefactor was born in Barcelona on December 15th 1846.
Pep Guardiola made his debut for FC Barcelona against Cadiz at Camp Nou on December 16th 1990.
The Catalan general and politician, Joan Prim, was born in Reus on December 16th 1814.
On December 17th 1910, the legendary Barcelona cabaret theatre, Le Petit Moulin Rouge, currently known as El Molino, opened for the first time.
On December 17th 1925, the Captain General of Catalonia, Joaquim Milans del Bosch i Carrió, ordered the closure of FC Barcelona's Camp de les Corts. This led to the hands irrevocable resignation of Joan Gamper as FC Barcelona President.
The Statute of Autonomy, known as the Estatut de Sau, became law on December 17th 1979, when King Juan Carlos I approved the organic law of the Estatut d'Autonomia de Catalunya.
Catalonia Is Not Spain: A Historical PerspectiveYou can find out much more about the historical background to Catalonia's claims for independence in my 2014 book Catalonia Is Not Spain: A Historical Perspective
Find out more about the book here
After a few weeks concentrating on the Barcelona Jazz Festival, it's time to look at a different kind of genre that's particularly popular in Barcelona - Musicals! - and starting this weekend there are quite a few to choose from.
Priscilla, el Musical, which is a kind of gay disco show and is on at Teatre Tivoli, has been getting great reviews.
Other highly recommended shows come from two well-established Barcelona theatre companies. Dagoll Dagom's Scaramouche at Teatre Victòria and La Cubana's Gente bien, el musical both look a lot of fun to me.
Featured Hotel in BarcelonaOur featured hotel this week is the lovely Hotel Catalonia Eixample 1864, which is located on the corner of Roger de Llúria and Consell de Cent in the heart of the Dreta de l'Eixample.
This area is known as the Quadrat d'Or or Golden Square because this where the highest concentration can be found, and in fact, the block on which the Catalonia Eixample stands is the oldest in the Eixample. 1864 is a clue to how old this part of town is!
The painted facade of the Four-Star Catalonia Eixample 1864 is particularly eye-catching and the hotel is perfectly located for the sights, shops and restaurants on Passeig de Gràcia.
The rooms are lovely and I particularly like the rooftop pool and terrace, which has great views out across the Eixample.
I can also recommend the excellent on-site restaurant Les Finestres de Llúria, where I have had the pleasure of taking my wife on a couple of occasions.
Anyway, that's about it for this week, if you want to keep up to date with all the new information I'm creating, make sure you visit Barcelonas.com regularly.
All the best
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