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Can a hospital be interesting or unique? Certainly, it may be necessary for people who are sick or need help, but the Sant Pau Recinte Modernista Hospital is a place that every tourist and architecture enthusiast should see! In the Art Nouveau part, dating from 1930, you will surely be impressed by amazing buildings, stained glass windows and tiles. If, like us, you come across ripening oranges, the experience will be even better!
The Sant Pau Recinte Modernista Hospital, or its Art Nouveau (modernist) part, is located at Carrer de Sant Antoni Maria Claret 167 (08025 Barcelona). It is an unusual complex of a former hospital inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is located in Barcelona’s Eixample district.
You can get there from La Rambla by metro (L3 and change to L5) and get off at the Sant Pau Recinte Modernista stop or take another metro line and walk a bit (e.g. L2 or L4).
Entrance tickets and opening hours
Tickets to the complex cost 15 Euros and 20 Euros for guided tours. You can also rent an audioguide for 4 Euro. They do not have Polish language, but in addition to Spanish and Catalan, you have at your disposal, for example, English, German, French or Japanese.
Sant Pau Recinte Modernista is open daily from 10.00 to 14.30, and on Saturdays and Sundays until 17.00.
This property is also included in the list of free attractions on the Barcelona Family Card. This is a very nice solution if you are going to Barcelona with your family and want to visit places that will appeal to the youngest. I will definitely write a separate text for you about visiting the city with children, but a few words about the card itself now. The card costs €70, which may seem like a lot at first glance, but it already includes the Hola Barcelona card, which gives you the option of transporting by public transport (so we already save €23).
You can buy the card online. Current information about it can be found on the website -> Barcelona Card Family
The Hospital de la Santa Creu was founded in 1401 by combining six hospitals in what was then Barcelona. Santa Creu (hospital of the Holy Cross) was located in today’s Raval district.
At the end of the 19th century, due to the rapid growth of Barcelona’s population, the hospital became too small and it was decided to build a new building. Thanks to a Catalan banker (Pau Gil), on January 15, 1902, the foundation stone for the new hospital, designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner, was laid. Pau Gil bequeathed large sums of money in his will, with the stipulation that the hospital was to be state-of-the-art in terms of technology and medicine. According to the will, he was also to bear the name of St. Paul. However, it was opened only in 1930.
This hospital is one of the best examples of Catalan Art Nouveau!
After eighty years of medical activity in the Modernista complex, in 2009 the Hospital de la Santa Creu and Sant Pau moved to a new location (north of the district), thus starting a new era for the historic pavilions that we can admire today!
In 1997, the hospital was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List!
Few interiors are open to the public. Some are under maintenance while others are still in use. The ones we can look at made a huge impression on me! The ceramic tiles that were used to finish them are sensational. They give the interior a unique style!
We enter the complex through the underground, and then, walking around the courtyard, we can look into other buildings. Underground corridors led from the first building, which was the emergency room, to the others. In one of them there is an exhibition about the hospital’s activities and a reconstructed fragment of the hospital room (last photo below). One of the buildings also shows what condition some of the buildings of Sant Pau Recinte Modernista were in before renovation.
The first object that we see just before entering the complex is the administration building, which can easily be confused with, for example, the town hall. It is tall and imposing, and the entrance to the complex is to the right of it.
As for the buildings already in the complex, there are several of them (some of the buildings are still used for medical purposes and are part of the Sant Pau Hospital.
Among the buildings that we can see from the courtyard, the following are worth mentioning: Santa Apolonia, Sant Jordi, Purissimia, Carme, Merce, Montserrat, Pavello Operacions, Sant Manuel, Sant Rafael, Sant Leopold, Sant Salvador, Sant Frederic, Santa Victoria, Esglesia, Farmacja, Convent, Cuines.
Is Sant Pau Recinte Modernista worth visiting?
After visiting Sant Pau Recinte Modernista I was very impressed! Beautiful and interesting buildings, interesting interiors and ripening oranges gave an amazing effect. I am not surprised that the building is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It’s hard to believe that it used to be an ordinary hospital, fortunately, old photos and exhibits at the exhibition remind you of this fact!