Discover Barcelona’s Modernista Hospital de Sant Pau ~ A Salubrious Guide

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. 

Hospital San Pau in Barcelona - by Ben Holbrook from DriftwoodJournals.com-1

Words & photos by your hospital hopping guide, Ben Holbrook.

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.

Hospital San Pau in Barcelona - by Ben Holbrook from DriftwoodJournals.com-9

Hospital San Pau in Barcelona - by Ben Holbrook from DriftwoodJournals.com-9

Hospital San Pau in Barcelona - by Ben Holbrook from DriftwoodJournals.com-9This 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 San Pau in Barcelona - by Ben Holbrook from DriftwoodJournals.com-9

Hospital San Pau in Barcelona - by Ben Holbrook from DriftwoodJournals.com-9

Hospital San Pau in Barcelona - by Ben Holbrook from DriftwoodJournals.com-9Hospital 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.

Hospital San Pau in Barcelona - by Ben Holbrook from DriftwoodJournals.com-9

Hospital San Pau in Barcelona - by Ben Holbrook from DriftwoodJournals.com-9

Hospital San Pau in Barcelona - by Ben Holbrook from DriftwoodJournals.com-9If 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!).

Get your tickets here from €14. If you have time then I’d also recommend doing a guided tour (€22). 

Address: Carrer Sant Antoni Maria Claret, 167
Nearest Metro: Sant Pau | Dos de Maig (Blue Line)


More Essential Architectural Marvels in Barcelona

Discover Casa Vicens (Barcelona) ~ Gaudí’s First Ever House Design

La Sagrada Familia ~ Skip the Line, Do it Right

Casa Batlló – Guide Coming Soon

Rooftop Jazz Nights at Casa Milá (aka La Pedrera) 

FLC’s Barcelona Architecture Tour: Exploring Barcelona’s Lesser-known Architectural Marvels

Exploring Barcelona’s La Modelo Prison ~ Political Oppression & 1,000 Executions

Visit The Torre Glòries Building ~ Barcelona’s Psychedelic Disco Gherkin

Visit The Montjuïc Communications Tower ~ Olympic Barcelona

1 Comment

  • Bea says:

    Hola Ben!
    Soy Bea del local indigenas ;
    Hoy hemos visto que salimos en la mini guide de noviembre y te escribimos para agradecerte enormemente tus palabras.
    Nos has emocionado y realmente nos alegramos muchísimo de tu mención porque nos hace tener aún más fuerza y seguir creyendo en nuestro producto.
    Esperamos verte y conocerte en indigenas!
    Un abrazo

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