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Spanish in Barcelona

Learn Spanish in Barcelona

La ciudad condal, 'the City of Counts', Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain, and figures among the most influential places in all of Europe. A vast metropolis with tremendous amounts of history and a wonderful balance between the achievements of its past and the direction in which it wishes to gear its future, Barcelona's cultural offerings are practically endless, making it into the perfect place for the curious and the adventurous.

Tarragona

While Catalonia was never a kingdom of its own, forming part of the Crown of Aragon instead, the importance of the city throughout the Middle Ages is undisputed. Reputedly established by the Lacetani round about the turn of the I century, Barkino, as it was know at the time, remained a small settlement on the outskirts of civilisation for much of Antiquity, even as it fell under Roman hands, when it was kept largely under the shadow of the larger Tarraco, modern day Tarragona.

Right at the heart of the Marca Hispánica, known in English as the Hispanic March, Barcelona was part of the territory conquered by the troops of Charlemagne following the Arab invasion of the peninsula, which reached well into the Frankish territory, past the Pyrenees. The March was made up of over a dozen autonomous countships, one of which was Barcelona, all under the protection (and fiefdom) of the Franks.

The Rise of a Cosmopolitan Centre

As the threat of a Muslim invasion diminished, now into the XI century, and the feudal system gained roots in the region, Barcelona became increasingly more important. Palpable evidence of the augmenting riches of the countship can still be seen today, in the relatively small yet staggering Gothic nucleus to the city, home to its wonderful cathedral, as well as the alleys that cut in and out of the basilica of Santa Maria del Mar, near El Born, two trendy areas that have evolved from their XIII century urbanism to create some of the most attractive atmospheres in the city.

Inscribed within the Crown of Aragon from the XIII century onwards, Barcelona became the important trading post that it has remained thanks largely to the extensive network of provinces and embassies that the kingdom deployed to right across the Mediterranean Sea, reaching as far east as Athens and closely linking the Levante of Spain with a number of Italian provinces, notably Sicily, Naples and, briefly, also Milan.

To this effect, Barcelona became a cosmopolitan sea port, initially closely linked to Frankish lords from the other side of the mountains, naturally connected to the rest of the eastern Iberian coastline, unified through the Crown of Aragon with the Balearic islands and inland territories (Jaca, Saragossa), directly related to the rich Italian tradition and in constant exchange with cultures and civilisations from far beyond, which entered the region through maritime trade.

Multi-Disciplinary Courses

The result, evidently, is a city whose steep cosmopolitan roots reach all the way back to the High Middle Ages, forming a fundamental part of its DNA. This is unmistakably there to be experienced by visitors, whether they intend to spend a day in the city, or mean to sign up for a Spanish immersion summer camp in the city. This, also, will define the experience of anyone embarking on one of the many language courses Barcelona has to offer.

Barcelona

Given the particular characteristics of the city, Barcelona provides the perfect background and atmosphere to embark upon multidisciplinary courses that might combine language tools with other subjects. An ideal thing to do in a city as old and diverse as this would be to combine learning Spanish with studying History at one of the Spanish language schools in Barcelona, which would encourage students not only to investigate interesting facts and figures but also to actively engage in visits and excursions that would put you in direct contact with Barcelona architecture.

Additionally, Barcelona has been shaped tremendously by artistic movements that, from the end of the XIX century to the end of the XX, have equipped the city with its current personality. From the crucial Catalan Modernisme to the present trend of ultra-modern buildings, started towards the beginning of the 1990s in relation to the celebration of the Summer Olympic Games of 1992, this is, above all, an aesthetically pleasing city which has a rich artistic tradition, as can be seen through the avant-garde Barcelona architecture.

History, art, architecture — Barcelona has so much of everything, there is simply no way you could experience it all in just one go. The flip side to this abundance works in favour of all students, who will find interesting subjects and gripping tales in every turn, feeding them enough material to learn and practice their Spanish for many, many years to come!