Palau de la Musica Catalana & Hospital de Sant Pau
The Palau de la Música Catalana and the Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona
were designed by the Catalan architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, and are considered masterpieces of the Art Nouveau. Domènech also played an important role in the Catalan movement.
The Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau was constructed between 1901-1912, and the Palau de la Música Catalana dates from 1905-1908.
Visit August 2006
A working hospital could easily be the most impressive architectural sight in Barcelona. We stayed in a hotel just around the corner (Medium Medicis, well recommended), and that way observed the coming and going at the hospital every morning. Ambulances with their sirenes turned on speeding past, or nurses and doctors dropping in on one of the cafés to buy some delicious fresh bread.
Despite all this bustle, you are free to walk in the grounds. The hospital covers a large area and consists of several pavillions (27), all with their own characteristics. It was designed in such a way that the patients could stay in pleasant surroundings so they would feel better.
The Palau de la Música Catalana, located in Barcelona's city center and hidden behind a glass front, is also very worth while to visit. You can only get in via one of the guided tours, which are conducted frequently. First a video is shown about the origins of the Palau, founded by the Orfeo Catalan (choir society). Then you are taken via the grand stairs to the main theatre. Sculptures represent the popular and classical music that is played here. A large stained glass object in the ceiling symbolizes the sun.
More photos can be found in the Picture Gallery
I visited this WHS in November 2007. These Art Nouveau buildings in Barcelona blend in pretty well with the other buildings of the city. The highlight of my visit was the Pau Hospital steel-framed structure with the 'clock tower'.
| Date posted: September 2012|
|ivan mandy (philippines):|
One of my biggest disappointments in Spain was not being able to see the inside of the Palau Musica but the Hospital was really something to remember Barcelona by. I think its a great tribute to the city's other artistic genius Mr. Montanner that UNESCO declared his masterpiece a WHS...really a nice change after all the Gaudi disneyland theme. ;o)
| Date posted: August 2006|
|Klaus Freisinger (Austria):|
I can only second the glowing reviews posted here. In what is a great city to begin with, these two buildings by the Catalan Art Nouveau architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner stand out even by Barcelona´s very high architectural standards. The hospital is probably like no other in the world (and the only one I´ve ever come across that is mentioned in a guidebook), and even though a new hospital is currently being built, it´s still a working place with real patients inside; it´s within easy walking distance of the Sagrada Familia. The Palau de la Música Catalana, located close to the Cathedral in the Barrio Gótico, is not terribly impressive from the outside, but the inside, especially the auditourium, is just fantastic. Even if you´re not really into classical music, it´s well worth the long wait in line to get tickets for a guided tour (if English is sold out, you could still try Spanish or Catalan, even if you don´t understand it, since the important thing is to SEE the inside!). Two of the finest buildings I have ever seen, and a must when coming to Barcelona.
| Date posted: November 2005|
|Rob Wilson (UK):|
The Palau certainly has a nice facade, and is apparently a great place to see a concert (unfortunately I didn't get to see one). The Hospital though is excellent. Clearly an architects folly, that paradoxically has a genuine use. The buildings are beautiful and in great condition. What's more, it's free to walk around the grounds. It is well worth a visit if you're in the area.
| Date posted: November 2005|
|Ian Cade (England):|
The two buildings on here are quite a way apart from each other in Barcelona but can both be seen easily if you want to spend a couple of hours touring this fantastic cities main sites.
The Hospital San Pau is very impressive and just up the road from Gaudi’s famous Sagrada Familia so makes a great reason to travel up to see it. The decoration is fantastic and it seems hard to believe that this is still a functioning hospital as the level of design that has gone into it is immense.
The Palau de la Musica Catalana has an impressive façade that is hard to take in due to the tight nature of the Barri Gothic area, if you can get inside though it is massively impressive. The tour costs €8 and includes a video introduction but nothing can compete with the main auditorium which is absolutely stunning. The place seems to just ooze music knowledge and again the craftsmanship is apparelled, and the stained glass roof was perhaps the highlight of the whole city for me it is just a staggering piece of work and the only time I have seen 3-D stained glass worth the admission price in itself. There is only one problem and that is you are not allowed to take any photos inside!
|Vincent Dwyer (Based in Spain (from New Zealand)):|
The Palau de la Musica is an amazing building. Guided tours are offered on a daily basis, but the best option is to try and get tickets to a concert during your stay in Barcelona. The Palau is easy to find, just off Via Laietana, (nearest Metro: Urquiniona) and a short walk from the Cathedral.
Hospital Sant Pau is an excellent example of modernist architecture. It is free to enter the gardens, where you can observe the different buildings which are still in use. The nearest metro is on the blue line (Sant Pau), but I would recommend you combine this visit with one to the Gaudi cathedral (La Sagrada Familia). The two sites are close. You can walk from one to the other along Avenida Gaudi in less than 10 minutes.
More information on both these sites is available on my web site: bestofbarcelona.com
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