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Saint Pau Hospital

General Information

Though it seems strange that a hospital is a famous tourist attraction, L’Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau (Hospital de Sant Pau) is one of the main tourist attractions of Barcelona. Moreover, I was considered to be the most beautiful medical complex of the world, up until the point that the building ceased to serve as a hospital.

The hospital is located in the Eixample and it was designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner who was a famous modernist architect (who also designed Casa Fuster in the Gracia district). The building’s design is very unique because it combines modernist style with elements of the muslim architecture (Spain was occupied by Islamic Moors over a long period, for additional information- History of Barcelona). In order to create a nice atmosphere for patients the hospital is situated in a wonderful garden.

History of Hospital de Sant Pau

The hospital, which was originally established in the 15th century, was moved to a new building in the first part of the 20th century. Because of the growth in the city’s population, it became necessary to establish a new hospital.

The story of the patron saint of Hospital de Sant Pau is as follows: Pau Gil i Serra was a Catalan banker who lived in Paris in the end of the 19th century. In his last will he offered three million pesetas for building a new hospital in Barcelona. In compliance with the Inheritance, the Hospital was named “Hospital de Sant Pau”- and so this person was a saint sanctified for contributing money.

For this building Montaner earned the title “Best Building” (he also earned two similar awards for the Palau de la Música Catalana (Palace of Catalan Music) and for Casa Lleó Morera). Similar to Gaudi’s works, Hospital de Sant Pau was declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

In the second part of 2009 most of the departments were moved to a new building, and as of 2014 the building is a museum and cultural center.

What do you see in Hospital de Sant Pau?

The area of the hospital is 300 square meters and it was built in modernist style. The hospital consists of an administrative building and 27 pavilions that were used by various departments. These pavilions were built in different styles. Some of them has a subterranean passageway, which enhance the experience.

In addition to the uniquely designed building, one can admire a lot of beautiful statues like the statue of Paul Gilles and the statues of different Christian Saints related to medicine. Famous are the statues of three angels that represent the three theological virtues of Christianity: faith, hope and charity.

Due to the unique combination of the colorful Catalan architecture (mainly gothic and neo-gothic elements such as the ornate windows and the decorated columns) and muslim motifs such as domes, Hospital de Sant Pau can be considered to be a wonderful attraction toward which nobody can be indifferent.

Similar to other modernist artists, Montaner appreciated and loved nature very much, moreover he thought that a pleasant environment full of green trees will help patients to recover. That’s why there are huge natural spaces between the old departments of the hospital. Furthermore, some parts of the building are organized so that they resembles the waves of the sea. In addition, the hospital was constructed in such a way that allows good passage of air and sunlight into it.

Montaner believed that colors and forms influence people’s health. Because of this, he designed colorful mosaics and painting and filled the hospital with statues of saints in order to create a pleasant environment which is different from the depressing atmosphere of the typical white hospitals and which helps patients to recover fast and easily. It is such a pity that no patients can enjoy that anymore since the hospital was moved to a new building and the place now serves as a museum.

Tips and Recommendations for Visiting Hospital de Sant Pau


  • Hospital de Sant Pau is mainly recommended for those who are keen on modernist architecture or visit Barcelona for the second or third time. If you do not have the possibility to visit the hospital from the inside, it is also worth to admire it from outside.
  • Hospital de Sant Pau is recommended by early morning when there are just a few visitors.
  • The neighborhood in which Hospital de Sant Pau is located is recommended for those who visit Barcelona by car. There are many parking areas, so one might park the car there, and head on to visiting the Catalan city (for additional information – Car Rental in Barcelona and Car Rental in Spain).
  • Although Kids are eligible for a discount to the Hospital de Sant Pau, it is not recommended for children so much, unless they are fond of modernist arts (for additional information – Kids and Families in Hospital de Sant Pau and Kids and Families in Barcelona).
  • Most of the Hospital de Sant Pau is wheelchair-friendly and it is easy to get there by bus too. Moreover, disabled people are eligible for a discount for the hospital (for additional information – Accessibility in Hospital de Sant Pau and Accessibility in Barcelona).
  • Visitors in this landmark who owns the Barcelona Pass discounts card are entitled to a discount in the entrance fee (for additional information – List of Discounts Included in Barcelona Pass).

Tips for Attractions near Hospital de Sant Pau:

Tips for Hotels near Hospital de Sant Pau:

Recommended Blogs and Articles About Hospotal de Sant Pau:


Useful Information

Getting there

L4 (yellow) – Guinardó | Hospital de Sant Pau station.
L5 (blue) – Sant Pau | Dos de Maig station.


No. 15, 19, 20, 45, 47, 50, 51, 92, 117, 192, N1,  N4, H8.


Car parks: SABA Hospital de Sant Pau  /  BSM Avenida Gaudi  /  BSM Marina Gracia.


Carrer de Sant Quintí, 89
08026 Barcelona

Opening Times

Monday to Friday:

Official Website

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