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Barcelonas and Beyond #4 - Monday 26th September to Sunday 2nd October
September 24, 2016

Welcome to Issue Four of Barcelonas and Beyond for Monday 26th September to Sunday 2nd October. This week we feature Festes de Sant Miquel around Catalonia and a tense political moment in the Catalan Parliament.

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.

Festes de Sant Miquel

With the city of Barcelona still a little hung over from the Festes de la Mercè, we have a slightly quieter week ahead of us. However, Thursday 29th September is the Saints' Day of Sant Miquel, which is an excuse for Festa Majors all round Catalonia. In Barcelona, the most important festival is in La Barceloneta so I'm sure the streets of the once fishing, now tourist, quarter and the beaches will be full of fun and fireworks.

Click here to read about the Saints' Day of Sant Miquel

A Vote of Confidence in the Catalan Parliament

This week is quite a big one in Catalan politics. Tuesday 27th is the first anniversary of the elections that brought the pro-independence coalition Junts pel Sí (Together for Yes) to power in the Catalan Parliament a year ago.

The year hasn't gone quite as well as some people had hoped partly because Junts pel Sí didn't win an absolute majority and have had to rely on the support of the also pro-independence but far left CUP party, who refused to allow a vote on the budget earlier in the year. As a result, President of the Generalitat, Carles Puigdemont, decided to submit himself to a vote of confidence, which will be held on Wednesday 28th.

Most people are reasonably confident he'll get through this tough test because if he doesn't, there'll be a crisis in the Catalan government and the independence process will have run into a very large obstacle.

Click here to read about Carles Puigdemont

Click Here to visit the www. updates and blog page

This Week in Catalonia Radio Show

Every Wednesday at 12 0'clock midday, I host a radio show on Barcelona City FM 107.3 with my colleague Jordi Vilanova.

This week we'll be talking to British writer, journalist and radio presenter Dave Bull and his son, Mitch. Dave and Mitch are based in Alicante and following last year's very successful Canoeing for Cancer are on a motorbike tour of Spain raising money for the same charity. They'll be popping into the studio to talk about the trip and we'll also be asking them how the political situation looks to expats based in other parts of Spain.

If you miss the show, I generally post the podcast of the show to our website late on Wednesday. Click here to vist the This Week in Catalonia website

This Week's Football

As I'm writing this newsletter on the morning of Saturday 24th September, this weekend's results are still a mystery. On Saturday 24th, FC Barcelona play Sporting de Gijón away in El Molinón at 4.15 pm and Espanyol are at home to Celta de Vigo at 8.45 pm on Sunday 25th.

FC Barcelona face Borrussia Moenchengladbach in the second tie in the first round league in the Champions League on Wednesday 28th September and although matching their 7-0 drubbing of Celtic would be a lot to ask, let's hope they play better than they did in their 1-1 draw against Atlético de Madrid.

Next weekend both Barcelona clubs have away games on Sunday 2nd October, Espanyol facing Villarreal at 6.30 pm and Barça playing against Celta de Vigo at 8.45 pm.

Click Here for FC Barcelona Tickets

Click Here for RCD Espanyol Tickets

This Week's Historical and Cultural Highlights

Monday September 26th

September 26th is the European Day of Languages so you can expect to see the role of Catalan in the news. It is also the Saints Day of Sant Cosme and Sant Damià, which is an excuse for Festa Majors around Catalonia, most significantly in the Barcelona area, the Festa major of El Prat de Llobregat in the Baix Llobregat comarca just south of the city.
Read More About September 26th

Tuesday September 27th

September 27th is the first anniversary of the elections to the Parliament of Catalonia that brought the current pro-independence coalition to power. Also on this day in 1861, Bonaventura Carles Aribau died. Aribau was the poet responsible for starting the literary movement known as the Renaixença and the subsequent recovery as Catalan as a literary language.
Read More About September 27th

Wednesday September 28th

September 28th is the birthday of two celebrated Catalans. On this day in 1819, Narcís Monturiol, the inventor of the first manned submarine with a combustion engine, was born, and September 28th 1881 is the birthday of Eugeni d'Ors, a Catalan writer and philosopher, who was the ideologue between the intellectual movement known as Noucentisme in the early 20th century.
Read More About September 28th

Thursday September 29th

On September 29th 1935, the Bloc Obrer i Camperol and Esquerra Comunista joined together to form the Partit Obrer d'Unificació Marxista (POUM), which George Orwell joined and writes about in Homage to Catalonia, and on this day in 1977, the provisional Generalitat was restored after the death of Franco nearly two years earlier.

September 29th is also the Saints Day of Sant Miquel, which is an excuse for Festa Majors around Catalonia, the most important for Barcelona residents being the Festa Major of La Barceloneta.
Read More About September 29th

Friday September 30th

On September 30th 2005, the Parliament of Catalonia passed the project of the new Statute of Autonomy with an 88% in favour, including all parties except the Partido Popular. Also September 992 marked the death of Count of Barcelona, Girona, Osona i Urgell, Borrell II, who had declared the independence of what would become Catalonia from the Franks in 987.
Read More About September 30th

Saturday October 1st

On October 1st 1792, the first issue of the Diari de Barcelona was published. This was one of the first news sheets in Europe and would continue being published until the 1990s.
Read More About October 1st

Sunday October 2nd

On October 2nd 1282, Pere II, Count of Barcelona and King of Aragon manages to take control of the island of Sicily.
Read more about October 2nd

Catalonia Is Not Spain: A Historical Perspective

You 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

If you want a particularly authentic Barcelona experience, I can highly recommend taking in some flamenco. There are plenty of options, including the Palau de la Música and the Tablao de Carmen, but I really like the shows at Palua Dalmases myself.

Another great option is to catch one of the summer classical music, mainly guitar, concerts at one of the city centre Gothic churches, such as Santa Anna or Santa Maria del Pi, before the programme closes for the winter. The acoustics are marvellous and the surroundings are breathtaking so if you like classical music, it's a very special experience.

Also be sure to check out the jazz gigs at Jamboree Jazz & Dance Club in Plaça Reial just off La Rambla.

Click here to buy tickets for Barcelona concerts and shows

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 regularly.

All the best

Simon Harris

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