Hospital de Sant Pau

While exploring Barcelona, architecture photography’s lovers will fall in love with the historical Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau. Located a just 10-minute walk from the iconic Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia basilica, this not to miss historical building complex was built between 1901 and 1930. 

It was considered the most important hospital in town for many years before becoming an UNESCO World Heritage Site and being converted into a cultural centre and various offices. Designed by the local architect Luís Domènech i Montaner, the whole complex beautifully reflects the stunning Catalan modernisme architectural style together with its 27 buildings lavishly decorated and its 16 unique tiled pavilions. By designing this hospital complex around a quiet courtyard, Montaner’s primary aim was to create a special environment to cheer up the recovered patients. Definitely, the main pavilion (Pavelló de l’Administració) is the photographic highlight of the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau.

Bring your wide angle lens to shoot pictures of its lobby dominated by an elegant domed pink-tiled ceiling and a beautiful twirling marble staircase. In a sunny day, interiors are enough bright to allow you not exceed ISO 800 while shooting. Don’t miss the colorful stained-glass windows of the hallway. Upstairs, from the large windows of the Sala Domènech i Montaner you get a fantastic view over the courtyard and the tiled pavilions of this unusually beautiful former hospital complex. Best time for shooting is early morning as soon as the museum opens: gentle light and a very few visitors around.

Stefano Politi Markovina