Sant Pau Art Noeveau Site Blog

Author: Michael Bartkiewicz

Hola, my name is Michael Bartkiewicz and I am an intern at Stay U-nique. I find Barcelona fascinating and I love blogging about various things that are going on here such as food, drinks, events and beyond!

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What is the Sant Pau Art Noeveau Site?

The Sant Pau Art Noeveau site is the definition of one of those places that really blow your mind. Quite literally, the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau is a ‘city within the city’. Built between 1902 and 1930. It is a masterpiece of Catalan Modernisme. Something that may sound confusing at first, but you learn what it actually means during the tour!  The Art Nouveau Site is one of Catalonia’s most valuable cultural and artistic treasures. It was declared to a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997. After serving as a hospital for a century the site was re-opened in 2014. The main objectives of the refurbishment were to restore the original constructions designed by Domench i Montaner. As well as, transform the pavilion into functional work space with the application of energy saving and sustainability parameters.



Marta the tour guide

Catalan Architecture

Next, our tour guide Marta took us inside what seemed to be one entrance building. As we remerged from the tunnels we surrounded by a completely new environment. When built, the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau was to be at the forefront of modern medicine of the day. Which at that time involved medicine such as chromotherapy. The latter being a method of balancing a person’s “energy” whether physical, mental, emotional or spiritual using light and colour. That explains the array of colours present in the Sant Pau Art Noeveau site. Just walking round the site lifts one’s spirit up.

Orange trees of Sant Pau Art Noveau

Photo credit: @michaelbartkiewicz

 City within a city

Great planning went into the the creation of Sant Pau Art Noveau. The feel is one of a ‘garden city’, with oranges trees and greenery doted around. The most intriguing of all is the symbolism behind every building, with the sun being the key factor in the design. This is because Catalan modernista then rejected the new phenomenon of electricity and built everything in occurrence to the natural order. Additionally, symmetry is the sites common denominator. As well as that, pretty much the whole site is hand-crafted. From the stone work to the windows. This is to highlight that only imperfection can be truly beautiful, and also to reflect the imperfection inside of us.



Visual feast

The architects aim was to create a cheerful, optimistic atmosphere, a place of healing. Today few of the original trees survive. Bays, lavender, rosemary, lemon verbena and other medical plats grow in the parterres. Above all, you get some amazing glass work that is truly breath-taking.  Furthermore, the use of the various patterns and energetic colours has more connotation than purely decorative. The purpose of this is to maintain the sole aim of regeneration, healing, positive over negative and life over death.

#SantPauBCN Photo credit: @michaelbartkiewicz







The visit

if you like sound of visiting Sant Pau, here are the key details:

Sant Pau Recinte Modernista

Sant Antoni M. Claret, 167
08025 Barcelona
How to get there
L5 Sant Pau / Dos de Maig
H8, 19, 20, 45, 47, 50, 51, 92, 117, 192

Are you planning a holiday to Barcelona and feel like a tour of the Gothic Quarter is for you? Check out our apartments at Rambla CatalunyaSagrada Familia and Barcelona226.

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