World Congress for Middle Eastern Studies

Barcelona, July 19th - 24th 2010

Parc Güell, the Sagrada Família and Gothic Quarter

Duration: 4 hours
Days available: Daily – please note that most Gothic Quarter shops close between approximately 1.30-4.30 pm each day and all day on Sunday.
Departure: From Hotel Serhs Campus and a hotel in Barcelona.

Gaudí is the most famous of the Catalan Art Nouveau architects and his heavy use of bright ceramics and unusual shapes brought the word “gaudy” into the English language. Amongst his leading patrons were the Güells who wanted the park designed as a suburb for 60 new houses. Only two were ever completed but what exists is a spectacular insight into the mind of this most individual of architects. Sinuous lines, natural forms, broken marble, spiral shaped towers, giant lizards, bright ceramic decoration all combined to create a surreal setting in which one can relax and enjoy a panoramic view of the city.

The Sagrada Família is Gaudí’s unfinished masterpiece – a temple that consumed all of his time and money in his later years until his death in 1926 but whose construction has inched forward amidst controversy and debate until the present day. Dominating the skyline, this is a Barcelona attraction that should not be missed.

Next is a guided tour, primarily on foot, through the oldest areas of the city. A walled city until the expansion of the mid 19th century, many of the buildings date from the 13th and 14th centuries, giving an almost unavoidable impression of stepping back in time. The interior of the Cathedral is particularly spectacular with its high vaulted ceiling and 29 ornately decorated chapels, whilst outside the leafy cloisters have their tranquillity disturbed by the resident geese on a quest for bread from visitors.

In this area are some of the most significant historical palaces and museums and also the Plaça Sant Jaume where the local government buildings face each other across a square which is the traditional Catalan gathering point for both celebration and demonstration.
Sagrada Família and Cathedral.

Price per person: 41.50 euros (price includes English and French speaking guide and entrance tickets to the Sagrada Família).
Minimum required for the tour: 20 persons. In case that the tour will not operate, full reimbursement of amount paid will be done. Cancellation: from 1 March until 31 May 50% of total amount paid will be reimbursed; from 1 June no reimbursement will be done.