Hospital de Sant Pau: a mini art nouveau village

Published by in the category Gaudi and architects Art Nouveau, Visits. Article updated 9 January, 2018. 0 comments

If you like art nouveau, then do not miss the Hospital de Sant Pau, a remarkable and unique architectural ensemble.

Hospital de Sant Pau
Where?

Eixample
metro: Sant Pau Dos de Maig (L5)
Sant Antoni Maria Claret 167

When?

times vary

How much?

13 euros for adults
9.10 euros reduced price

Why?

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.

hospital de sant pau facade and courtyard

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.)

hospital de sant pau, corridor and stained glass window

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.

hospital de sant pau

Useful information

Price

  • 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. 

Times

  • 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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About the author

Pauline

Pauline loves books, food and new discoveries. For her articles, she loves finding original and authentic places which are a treat for both the eyes and the tastebuds. Her favourite thing to do in Barcelona? Getting lost in the Old Town and soaking up its unique atmosphere... whilst enjoying the appetising smells emerging from restaurant kitchens! Is there anything better than that?