This breathtaking site is full of wonderful mosaics, colours, sculptures, windows, artistic design and architectural details from the modernist era.
First I will show you the map of the site again so you can see where the pavilions are situated and then we’ll take a stroll around the site.
After going through the entrance gate with our pre-booked tickets we found ourselves following the underground tunnel which brought us out just in front of the Casa D’Operacions (Sant Cosme and Sant Damia). For what felt like an eternity both my daughter and I were stunned into silence as we gazed around us. From the front we were already in awe of the craftsmanship we had seen, but we didn’t expect such beauty to continue so meticulously.
The grounds are so well laid out with lots of lovely planting of citrus trees, lavender, horse chestnut trees, lindens and deciduous trees all providing shade in the summer and warmth in the winter. Few of the original trees remain except for a couple of date palms. Bay, rosemary and lemon verbena and other medicinal plants grow in the parterres. The gardens were created to provide a pleasant space that would alleviate pain and suffering of the patients and their families. The plants helped to purify the air, fight bacteria, dust and toxic gases and shelter the exposed area from the weather. An idea hospitals of today would do well to replicate.
It was hard to know where to look. The symmetry of each building, the mosaic patterns on the roofs and domes, the elaborately decorated water turrets, the sculptures, the window shapes and the art nouveau style…
You can enter the operations building, but there is not much inside and the only other one that you can enter is Sant Rafael which shows how it was used as a ward. There is much to see externally though and each pavilion although built in the same style and using the same materials with the purpose of creating pleasant and natural surroundings for the patients have their differences.
Of the twelve main pavilions six have been finished and two are currently undergoing restoration. You can see how beautifully the work has been carried out when you see parts of the site still requiring refurbishment.
Next post we will visit the individual pavilions to take a look at the materials used and the differences which make them unique.
(In all of these posts I advise you to click on the photos to enlarge them as only then will you appreciate the incredible artistic detail. )
Source: All the information in these Sant Pau posts is taken from the admission booklet.
How to get there:
Metro: L5 Sant Pau / Dos de Maig or L2 to Sagrada Familia and walk up Avenue de Gaudi
Bus: H8, 19, 20, 45, 47, 50, 51, 92, 117, 192