If there is a building that we have a special relationship with, and what we consider to be one of the essential places to visit in Barcelona, it’s the Hospital de Sant Pau, a modernist building designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner during the first decades of the 20th century. This jewel of modernist architecture, which was declared to be UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, is found at the end of Avenida Gaudí, a pedestrian avenue that connects the hospital with probably most famous modernist building in the world, Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia. Just as Gaudí’s famous church, the Hospital Sant Pau is a a place that you have to see in Barcelona, if someone wants to get to know the modernist heritage of the city.
And then where does this special relationship come from? There are several reasons, the first is that when we came to live in Barcelona a decade ago, the modernist building complex was still a working hospital, and when we first walked around the hospital pavilions, we saw hospital patients everywhere. Later, in 2009 the construction of the new buildings of Hospital de Sant Pau just next to the modenist complex was finished, and the original modernist complex has been slowly transformed to a museum. One doesn’t have the chance to witness such transformation very often. The other, probably more important reason is that we have lived for two years now in the neighborhood “El Guinardó” whose symbol is this majestic building complex. Our metro stop is called Guinardó-Hospital de Sant Pau and the hospital is the major point of reference for us in the neighborhood. Either we walk on the street over or the one below the hospital, we still keep on looking at the buildings with amazement, and we can never get bored of the views of them.
VISITING HOSPITAL DE SAN PAU
Now, let’s visit together the probably most beautiful hospital you will have ever seen.
The Hospital de Sant Pau consists of 12 pavilions, from which 6 were open to the public at the time of our visit.
The first pavilion to be visited is the Pavilion of Administration, where we immediately get surprised by the colors that predominate the interior of this and any other pavilions.
After visiting the first pavilion, the area opens like a half circle, and on the right side you find the pavilions that were originally used by men and on the left those used by women patients. To distinguish them at the entrance of each pavilion there’s a sculpture of a male or female saint.
Although the pavilions seem to be completely independent from each other, they are all connected via underground tunnels, hence it was possible to move the patients between the pavilions without the necessity of going outside. On the other hand the “plaza”, a small square between the pavilions was created as a kind of garden, which served as perfect ambience for the recovery of patients in tranquillity.
Once we enter the hospital complex, the rich decoration of all the pavilions will definitely call our attention, but what always amazes us the most are the colorful roofs, which you can hardly find in any other hospital around the world.
We also have to mention the beautiful mosaics on the exterior walls.
USEFUL INFORMATION ABOUT THE HOSPITAL DE SANT PAU
Where is the Hospital de Sant Pau located?
The hospital is found in the “El Guinardó” neighborhood of Barcelona, the main entrance is located on the corner of Sant Antoni Maria Claret and Cartagena streets, and also “Avenida Gaudí”.
How to get to Hospital de Sant Pau?
The closest metro stop is Sant Pau-Dos de Maig of the blue (L5) metro line,
nevertheless, the most pleasant form of visiting the hospital is walking all the way from the Sagrada Familia following the beautiful “Avenida Gaudí” that connects the famous church with the modernist hopsital.
What to do in the Hospital de Sant Pau?
The complex of the hospital is a museum, which can be visited during the whole year. The pavilions also host differents temporary exhbitions.
November – March
- Monday to Saturday 10.00 -16.30
- Sunday and holidays 10.00 – 14.30
April – October
- Monday to Saturday 10.00 -18.30
- Sunday and holidays 10.00 – 14.30
The Hospital de San Pau is one of the places that you must visit in Barcelona, we are sure that our post convinced you about that.
Useful tools to organize your trip
– ZZZ… BOOK YOUR HOTEL IN BARCELONA – find the best hotel for you.
– BRUM BRUM… RENT A CHEAP CAR FOR YOUR TRIP TO BARCELONA – find the best car for you.
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