Things to do in Barcelona – Visit the Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site

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One of the many historical sights in Barcelona is the Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site located in the Eixample neighborhood. This unique complex, a bequest to the city upon the death of a wealthy Catalan banker, served as the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau for close to 80 years (it was replaced in 2009 by a modern medical facility located next door.) Today, the site – listed jointly with the Palau de la Música Catalana as a UNESCO World Heritage Site – serves as one of the lesser known tourist attractions, as well as home to various international organizations.

Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site Barcelona

Designed by architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, this unique ‘city within a city’ is reportedly the largest Art Nouveau (Moderniste) site in the world.

Citrus Trees Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site Barcelona

The complex consists of tree-lined pedestrian streets, herbal gardens, a series of underground tunnels, and 27 pavilions (several of which are beautifully tiled and decorated with statues and ornate masonry.)

Stairs to Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site Barcelona

Your tour of the Sant Pau Complex allows access to the tunnels and several of the pavilions. Some of what you’ll see includes:

Columns Hypostyle Room Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site Barcelona

Hypostyle Hall – providing access to the tunnel system, this chamber features stout columns and ceramic-tiled vaulted ceilings. 

Tunnel Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site Barcelona

The Tunnels – a system of underground passages connecting the various pavilions; video projections on the white tiled walls show how the tunnels were used by hospital staff and patients.

Administration Building Exterior Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site Barcelona

Administration Building – the former Main Hall, this building, which serves as the main entrance to the complex,

Hallway in Administration Building Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site Barcelona

features vaulted ceilings impressively decorated with stone carvings and reliefs, stained glass, and colorful tiles and mosaics (notice the years 1905 and 1910 denoting the years of construction). The exterior of the building is adorned with statues depicting significant figures in the history of the hospital and Barcelona, including Isabel and Count Ramon Berenguer I, Saint Margaret, and Saint Eulàlia, patron saint of Barcelona.

Painting by Aleix Clapes Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site Barcelona

Lluís Domènech i Montaner Room – located in the Administration Building, this impressive chamber is decorated with large stained glass windows, ceramic tiles, mosaics, sculptures, stone balusters in the shape of Gothic letters, and a painting by Moderniste artist Aleix Clapés  depicting the transfer of the remains of Saint Eulàlia.

Paul Gil Room Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site Barcelona

Pau Gil Room – this room, also located in the Administration Building, features ornate columns and colorful ceramic-tiled vaulted ceilings.

Sant Jordi Pavilion – this small pavilion adjacent to the Administration building, served as the hospital’s examination and observation ward; the tiled walls aided with disinfection efforts.  The pavilion is now used for exhibitions.

Sant Rafael Pavilion Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site Barcelona

Sant Rafael Pavilion – the exterior of this pavilion, formerly the trauma ward, features a tiled dome and tower;

Interior Sant Rafael Pavilion Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site Barcelona

the un-renovated interior is decorated with mosaics on the ceiling and walls (here, too, are the initials of the ward’s benefactor, Rafael Rabell). This pavilion now houses temporary cultural exhibits.

Operations Pavilion Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site Barcelona

Operating Room Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site Barcelona

Operations Pavilion – this building located on the central street served as the surgical ward and features circular rooms with glazed walls and ceilings, which provided natural lighting during surgeries.

Sign Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site Barcelona

In addition to providing cultural exhibitions and information on the history and architecture of the hospital, the Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site serves as a Knowledge Center and provides offices for such organizations as the World Health Organization’s Office for Health Systems Strengthening (Mercè Pavilion), the United Nations University’s Institute on Globalization, Culture and Mobility (Sant Manuel Pavilion), and the European Forest Institute (Sant Leopold Pavilion).

Getting there:

The Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site is located at C. Sant Antoni Maria Claret, 167. Get there by Metro (L5: Sant Pau/Dos de Maig). 

Ticket Info:

Adult Admission =  13.00€; with guided tour = 19.00€ 

Child/Young Adult Admission (ages 12 – 29) = 9.10€; with guided tour = 13.30€

Child Admission (ages 11 & under) = Free

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  1. By Things to do in Barcelona see the Sant Pau Art ... 23 Feb ’17 at 7:03 pm

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