Hospital de Sant Pau: a mini art nouveau village
Article updated 28 August, 2019.
If you like art nouveau, then do not miss the Hospital de Sant Pau, a remarkable and unique architectural ensemble.
metro: Sant Pau Dos de Maig (L5)
Sant Antoni Maria Claret 167
13 euros for adults
9.10 euros reduced price
for its magnificent architecture
The hospital de Sant Pau is a unique art nouveau architectural ensemble as, unlike the Pedrera, or the Casa Batlló, it is not a residential building, but a medical centre. The grounds are bigger and the buildings are more numerous, which allows you to immerse yourself in a sort of miniature modernist village. The experience is quite unique and frankly very agreeable!
History of the Hospital de Sant Pau
In the 19th Century, the biggest hospital in Barcelona was the Hospital de la Santa Creu, located on hospital street in the Raval. It’s also here where Gaudí drew his last breath after being hit by a tram. The building, which dates from the medieval period, today provides a very pleasant setting due to its hidden garden dotted with fountains.
For a long time, it was all that was necessary to care for the sick. But the industrial revolution, cultural and demographic shifts in Barcelona as well as medical progress brought the need for a larger infrastructure so the city commissioned the famous architect Lluís Domènech to build a garden town for the patients.
The result is spectacular, and makes it the largest modernist architectural ensemble in Europe. Its innovative spirit and architectural richness also led to it being registered in 1997 with the UNESCO World Heritage of Humanity.
The hospital de Sant Pau today
Reform and renewal
The Hospital de Sant Pau fulfilled its medical functions between 1930 and 2009, until these were transferred to new buildings. The historic buildings, brilliantly renovated, now house a campus as well as various associations and organisations (Asia House, Institute of the University of the United Nations on Globalisation, culture and mobility, etc.)
Visiting the Hospital de Sant Pau
The hospital de Sant Pau is one of the buildings of architectural interest that is opening up little by little to the public. Just like Torre Bellesguard or the Casa Amatller which were, until now, reserved for private use, the Hospital de Sant Pau now welcomes visitors who want to discover a lesser known side of Catalan art nouveau.
The tour starts with an exhibition installed in the administration pavilion. Its goal is to highlight the hospital’s heritage and medical importance.
Then you take the underground tunnels to the courtyards and gardens of the hospital to admire the orange trees, sculptures, stained glass windows and coloured facades.
- It’s a slightly different tour to what you see in the rest of the city, but we can only recommend it.
Mapping la Llum de Sant Pau
Come celebrate Christmas! During the holidays there will be a light show to celebrate that the days begin to lengthen and that nature is reborn!
- When? From December 23th to January 6th. From 18h to 22h30 (the show starts every half hour).
- How much? For free
- Why? The light show on the modernist façade is very impressive!
Attention, there is no show every night during the holidays, the projection days are as follows: December 23, 24, 25, 26, 30 and 31 and January 1, 5 and 6.
- Adult price: 13 euros
- Reduced price for 12-29 year olds and over 65s: 9.10 euros
- Free entry for under 12s
Warning! As some spaces are sometimes unavailable, the tour can sometimes change.
- November to March: Monday to Saturday 9:30am to 4:30pm, Sunday and holidays 9:30am to 2:30pm
- April to October: Monday to Saturday 9:30am to 6:30pm, Sundays and holidays 9:30am to 2:30pm.
- Closed the 1st and 6th of January, and the 25th of December.
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