According to naturegnosis, the two buildings are among the most fascinating Art Nouveau buildings in Barcelona. The Palace for Catalan Music, Barcelona’s most important concert hall, was built between 1905 and 1908 by Domènech i Montaner. The clinic complex, inaugurated in 1930 and donated by the Catalan banker Pau Gil, was designed by the same architect.
Buildings in Barcelona: facts
|Official title:||Palace of Catalan Music and Hospital of Sant Pau in Barcelona|
|Cultural monument:||Music Palace launched as the seat of Orfeê Catalá, founded by Lluís Millet and Amadeu Vives; in the music palace a sea of colors made of mosaics by Luís Brui Salellas – so the allegory of the music on the back wall of the concert hall – as well as sculptural decorations by Eusebi Arnau i Mascort and the stained glass windows by Antoni Rigalt i Blanch in the concert hall; Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau and others with the grand staircase of the main hall of the administration pavilion and the vaulted glazing there by Antoni Rigalt i Blanch as well as with the three-aisled hall (Sala d’Actes)|
|Meaning:||the outstanding designs of the Catalan Art Nouveau architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner|
Buildings in Barcelona: history
|1850-1923||Architect, historian and politician Lluís Domènech i Montaner|
|1891||Orfeê Català is founded|
|1900-11||First construction phase of the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau including gardens|
|1900||Lluís Domènech i Montaner Director of the School of Architecture|
|1901||Lluís Domènech i Montaner Member of the Cortes (Parliament)|
|1905-08||Construction of the Palau de la Música Catalana|
|1909||Completion of the administration pavilion of the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau|
|1928-30 and 1936-60||Further construction at the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau|
|2009||Closure of the hospital after the completion of a new building; the historic building now houses the Catalan National Library, a public library, an art center and various institutes|
A palace for the sick…
Such is the impression made by the visitor entering the entrance hall of the hospital. Especially when he leans his head back. Then his eyes wander up to the pink domed world and stick to a glass chandelier that hangs down from the colored heights and does honor to any pompous theater. The building was never a theater, but one of the most beautiful hospitals in the world.
The fact that some things in the former building of the municipal Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, which was replaced by a new building in 2009, were different than in conventional clinics, was due to the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner: He designed the hospital as a total art with a new blaze of colors instead of bright sterility and created the hospital complex with the main building and 48 pavilions as an avant-garde gem. Like the Catalan Art Nouveau architect Antoni Gaudí, Domènech i Montaner made a name for himself with his architecture as a counterpoint to the historicizing styles of the 19th century. In cosmopolitan Barcelona, architecture of this kind found particularly fertile breeding ground, also and precisely because it was quite colorful. As construction manager, Domènech i Montaner had the interior and exterior of the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau decorated with an abundance of decorations. For decades, nurses, nurses and doctors have been anesthetized, operated on and bandaged here in a backdrop of brick buildings with decorative inlays and mosaics, of pavilions with ornate turrets and tiled domes in blue and yellow, green and orange. From birth to death, life in the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau had a healthy complexion – the maternity ward and the pathology department were equally brightly decorated. of pavilions with ornate turrets and tiled domes in blue and yellow, green and orange. From birth to death, life in the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau had a healthy complexion – the maternity ward and the pathology department were equally brightly decorated. of pavilions with ornate turrets and tiled domes in blue and yellow, green and orange. From birth to death, life in the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau had a healthy complexion – the maternity ward and the pathology department were equally brightly decorated.
Now a change of scene: the outskirts of the old town and dark alleys with ramshackle facades, suddenly a monumental polychrome shell emerges. This is Domènech i Montaner’s second architectural feat, the Palau de la Música Catalana, the Catalan music palace. Mosaics, graceful arcades, columns full of broken ceramics and the sculptural group “The Popular Catalan Song” designed by Miquel Blay and towered over by St. George are the overture. Behind the architecturally harmonious facade is the concert hall, immersed in a sea of colors from stained glass windows, with rich ornamentation and floating lightness – an intoxicating experience for the senses. Up to 2200 visitors per performance and half a million per year regularly take a seat in the concert hall in order to listen to melodies from classical, rock or jazz, depending on their taste. The acoustics are considered perfect, the list of those who performed here reads like a “who’s who” in music history, from Herbert von Karajan to Daniel Barenboim, from Plácido Domingo to Montserrat Caballé. In 1983 and 2004 the building was expanded and modernized, the magnificent organ was also subjected to a general modernization and can be heard again in full splendor.
Through the flood of orange-blue-yellow glass elements of the inverted dome, a twenty-hundredweight work by Antoni Rigalt i Blanch, the light drips down onto both the artist and the audience. On both sides of the Catalan coat of arms mosaic, colored female figures peek out from the semicircle of the stage, like divine beings, who play all sorts of melodies on the lyre, violin, flute, bagpipes and lute that seem close to hear. Wagner’s Valkyries fly overhead in their stony plasticity and stand – together with Beethoven’s bust – as a symbol of the universal opening of the Palau. The tree on the other side has grown up as a symbol of the deeply rooted Catalan musical tradition. And everywhere, nature seems to be flourishing: on capitals and mosaic-decorated pillars facing the street, as a floral pile and garlands on glass window motifs or as inflorescences made of stylized roses that stretch across the ceiling of the concert hall in a relief-like manner. It is hard to believe that there is life in these open, reddish-green plants. However, it does not sprout, but has been sprouting since the renovation in the post-era Domènech i Montaners: the air conditioning in fine strands, elegantly resolved and invisible.