The city and its cultural offer

Barcelona is the perfect workplace. One of today’s most attractive, vibrant and interesting European cities, Barcelona allows course attendants to experience first-hand some of the most innovative initiatives in the field of cultural management, as well as enjoying the art and cultural vitality of the Catalan capital.

Facing the Mediterranean sea, and as the centre of a metropolitan area of around 5 million inhabitants, comprising diverse cities with a strong tradition and cultural vibrancy, Barcelona has a dynamic economy and a varied artistic and architectural heritage, forged over its 2.000 years of history.

The old town brings together the Roman city (the urban fabric, the walls, Museu d’Història de la Ciutat) with the medieval capital (with landmark buildings such as the Palau de la Generalitat, Casa de la Ciutat, Palau de la Música and Drassanes Reials, the palaces in Montcada street, the Cathedral, the churches of Sta. Maria del Mar, St. Pau del Camp or Sta. Maria del Pi) and urban structures prior to the industrial revolution (the waterfront, the neighbourhoods of Raval and Barceloneta).

L’Eixample, the bourgeois district of the city centre, displays the best collection of modernist architecture in Europe, including works by Gaudí, Domènech i Puig and Cadafalch, among others. Also the contemporary city offers works by renowned artists and architects like Calatrava, Chillida, Foster, Gehry, Isozaqui, Mies van der Rohe, Miró, Moneo, Picasso, Sert or Tàpies.

Street heritage is complemented by a wide range of artistic, scientific and humanistic collections preserved in more than thirty museums of the city, among them the National Museum of Catalan Art, the Picasso Museum and the Miró Foundation. However, the cultural dynamism of Barcelona involves more than just museums and architecture. Many visual artists, writers and musicians from all over the world decided to move to the city, making possible the emergence of new genres and melting pot. Barcelona is also a special place for theatre, opera, contemporary music and dance, with emblematic proposals such as the new Ciutat del Teatre, the Gran Teatre del Liceu or Grec and BAM festivals. These cutting-edge initiatives do not preclude maintaining and reinventing catalan cultural traditions, creating and exchanging artistic expressions through recent and historical migrations, and using the streets as a stage for experimentation, dialogue, encounter and festivity. In this sense, it is worth not missing out the Festes de La Mercè and the myriad proposals in the different neighbourhoods of the city.

Since the recovery of democracy and political autonomy of Catalonia in the late Seventies, after 40 years of dictatorship, the new governmental institutions started large programs for cultural and linguistic promotion. At the local level, new cultural spaces (museums, theatres, libraries, community centres…) were built and restored and several programmes aimed at enhancing artistic production and civic participation were launched. From all these programmes, and resulting venues and projects, emerged a new generation of professional cultural managers. Within few years, Catalonia turned into a laboratory for new forms of cultural policy and management. It is no wonder that in 1989, the first postgraduate course on cultural management in Spain was born out of the University of Barcelona. Hence, nowadays Barcelona is one of the most dynamic and interesting cities in Europe for studying and immersing in cultural production, management, tourism and policy.

Cultural agenda:

Barcelona Culture websites (ICUB)


Other relevant information about Barcelona:

In the following link (in Spanish), you can find this information and much more.