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Before the end of the summer, the different districts and neighbourhoods of the city will celebrate their patron saint festivities. During September, these celebrations are the preview of the city's great festivity, la Mercè. This is the case of the Horta, Poble Nou and the Gràcia area (including La Salut, Vallcarca and Penitents districts). During October, Les Corts and Sarrià. In November Sant Andreu de Palomar.
All these neighbourhoods dress their streets for the celebration and for a few days they are brimming with activities, music, concerts, popular dinners and games for the young ones. This tradition is much loved by the people of Barcelona, as it allows for more interaction between neighbours and direct participation, all thanks to their pride for belonging to the same neighbourhood.
Gràcia is one of the most popular areas in Barcelona, thanks to its bustling squares, alternative ambience and this neighbourhood festival (festa major), which sees locals decorate many of its streets and is this year celebrating its 200th anniversary. But the decorations don't just involve throwing up some bunting and balloons. Associations for each street involved spend months coming up with a theme, collecting the items needed for their decorations (often recycled objects) and creating the papier-mâché constructions that they hope will win them one of the prizes for best dressed street. Beach scenes, creatures of all shapes and sizes, characters from literature, and simple but beautiful, light-filled abstract images – the fact that they will only be up for a week or so doesn't ever mean that participants stint on ideas and effort. It's not just about the décor though, with concerts, stalls selling food and drink and much more attracting visitors throughout the day and especially at night.
"I'd already enjoyed visiting the Gràcia neighbourhood, but when its main festival arrived and its streets were decked out in amazing decorations on different themes, and the squares hosted concerts and other events, all I could do was think of moving here to live."
Barcelona celebrates the end of summer with a city festival to honour one of its patron saints, La Mercè, whose feast day is September 24. It's a huge party with many free activities for all ages that take place across the city.
Among the most popular are the procession of 'giants' and 'big heads', elaborate papier-mâché constructions that represent both historical characters and fantastical beasts, the display of castellers ('human towers') in front of City Hall, and the correfoc, which literally means 'fire run' and sees demons with firecrackers dancing with well-protected members of the public under their showers of sparks.
There are also concerts, audiovisual shows and contributions from a guest city, this year Reykjavík.
Featuring at BAM this year are performances by the bands Reykjavíkurdætur, Grísalappalísa and Samarios. There is also the piano music of Kiasmos, the young singer Glowie and several other artists including Emmsjé Gauti, JFDR and Ólöf Arnalds.
Ciutadella Park hosts numerous events including theatre and dance shows.
At night, fireworks fill the sky with fabulous pyrotechnic displays befitting such an important fixture on the Barcelona calendar.
"The city pulls out all the stops to celebrate the festival dedicated to one of its patron saints. Hundreds of free activities all over the city blending tradition and the latest trends. You'll be able to see gegants and capgrossos as well as concerts by the latest big names."
The stars of alfresco summer evenings in the city will be classical music and jazz. The "Music in the parks" program will once again fill the parks of Barcelona with sound. A total of 50 free concerts in June, July and August in various venues of the city. These include the Ciutadella Park, the Mediterrània Gardens, the "Aigües" Park, the Joan Miró Park, the Plaza del Duc de Medinaceli and the Estació del Nord Park, and many more. And if you arrive early, you can join a visit to discover the secrets of the most unique parks and gardens of Barcelona.
BAM (Barcelona ACCIÓ Musical) has consolidated itself as a leading music festival over its 20-year history. It offers the opportunity to discover emerging talent in the worlds of dance, electronic, rock and pop music from both Catalonia and on an international level.
More than 40 bands perform at each edition, filling various venues around the city with unique, new and original sounds.
This year, with Reykjavik being the invited city for the 2017 Mercè fiesta, you will be able to enjoy the Icelandic rap of "Reykjavíkurdætur", the eccentric post-punk of "Grísalappalísa" and the music of "Samaris", Iceland's best known band internationally. There is also the piano of Kiasmos, the young singer Glowie and several other artists including Emmsjé Gauti, JFDR and Ólöf Arnalds.
Barcelona wouldn’t be Barcelona without the Rambla. A wander up and down this famous boulevard is a ritual well worth observing. Just soak up the atmosphere and admire the buildings, from the Canaletes fountain to the Columbus Monument, which connect the old and modern city with places like Liceu and Boqueria. A walk through the life and history of the city.
Barcelona and its home-grown art nouveau movement, modernisme, go hand in hand. The style emerged in all its glory at the end of the 19th century to reveal itself in hundreds of extremely beautiful buildings which line the way. Let yourself be captivated once again by these masterpieces in a style full of opulence, fantasy, symbolism and colour.
Barcelona is known throughout the world for its architecture. This is why the city didn't want to fall behind in the race to have some of the world's finest contemporary buildings. The names of today's great architects and artists are present in almost every city neighbourhood.
Gaudí is a name associated with Barcelona who needs to be discovered while you admire his finest landmarks: a treasure trove of forms, ideas, symbols and fantasy which is hard to surpass. The Gaudí landmarks in Barcelona give a greater understanding of one of the most famous architects who ever worked in the city.
There are many different sides to Barcelona: the Barcelona with its traditional neighbourhoods, the Gothic, modernista and contemporary city… but there is also a green Barcelona, the Barcelona of parks and gardens. You’ll find them dotted around the city. These green spaces are always interesting, whether it be for their plants, urban design or sculptures.
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