Hospital Sant Pau Barcelona the # 1 and biggest modernist compound you’ll visit in Barcelona
Hospital Sant Pau Barcelona the # 1 and biggest modernist compound you’ll visit in Barcelona

Hospital Sant Pau Barcelona the # 1 and biggest modernist compound you’ll visit in Barcelona


The history of Sant Pau (not Saint Pau as in English 😉)

Back in 1401 emerged the “Hospital de la Santa Creu” in Barcelona city center, the now known as Raval Neighborhood.  

Picture a bustling Barcelona as the 19th century draws to a close, a city caught in the throes of rapid growth and transformation. The hum of industry, the promise of progress—life was pulsating through its veins. However, amid the fervor of urban life, an old institution found itself grappling with the challenges of a burgeoning population.

Our protagonist, the quaint hospital of the bygone era, stood as a testament to the city’s past. Yet, as the number of residents seeking medical aid swelled, the limitations of this time-worn sanctuary became all too apparent. The once-reliable caretaker was now struggling to meet the demands of a city hurtling into modernity.

In the backdrop of this urban saga, the realization dawned—Barcelona needed a new haven for health. The quest for a solution wasn’t merely administrative; it was a shared aspiration, a narrative woven into the fabric of the city itself. The decision to embark on the journey of building a new hospital wasn’t just about expanding physical infrastructure; it was a friendly pact with progress, a commitment to the well-being of the community.

As blueprints unfolded and construction began, it became a story of a city in transition, treading the delicate line between preserving its roots and embracing a brighter future. The new hospital wasn’t just bricks and mortar; it was Barcelona’s ode to its people, a friendly nod to a community evolving and caring for its own. And so, the tale goes, a city dared to build not just a hospital but a bridge to its promising tomorrow.

Who funds the construction of Sant Pau?

To talk about this matter is really important to bring the name of Paul Gil Serra a successful businessman who lived a prosperous life and made his legacy to contribute to a major cause. 

This man was born in a bourgeois family, his father was also a businessman and a banker and his mother was a baroness.

Pau Gil’s fortune contained his father’s fleet and investments in Mining, Railroad, and construction businesses. He was also known as a Banker.

In 1986 Pau Gil died and 50% of the Banca Gil in Paris liquidation was destined to build a Hospital in Barcelona dedicated to assisting the less favored people. In my opinion, this is a huge act of selflessness and I admire it!

And that My Ladies and My Lords was how The Hospital Sant Pau in Barcelona was funded.

The architect of Sant Pau

Sant Pau Hospital was designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner, who is considered the father of Catalonian Modernism.

Son of a high middle-class family, Domènech i Montaner studied Science in Barcelona city and after that he preferred architecture, so he went for it.

When he finished his studies he traveled through Europe mainly and afterward he returned to Catalonia where he started his professional career in 1875.

His magnificent architectural production goes from “Casa Lleó Morera”, “Casa Fuster” or “Palau de la Música Catalana” to his unfinished work: “El Recinto Modernista de Sant Pau”.

Fun Fact: He was a teacher of Antoni Gaudi, Josep Puig i Cadafalch and Josep Maria Jujol the stones of Barcelona architecture.

Back to Sant Pau…

The first stone was set in January of 1902, but the work wasn’t finished until 1930. With more than 80 years of sanitary assistance, the hospital was moved to the upper part in a bigger and modern facility, leaving the old part as an architectural jewel to be visited by all of us!

When considering a visit to Barcelona, Sant Pau Hospital promises a truly distinctive experience, as it stands as a remarkably enchanting and beautiful destination worth exploring.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little piece of history as much as I did writing it for you.

See you in my next post!

Bye Bye!

In case you need to know where is it 😉


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