Hospital Sant Pau / Barcelona / Gaudi

Old Sep 8th, 2011, 09:38 AM
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Hospital Sant Pau / Barcelona / Gaudi

We have visited Barcelona several times over the last few years and have seen / toured alot of Gaudi works. We will be there again for two days and are thinking about going to the Hospital Sant Pau - it seems it is currently? being renovated to be used as a museum / cultural center? Any opinions as to whether it is worth going to see just from the outside? and is the neighborhood where it is located a pleasant (residental) area where it would be nice to wander around and maybe find a bite for lunch? THNAKS! PS - I hope I get an answer to this so I don't have to bring in the pickpockets!
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Old Sep 8th, 2011, 09:44 AM
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I thought that is was a working hospital, and it is such a large compound that I can't imagine that it would be abandoned as a hospital. But even when it was a hospital, only one building was really accessible to the non-patients. If it is not, walking outside might still be worthwhile:
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Old Sep 8th, 2011, 09:58 AM
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I took a tour this past March. Much of the hospital is under renovation, so the tour covers only a fraction of the whole. It is certainly worth viewing the quite fabulous exterior, and it is an easy walk from Sagrada Familia, and a nice walk even from the Placa Catalunya. I was glad that I took the tour but due to the current limitations, I would not advise that for anyone with limited time in the city. I believe the tour took two hours; you can now tour the connecting tunnels, which we did not do.

"The starting point of the tours is the Information Centre of the Modernisme Route, next to the entrance to the Sant Jordi Pavilion – enter via Carrer Sant Antoni M. Claret, opposite Carrer Dos de Maig – where you can enjoy a free screening of the film “Modernisme and Society” (15 min).

Visitors will be advised before each tour if the itinerary is affected by any changes or the closure of any spaces because of pavilion availability or renovation work.

Times of the tours:

Every day of the year (except 1/1, 6/1, 25/12 and 26/12).

10am: English

10.30am: French

11am: English

11.30am: Spanish

12pm: English

12.30pm: Catalan

1pm: English

Possibility of arranging group tours in the morning or afternoon: [email protected]"

I did not see any bands of roving pickpockets, but perhaps they were preying on the patients inside the hospital.
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Old Sep 8th, 2011, 10:09 AM
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ekscrunchy - wow! home run! I had been puttering around the internet / website of the hospital for about 20 minutes without hitting this info.

Now if I can just take the metro up there without getting hit on by the pickpockets!
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Old Sep 8th, 2011, 12:11 PM
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suec1, I also took the guided tour when I was in Barcelona 2 years ago. Even then, there was restoration going on. Majority of the modernisme buildings have not been used for patient care for years; they are all cared for in the new buildings. Here's the website from Hospital Sant Pau regarding guided tours:

Here's what I wrote in my TR from 2009:

Tour #1 - Hospital de Sant Pau
English tour @ 10:15am & 12:15pm daily. Fee: €4,50; 50% off with RdM voucher

I was the only person who showed up for the 10:15am tour. The guide was EXCELLENT - very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. I actually did visit Hospital de Sant Pau last year but I didn't take a tour. I love this place so much that I just HAVE to revisit again.

The architect for Hospital de Sant Pau was Domènech i Montaner. He also designed Palau de la Musica Catalana. These 2 buildings together are designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The hospital was known as Holy Cross hospital; the name Saint Paul was added when the current "new" complex was begun in 1905. The hospital benefactor was a man named Pau Gil - he donated $$$$$ for the building of the new hospital, so the "Saint Paul" part was added to the hospital's name.
You can see the main building and a sculpture of Pau Gil in the foreground:
Close-up of the hospital crest (L is Holy Cross; R is flag of Catalonia)

Apart from having the hospital named after him (or the saint that bore the same name), there's dedication to Pau Gil everywhere you look. There are 4 main symbols used among the decorations:
a cross (for Holy Cross)
vertical stripes (for Catalonian flag)
G (for Gil)
P (for Pau)

The big entry building is the administrative building. The entrance atrium is decorated with ceramic tiles and flowery sculpture elements

On the guided tour, I was allowed to visit the conference room on the first floor (US 2nd) of the admin building. It is not open to the public otherwise. From the conference room, one gets a nice view of the hospital complex, esp the surgery pavilion

Decoration inside the conference room is similar to the Palau de la Musica, but less over-the-top:

The rest of the hospital campus is made up of individual pavilions, each for a different type of illnesses. The campus is also divided into men & women pavilions; they are mirror image of one another. While the pavilions are separate (to avoid transmission of diseases), they are linked by passageways underground.

The hospital complex ceased to function as a real hospital this year. A brand new hospital was built in 2003 and the services have been gradually moved to the new hospital - located just behind this campus. The buildings are all undergoing restoration at this time, expected to complete in 2018. The future use of the buildings in unclear at this time; but it'll be dedicated to culture.

IMHO, the Hospital de Sant Pau is a must-see sight in Barcelona.

Here's the link to my full TR if you're interested:

The main street that links btw Hospital Sant Pau & Sagrada Familia (forgot the name, but it's the diagonal one) is lined with restaurants. I ate at a Turkish one on my trip in 2008; it was a menu del dia that was fairly affordable.
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