Barcelona’s La Merce 2015 is music.
Barcelona’s La Merce 2015 is food.
Barcelona’s La Merce 2015 is Catalan culture.
Barcelona’s La Merce 2015 is everything you wanted out of a week-long festival and it’s a whole lot more. We’re so excited the yearly festival is here and we want you to enjoy it as much as we do. Read on to find out a little bit about the history behind the festival, what’s happening this week and where you should go for good music, food and culture.
You can click on any of the location subheadings to access the official La Merce 2015 schedule for that location.
Barcelona La Merce 2015
Barcelona’s La Merce 2015: The History
Last year we did a full post on the history behind the Barcelona La Merce festival. Basically, way back in the 13th century Barcelona and Spain were locked in a battle with Arab (Moor) armies. On the night of September 24th, 1218, the story goes, Spanish commander Jaume I and his two closest advisors all had the same dream: the Virgin Mary asked each of them to start a lineage of monks whose sole purpose was to free Christian captives of war.
A few hundred years later, the city succumbed to a plague of locusts. When all hope seemed to be lost, the city collectively prayed to the Virgin Mary for mercy (“mercé” in Catalan) and, miraculously, the city survived.
Eventually, the Virgin Mary of Mercy was named one of the city’s patron saints and in 1871 the first La Merce festival was launched.
Barcelona La Merce 2015: The Main Event Spaces
La Merce is a city-wide festival. So, rather than give you a long list of specific locations we’re going to let you know where the three main event spaces are. Once you know those locations, you can spend hours and days exploring each area and discovering the hidden magic of Barceolona’s La Merce 2015 festival.
Plaza Sant Jaume & the Old Town
Plaza Sant Jaume is the epicenter of La Merce, not only because it’s named after one of the men who originally received the vision from the Virgin Mary but also because the week-long festival concludes here with a thrilling castellers display, a parade of gigantes and an awe-inspiring display of Catalan pride.
Each night the square is home to a wonderful animation display projected onto the face of one of the two governmental buildings in the square. Head here after dark to see the display and to stop into one of the many restaurants on the streets around the square. We recommend Orio.
Parc de la Ciutadella
Your Barcelona La Merce 2015 experience wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Parc de La Ciutadella, where you’ll get a delightfully delicious indoctrination into Barcelona’s food-truck scene. The food trucks will be available in all their culinary glory until this Thursday. Click here to read our post about our 2014 La Merce food truck experience.
In the meantime, walk around the park to discover musical acts, dance troupes, cotton candy and all kinds of fun.
Castell de Montjuic
The hill which rises above Barcelona and was home to the majority 1992 Summer Olympics events is also the site of La Merce’s most family-friendly events. Circuses and stage shows on Montjuic will be running throughout the day on Sunday. Also, check out the Miro Foundation and the Catalan National Museum of Art on Thursday — they’re two of a long list of museums which will be free on the last day of La Merce 2015.