Day Tour

Gràcia and the Spirit of Catalan Independence (3 Hours)

Context Travel

Barcelona, Spain

Valid for Travel Now Through: 20 Mar 2019

Gràcia and the Spirit of Catalan Independence (3 Hours )

Barcelona, Spain

Tour Features


  • Culture, History & Arts
  • Sightseeing



Recommended Ages

12 and Above

Activity Level



This walk, taking place in the highly Catalan neighborhood of Gràcia, aims to provide an introduction to the special attributes of Catalan culture and history in addition to giving us a better understand of what it means to be Catalan, how they feel different from Spaniards and why they might want to separate. The district of Gràcia was once outside of Barcelona, just like Catalonia was to Spain. The area was the tranquil site of the Santa Maria de Gràcia (of Grace) carmelite convent, however, with the rise of the wealth during the Industrial Revolution, well-off Barcelonians starting building "country homes," around the convent property. Eventually these multiplied and other larger early 19th century buildings filled in the district, therefore it remained outside the large-scale Cerda expansion plans and today still retains its village-like feel with small squares, parish churches, and narrow streets, perfect for strolling. As we amble through the area, we will find broader clues to Catalan identity. We will see Antoni Gaudí's first commission, the fantastical Casa Vicens, where the architectural genius first used organic philosophies and symbols of Catalan nationalism. We will pass through Plaça de la Revolucio, commemorating the Glorious Revolution of September 1868 that deposed Queen Isabella II, underlining the rebellious spirit of Barcelona and in particular Gràcia. In addition, underneath the square there is an important bomb shelter from the Spanish Civil war and discussion Catalonia's importance as bastion against Franco. We may pass through the Plaça Diamant which appears in Catalan writer Mercè Rodoreda's La Colometa, set in a troubled post-Civil War Barcelona. As we go along, we will pass by the homes of some famous Catalans such as rumba musician Gato Perez or opera singer Montserrat Caballé. We may also stop by some traditional shops which have been the area for generations, now becoming a dying breed which the gentrification of the area. We usually finish off in front of the local city hall where we can see the historic Catalan "giants" bought out during the local Gràcia festival, a good chance for us to discuss some of the regions lively customs still living strong. Note: For private experiences, this walk can be adapted for families or even visitors looking for a combined history-gastronomy approach as there are lots of great culinary places to include.

About Us

The Context vision is to create an atmosphere—a context, if you will—for curious travelers to engage with local experts; to give them access to places and cultures that might otherwise remain out of sight to the casual visitor; to invite them off the tourist track and into the real life of the people, history, and heritage that make these cultural capitals amazing. With no more than six people, you'll participate in an intimate, hands-on, conversational experience. No Tour Guides - Our docents are first and foremost scholars or specialists, with MAs, Ph.D.s, or other terminal degrees in their fields of study.

Insider Tip

Contact your Virtuoso Travel Advisor for insider knowledge to help enhance your experience.

Terms & Conditions

Context walks can be cancelled up to 48 hours prior to the walk with an 85% refund. Within 48 hours all reservations are final and cannot be refunded. Walks are held rain or shine with some variations to accommodate the weather. If you are running late for your meeting with our docent, we ask that you call to alert us so that we can relay the message to the docent. No shows are treated as last-minute cancellations and are non-refundable. Cancellations within three business days need to be made by phone to the emergency number provided in your confirmation email. Cancellations within three business days made via email or by calling our U.S. 800 number may not be honored. Other terms and conditions may apply.

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By: Joe C

Reviewed on: 27 Jun 2018

Without question they did a superb job.
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"The Great European Tour"

By: MJ

Reviewed on: 14 Aug 2018

The trip was our first experience with Context and it was amazing!
Travel Advisor:  Donna Peacock
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By: Shari

Reviewed on: 17 Nov 2018

The 6 person maximum of Context tours really made for an intimate learning experience. The docents they get to lead the groups were top notch!
Travel Advisor:  Kelly Millington