Art Nouveau Site of Sant Pau
Recinte Modernista Sant Pau

In early March 2014, Barcelona opens the Art Nouveau Site of Sant Pau, the old Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, converting its installations in the the Europe's largest Art Nouveau Site.

Main facade of the old Sant Pau Hospital, Barcelona

History of the Sant Pau Hospital

Belfry of the Administration Pavilion from Lluis Domenec i Montaner

The origins of the Sant Pau Hospital, dating back to 1401, when the Council of One Hundred (Concell de Cent), the former government of Barcelona, ​​decided to build the Hospital de la Santa Creu merging six hospitals in the city. The construction of this hospital took place in the Raval neighborhood, in Ciutat Vella, Barcelona's old town.

In 1902, the contributions of the City of Barcelona and the legacy of the banker Pau Gil i Serra who died in Paris, make possible the construction of a new hospital in order to attend to the healthcare demands of the city of Barcelona. This hospital project was initially established in the testament of Pau Gil which included among other guidelines, technological, architectural and health aspects of what should be the new hospital. Among other guidelines, the banker establishes in his will that the new hospital should bear his name.

This starts at the beginning of the century, a hospital project commissioned to the Art Nouveau architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner (which would continue after his death his son, Pere Domènech i Roura), the construction of the new hospital, which will be called the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau (the Hospital of the Holy Cross and Saint Paul), which was officially inaugurated in 1930, leaving its old location in the old town of the city to the headquarters of the Library of Catalonia.

Pau Gil i Serra sculpture at the Art Nouveau Site of Sant Pau, Barcelona

The Art Nouveau Site

With the construction in 2003 and opening in 2009 of the new installations of the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, more suited to the current healthcare model, the old Art Nouveau complex is vacated and passes to be restored through EU funding (in March 2014 are 6 of the 12 Art Nouveau pavilions restored), and becomes the most important Art Nouveau complex of Europe, whose architectural and cultural value acquired an international dimension. In 1978 UNESCO cataloged it as a Historic Artistic Monument and declared it World Heritage in 1997 due to its artistic beauty and construction singularity.

Inside of the old Sant Pau Hospital in Barcelona

The rehabilitation of the buildings has been driven by the recovery of the spaces originally designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner, the conversion of the pavilions in functional spaces and energy sustainability.

The Art Nouveau Site of Sant Pau, becomes a must for every lover of Art Nouveau architecture that visit Barcelona. The initial project covers an equivalent of 9 blocks of l'Eixample with modernist pavilions distributed diagonally relative to the blocks of the Eixample district, which has become a center of knowledge with the location of institutions and agencies of international health oriented, education and sustainability.

Courtyard at the Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site, Barcelona

Visiting the Art Nouveau Site of Sant Pau

The old hospital of Sant Pau can be visited in a guided tour form or as free visit. The tour features different timetables with guides in different languages. There are at your disposal two articles in HappyBarcelona through which you can get an idea of ​​what you will find if you visit this monumental Art Nouveau Site that was the old Sant Pau Hospital.

Pavilions of the old Sant Pau Hospital

In the first one, a presentation about inside the pavilions of the modernist site is made and the latter presents you a short tour of the exteriors and the facades of the old Art Nouveau Hospital of Sant Pau now restored.

If you are interested in visiting the site, we recommend you have a look at their official website where you will get information on schedules and prices. The Art Nouveau Site of Sant Pau and the old Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, will undoubtedly fascinate you if you are an Art Nouveau architecture lover, and since its restoration, it becomes a must for those who want to visit Barcelona.

Inside view of the Administration Pavilion in the old Hospital of Sant Pau designed by Lluis Domenec i Montaner

It is one of the main tourist areas of l'Eixample, and in the surrounding area you will find many bars, restaurants and tourist-oriented shops.

Photosphere of the Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site

How to get to Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site

The subway station of line 5 which is called Sant Pau / Dos de Maig is the one that is closest to the main door. Although the metro line 4 has another station named Guinardó Hospital de Sant Pau. The latter is on the other side of the diagonally that crosses the hospital, you will need to walk a bit to reach the front door if you opt for this second one, that leaves near the new modern hospital.

The Sagrada Familia is about 400 meters walking down the Avinguda Gaudí, which also have the metro station named as the masterpiece of Antoni Gaudí, also line 5.


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