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Hospital de Santa Creu i de Sant Pau

Beautiful buildings to help the recovery

The Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau - or "Hospital Sant Pau" - has evolved from a medieval charitable home to a modern hospital since its founding about 600 years ago. Today, the Hospital Sant Pau is also one of the most beautiful and significant modernistic complexes. Here you can book tickets for the admission.

Our Recommendation

  • A guided tour of Hospital Sant Pau
  • Tickets for the admission to Hospital Sant Pau

Why Hospital Sant Pau is Worth Visiting

Always with the intention of serving people and their health, many things are different here than in popular clinics: a hospital that, as a total work of art, has colorized freshness instead of sterility.

The Hospital Sant Pau is a beautiful complex from the time of the Modernsime, a masterpiece by the architect Lluis Domènech i Montaner. Here you will feel comfortable and wonder why not all hospitals are built that way. Rightly the hospital is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage.

The History of the Hospital Sant Pau

In 1348, the black plague spread in Barcelona and as a result about one third of the population died. With this terrible apocalypse, people realized the need for an organized healthcare system more and more.

At the beginning of the 15th century, a comprehensive hospital complex was built to bring the six existing hospitals in Barcelona under one roof. The origin of the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau is located in the district "El Raval". The former hospital building at its original location is a magnificent example of Gothic civil architecture. Antoni Gaudí died in the hospital in 1926 after a traffic accident. Today it houses the medical faculty and the Catalan State Library.

In the late nineteenth century, thanks to increasing industrialization, economic and social growth in Spain and a major expansion of Barcelona's urban area took place. Health care also made a leap into scientific medicine and had to face new hygienic principles. In addition, the buildings in the narrow neighborhood El Raval were too small and it was planned to expand the area of the hospital.

In 1902, the legacy of the banker Pau Gil made it possible to build a new hospital. Thus, on January 15, 1902, the construction work could begin with the laying of the foundation stone at its current location - only about 1,000 metres from Sagrada Familia. The hospital was named "Hospital de la Santa Creu i de Sant Pau" in the banker's honor. A good thirty years later, on January 16, 1930, the new hospital was handed over to King Alfonso XIII of Spain.

After almost 80 years, the hospital moved to the new buildings right next door and the historic facility is open to visitors including the wards.

Hospital Sant Pau - The City Within the City

The hospital was to become something very special: surrounded by trees in a relaxed environment, where patients could recover from their illnesses and pains and breathe fresh, clean air. The medieval and Moorish-influenced architecture - typical of much of Catalan Art Nouveau - don't make it seem like it's a hospital. The orientation of the buildings to the north-south axis of the enclosure allows maximum solar radiation on the facades of the pavilions. In addition, the design as a "Park Hospital" created open areas for the well-being of the patients, which at the time was considered a novelty.

The hospital area almost occupies an entire block, the almost 30 buildings are spread in a park. With the addition of two gardens per pavilion, the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner gave the complex a cheerful, optimistic character, which makes the patients and their family members feel better. Horse chestnuts, lime trees and orange trees line the central promenade and provide shade in the summer. Medicinal plants such as laurel, lavender, rosemary and lemon bushes grow in the flower beds on the roadside.

At the main entrance of the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, you can see the chapel-like administration building with a large dome roof and an impressive entrance hall with marble columns and mosaic-covered ceilings. The building has similarity to a church, as it is supposed to symbolize the Christian tradition. At the same time, the building is supposed to represent a human being who spreads his arms and receives the patients with open arms.

Behind the administration building you can see the pavilion with the operating theatre in the middle. The tunnel system that connects the pavilion to the others allows patients to be quickly moved to their rooms.

At the end of the original area was the monastery pavilion. The building was designed by Pere Domènech, Lluis Domenèch i Montaner's son. It consists of three parts connected by small covered pedestrian bridges. The service areas of the hospital such as kitchen, pharmacy and the accommodations for the nuns who worked here as nurses were located here.

A new building, which is located behind the monastery building, expands the old hospital and is now home to the modern hospital. Today, you can visit the historic, modernistic hospital area of Hospital Sant Pau.

Here you can book the admission.

An Early Example of Construction Sustainably

The facility is an example of sustainable construction and efficient energy management. On the basis of geothermal installations, which provided heat supply to various pavilions of the hospital complex in the form of almost 400 wells over 100 meters deep. For reasons of hygiene, the whole area was laid out on a slope: warm air pulls up - so the ventilation system was developed in a way that all bacteria and viruses are pulled away from the patients with the natural air flow.

The chosen building materials are made of durable building materials, which fulfill the function of a hospital. As a typical part of modernistic architecture we find a striking mix of brick, natural stone and ceramics. The predominantly processed material is red brick, which was used exclusively for facades, in combination with natural stone, which was used for all decorative, architectural elements, reliefs and sculptures. Additionally you can find shiny ceramic stone in the cladding of the domes, roofs and mosaics, as well as in the interior ceiling designs.

Since 1997, the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List and in 2001 celebrated its 600th anniversary.

The Santa Creu de Sant Pau Hospital can be reached directly from Sagrada Familia over the beautiful tree-lined pedestrian street "Avinguda de Gaudí" or from the metro station "Hospital Sant Pau".

Tickets for the Hispital Sant Pau


Important information

Find Hotels nearby

Carrer de Sant Antoni Maria Claret, 167
Phone: +34 932 562 504

Metro: L5 Sant Pau – Dos de Maig, (L4) Guinardó
Bus Turístic: Sagrada Familia
Parking nearby

Opening times
November to March:
Monday to Saturday: 9:30 to 16:30
Sunday and public holidays: 9:30 to 14:30

April to October:
Monday to Saturday: 9:30 to 18:30
Sunday and public holidays 9:30 to 14:30

Closed on the 1 and 6 of January and 25 and 26 of December.

Tips for the visit of the hospital

From the Sagrada Familia, the c/ Gaudí leads directly to the hospital. The approximately 1,000 meters is worth to go.