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Barcelonas and Beyond #6 - Monday 10th to Sunday 16th October
October 08, 2016
Welcome to Issue Six of Barcelonas and Beyond for Monday 10th to Sunday 16th October. This week we feature the Sitges Film Festival and El Dia de la Hispanitat or Spain National Day.
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.
Sitges Film FestivalThis year the Sitges Film Festival runs from Friday October 7th to Sunday 16th October. The Sitges Festival is the most important movie festival in Catalonia and is centred on the theme of fantasy, science fiction and horror films.
As usual there's a fantastic choice of independent movies and the main attractions include the new Terence Malik documentary "The Voyage of Time", two biopics about David Lynch and Brian de Palma and the new Star Trek movie, "For the love of Spock".
For horror and science fiction freaks, there are generally plenty of opportunities to dress up as a zombie, an alien or an axe murderer.
El Dia de la Hispanitat - National Day of SpainWednesday October 12th is a national public holiday because of Spain National Day, which in Catalan is known as the Dia de la Hispanitat. The day commemorates Christopher Columbus' arrival at San Salvador, now Watling in The Bahamas, and the so-called "discovery" of the New World.
Since the acceleration of the Catalan Independence Process in 2012, October 12th has become a day on which Spanish unionists hold a demonstration against Independence for Catalonia in Plaça de Catalunya, which is normally attended by a few thousand people. There is also usually an extreme right Spanish nationalist demonstration on Montjuïc.
This year there has been a proposal by the far left CUP party to remove the Columbus monument from the bottom of La Rambla, so expect to see Catalanists coming in defence of Columbus and arguing that rather than Italian he was in fact Catalan.
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.
At the time of writing, we don't have a guest yet but rest assured, even if it's just down to me and Jordi, you'll get the lowdown on all the major issues in Catalan politics.
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
After a slightly annoting break for international football, La Liga is back next weekend. Barça are playing Depor at home in Camp Nou at 4.15 on Saturday October 15th whilst Espanyol are away to Las Palmas at 8.45 the previous evening.
This Week's Historical and Cultural Highlights
Monday October 10th
On October 10th 879, Guifre el Pilós, the first hereditary Count of Barcelona, whose name translates as Wifred the Hairy, founded the Monastery of Ripoll in the town of Ripoll in the foothill of the Pyrenees. Incidentally, Ripoll is often known as the Cradle of Catalonia for this reason.
Also the great poet Joan Maragall and the novelist Mercè Rodoreda, who is possibly the most influential writer in contemporary Catalan literature, were born on October 10th in 1860 and 1908 respectively.
On October 2003, the AVE high-speed train service connecting Lleida with Madrid via Zaragoza, opened. This was the first AVE connection between Catalonia and the Spanish capital and opened more than a decade after the original Madrid-Seville line.
On October 1492, Christopher Columbus arrived at the island of San Salvador, now called Watling, in The Bahamas and Europeans officially "discovered" America. For this reason, October 12th is El Dia de la Hispanitat, Spain's National Festival, and Columbus Day in the United States.
On October 13th 1909, the Catalan teacher, Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia, was executed as a scapegoat for the week of rioting in Barcelona known as the Tragic Week or Setmana Tràgica.
The Catalan writer, painter and leading light of the Olot School, Marià Vayreda, was born in Olot on October 14th 1853.
On October 15th 1940, after a military hearing without legal guarantees, Lluís Companys, president of the Generalitat of Catalonia, is shot by firing squad at the castle of Montjuïc. He had been captured by the Gestapo in France and handed over to the Franco regime a few months earlier. His last words were "Per Catalunya!" (For Catalonia!)
October 16th is the Saints Day of Sant Galderic, who is the patron saint of Catalan farmers and an excuse for autumn festivals in the countryside throughout Catalonia and the Catalan countries.
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
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.
The rooms and suites at the Majestic are beautifully decorated and furnished in a classical style and offer all the comforts one would expect from a hotel of this calibre and the hotel also offers a number of luxury self-catering apartments.
Under the world famous chef Nando Jubany, the Restaurant del Majestic offers the Majestic Hotel Experience in the morning and the gastronomic delights continue with Jubany's inventive fusion cuisine throughout the day.
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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