Every part of my first three weeks in Barcelona has been amazing and eye-opening. One of the most unique opportunities with which I have been presented during my time here is one of my summer courses, “Spanish Art and Cultural Heritage.” In this course, we spend about half of the school days learning about the art and architecture of Spain, beginning in Paleolithic times and working our way forward. For the other half of the days, we take field trips to see a variety of artistic landmarks and museums in the Barcelona area.

Recently, we visited the Monastery of San Pau del Camp and the Catedral de Barcelona. Before the field trips, we learned all about the structure of early Christian basilicas. It was very rewarding to be able to identify the architectural elements we had studied in class in a real-life situation.

As a class, we have visited the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya twice, each time exploring a different room in depth. The museum hosts separate collections of romanesque, gothic, renaissance and baroque, and modern art. Our professor took us to see the gothic and romanesque rooms after we learned about the art from those periods. Unfortunately, when it was time for us to visit the renaissance and baroque rooms, they were under renovation and we weren’t able to see the art from that period.

This course forces me to visit monuments and museums in Barcelona which I never would have visited on my own. This course has taught me so much about Spanish history, art, and architecture. With this new knowledge, I am much better able to appreciate the history and the artistic elements of buildings and other pieces of art in Spain. I would recommend this course to anyone studying abroad in Barcelona!