Fodor's Expert Review Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau

Eixample Hospital–Sight Fodor's Choice
Recinte Modernista de Sant Pau, Barcelona, Spain

Among the more recent tourist attractions in Barcelona, the Recinte Modernista (Modernist Complex) is set in what was surely one of the most beautiful public projects in the world: the Hospital de Sant Pau. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the complex is extraordinary in its setting and style. The story behind it as fascinating as the site itself: architect Lluis Domènech i Montaner believed that trees, flowers, and fresh air were likely to help people recover from what ailed them more than anything doctors could do in emotionally sterile surroundings. The hospital wards were set among gardens, their brick facades topped with polychrome ceramic tile roofs in extravagant shapes and details. Domènech also believed in the therapeutic properties of form and color, and decorated the hospital with Pau Gargallo sculptures and colorful mosaics, replete with motifs of hope and healing and healthy growth. Begun in 1900, this monumental production won Domènech i Montaner his third Barcelona "Best... READ MORE

Among the more recent tourist attractions in Barcelona, the Recinte Modernista (Modernist Complex) is set in what was surely one of the most beautiful public projects in the world: the Hospital de Sant Pau. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the complex is extraordinary in its setting and style. The story behind it as fascinating as the site itself: architect Lluis Domènech i Montaner believed that trees, flowers, and fresh air were likely to help people recover from what ailed them more than anything doctors could do in emotionally sterile surroundings. The hospital wards were set among gardens, their brick facades topped with polychrome ceramic tile roofs in extravagant shapes and details. Domènech also believed in the therapeutic properties of form and color, and decorated the hospital with Pau Gargallo sculptures and colorful mosaics, replete with motifs of hope and healing and healthy growth. Begun in 1900, this monumental production won Domènech i Montaner his third Barcelona "Best Building" award in 1912. (His previous two prizes were for the Palau de la Música Catalana and Casa Lleó Morera.)

No longer a functioning hospital (the new Sant Pau—comparatively soulless but fully functional and state-of-the-art—is uphill from the complex), many of the buildings have been taken over for other purposes. The Sant Manuel Pavillion, for example, now houses the Casa Àsia, a comprehensive resource for cultural and business-related research on all the countries of Asia, with library holdings of books, films, and music from each of them. Guided tours are offered in English daily at 10:30.

READ LESS
Hospital–Sight Library/Archive Building/Architectural Site Historical Fodor's Choice

Quick Facts

Carrer Sant Antoni Maria Claret 167
Barcelona, Catalonia  08025, Spain

93-553–7801

www.santpaubarcelona.org/en

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: From €14; free 1st Sun. of month

What’s Nearby