Just a short stroll away from Gaudí’s emblematic Sagrada Familia, the Hospital de la Santa Creu i de Sant Pau is one of the most spectacular examples of Catalan modernism in Barcelona. A must for all architecture lovers.
Only in Barcelona could so much passion and artistic prowess be poured into the creation of a hospital. There’s nothing sterile or clinical about this leafy garden city.
As I wandered through the pretty pavilions, exploring the intricate mosaics and stained-glass windows, it occurred to me that it felt more like an opera house than a place for the infirm.
This extraordinary hospital was designed by Catalan starchitect Lluís Domènech i Montaner (often referred to as “the other Gaudí”), who believed patients would recover more quickly in a beautiful setting.
He wanted to create a space where patients could heal their souls as well as their bodies. I think it’s safe to say he succeeded.
Hospital Sant Pau opened in 1930 and, surprisingly, functioned as a working hospital until 2009.
Today however it has been transformed into a museum and cultural centre called the Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site (because it’s not actually a hospital anymore), and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If you’re interested in exploring Barcelona’s renowned modernist architecture, this should definitely be on your list.
Make it Happen
I would suggest pairing this with your visit to the nearby Sagrada Familia. Simply stroll up the cafe-lined boulevard of Avenida de Gaudí directly from La Sagrada Familia and you’ll arrive at the hospital in 10 minutes or so (unless you get sidetracked by vino and tapas en route!).
Address: Carrer Sant Antoni Maria Claret, 167
Nearest Metro: Sant Pau | Dos de Maig (Blue Line)
More Essential Architectural Marvels in Barcelona
Casa Batlló – Guide Coming Soon
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