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 Raval Neighborhood.
By the end of the XIX century, the demographic growth was massive so this Hospital couldn´t serve its purpose, because it was already too small for the number of people who needed medical assistance. Because of this fact, the need of building a new hospital was a major fact at that time.
Who funds this construction?
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 business. He was also known as a Banker.
In 1986 Pau Gil dies 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.
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 the 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 from Antoni Gaudi, Josep Puig i Cadafalch and Josep Maria Jujol.
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 for all of us!
If you are planning to visit Barcelona, Sant Pau Hospital will be a unique experience, because it is a very nice and beautiful place to visit and with us is cheaper and funnier!
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!
In case you need to know where is it 😉