Hospital de Sant Pau


Antoni Gaudi isn’t the only famous Barcelona modernist architect. Another one is Lluís Domènech i Montaner. I was introduced to some of his spectacular buildings during a walking tour of Barcelona. The walk did not comprise Hospital de Sant Pau, but I had the opportunity to wander about the grounds of this hospital during another visit in the Catalan capital.

Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona

Hospital de Sant Pau and another Doménech i Montaner classic, Palau de la Música Catalana, together form one of Barcelona’s World Heritage sites. According to UNESCO, these two buildings are

masterpieces of the imaginative and exuberant Art Nouveau that flowered in early 20th century Barcelona.

For the Hospital de Sant Pau, UNESCO goes on to say:

The Hospital de Sant Pau is equally bold in its design and decoration, while at the same time perfectly adapted to the needs of the sick.

Who says functional buildings can’t be beautiful… In fact, if you’re sick, might it not be restorative even? Lying in a hospital bed can be boring at the best of times; being surrounded with an environment that pleases the eye and challenges the mind can surely help healing, don’t you think?


The hospital was built at a time when city health became an issue. Here at Hospital de Sant Pau, Doménech i Montaner designed separate pavilions connected by underground passages. It was a fully functioning hospital up until 5 years ago. Today, it serves as headquarters of various international organisations, including the United Nations University Institute on Globalisation, Culture and Mobility.

Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona

Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona


Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona

Do have a look at Hospital de Sant Pau when you’re in town. It’s easily accessible, just a few hundred metres from La Sagrada Familia, and well worth the effort with all its fantastical structures, quirky corners, sculptures, mosaics, stained glass windows and heaps of curious details. And there are cats. Lots of cats.

Cat - Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona



unesco logo

Hospital de Sant Pau is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site Palau de la Música Catalana and Hospital de Sant Pau, Barcelona.
Here are more UNESCO World Heritage sites around the world.


20 Responses to “Hospital de Sant Pau”

  1. Gil 9 May 2014 0929 #

    Liked it.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 25 May 2014 2259 #


  2. Leigh 9 May 2014 1647 #

    I have heard that seeing trees and plants speeds up your recovery in a hospital so would have to think that the same thing holds true for art.

    Thanks for the introduction to this artist.
    Leigh recently posted..5 Things you Probably Didn’t Know About Leipzig, Germany

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 25 May 2014 2300 #

      So many interesting architects of that era in Catalunya.

  3. Mette 10 May 2014 1043 #

    I love fabulating buildings with lots of swirls and turrets and built-in imagination.
    Mette recently posted..Pansotti pasta recipe

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 25 May 2014 2300 #

      Me too.

  4. Jim_Luc 11 May 2014 0529 #

    Liked it too and love the cat :))
    Jim_Luc recently posted..Who built Puma Punku in one night?

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 25 May 2014 2302 #

      I liked the cats, too. They kept me there for ages :)

  5. Uma 11 May 2014 0857 #

    Even the institutional buildings are beautiful in Spain!
    Uma recently posted..Discover Sydney’s Countryside: Top Things To Do In Hunter Valley, NSW

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 25 May 2014 2303 #


  6. Sand In My Suitcase 11 May 2014 1559 #

    Well, if one happened to get sick in Barcelona a few years back, the Hospital de Sant Pau was probably as good a place as any to be. Who says hospitals have to be boring, bland and cookie-cutter!
    Sand In My Suitcase recently posted..Antarctica: Rhapsody in blue ice

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 25 May 2014 2303 #

      I think I’d like my hospital to be unusual and quirky like this one.

  7. Freya 11 May 2014 2006 #

    Lovely architecture, I definitely will have a look at this fascinating hospital next time I’m in Barcelona.
    Freya recently posted..Luxury Mount Everest Base Camp Trek

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 25 May 2014 2304 #

      Definitely worth a visit.

  8. Muza-chan 12 May 2014 0816 #

    Interesting building :)
    Muza-chan recently posted..Kyoto Chion-in night view

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 25 May 2014 2305 #

      Isn’t it…

  9. What a beautiful building! Everything about it is spectacular! I loved the photos and all of the information you provided! Thanks for sharing. :-)

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 25 May 2014 2305 #

      Happy to :)

  10. David 17 May 2014 1536 #

    Heading to Barcelona later this year so will follow your advice and look up Hospital de Sant Pau
    David recently posted..Cheap Restaurants in Venice

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 25 May 2014 2306 #

      Glad to be of use :)

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