What to visit / Interesting districts / Eixample / Sagrada Família neighbourhood / Sant Pau Recinte Modernista
  • Sant Pau Recinte Modernista

  • Sant Pau Recinte Modernista

Sant Pau Recinte Modernista

The Modernista Sant Pau Complex was built between 1905 and 1930 and designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner as a garden city for nursing the sick. After being used as a public hospital for a century, its newly refurbished pavilions shine again in all their splendour. A visit to this exceptional architectural ensemble is a unique experience.

By the late 19th century, the old Hospital de la Santa Creu in Barcelona's Raval neighbourhood needed to be relocated because it had become obsolete and too small. The result was an ambitious project inspired by the breakthroughs in health and hygiene at the time. It is important to remember that this institution has always been associated with charitable work, welfare and the latest discoveries in healthcare.

This is Europe's foremost art-nouveau complex and an icon among Barcelona's dazzling array of landmarks which embodies the city's innovative spirit. It was awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO in 1997 and now its architectural and artistic values have been brought to a wider audience with the new use of its pavilions. The former hospital complex is now a knowledge campus and the headquarters of international organisations including the European Forest Institute, the Casa Àsia, the Global University Network for Innovation, and the United Nations University Institute on Globalization, Culture and Mobility.

A visit to this magnificent complex allows you to delve into history, art and the present day. The exhibition space in the Sant Salvador Pavilion takes you on a journey through the history of medicine in Barcelona and one of Europe's oldest healthcare institutions. Sant Salvador Pavilion marks the start of a recommended route around the outdoor spaces of the Art Nouveau Site that reproduce the garden city model designed in the early 20th century. As you stroll, admire the building's lovely exteriors. Domes, roofs, façades, sculptures and stained-glass windows are the most outstanding elements.

You can also enter the Sant Rafael Pavilion and see its interior exactly as it was designed at the start of the 20th century. Moreover, you can take the underground tunnels communicating the various buildings and visit the most representative heritage spaces of the Administration Pavilion.

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