Friday, 16 June 2017

Barcelona Day 4

The Historical Archive of the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau,which conserves documents dating back to the fifteenth century and earlier, is one of the most important hospital archives in the world today. The Hospital came into being in 1401 with the merging of the six hospitals in the city of Barcelona at that time. Santa Creu, the Hospital of the Holy Cross, as it was called in those days, was right in the centre of the city, in what is now the Raval district, in one of the most important examples of Catalan Civil Gothic architecture.

You can only be in awe and appreciate the foremost work of Lluís Domènech i Montaner, one of the most important architects of Modernisme, the Catalan Art Nouveau, and the product of one of the most outstanding rehabilitation processes of recent years, of one of Europe’s oldest healthcare institutions. Built between 1902 and 1930, it was home to the Hospital de la Santa Creu I Sant Pau from 1916 to 2009. In 2009 once all the patients and medical services had been transferred to the new Hospital, the site underwent a process of restoration.

Each building had a specialty it cared for and underground tunnels connected the various buildings and allowed access to the gardens for recuperating patients.

This was the first pavilion to take in patients in 1916. Now displaying an exhibition of modernism and Domenech I Montaner.

I found it interesting that here I find the Cathar Cross which I had journeyed with through France here in Spain in a hospital.

In its different formats and uses, ceramics introduce the colour that brings a spectacular note of brightness and a calculated does of vitality to the entire complex.

The roof detail in the ceramics is just extraordinary.

Ceramics and sculpture combine harmoniously in this building the Operations House. The names in the facades belong to distinguished doctors. The large hall with glazing in the part at the back was the principal operations theatre.

Like all of Domenech I Montaner’s projects, the Art Nouveau Site is full of symbolic connotations. Good and evil, health and sickness, are present in the form of angels, gargoyles and other sculptural figures.

Looking towards the convent, kitchens and pharmacy.

The tunnel network of underground passages connecting all the pavilions was an innovation in the hospital architecture of the time. These were the arteries through which the installations of the architecture complex ran.

The Administration pavilion, the largest and most richly decorated building. The architect made it a unique and highly symbolic element in the architectural complex. 

Looking out the main windows of the Administration Building down to road which leads to the Sagrada Familia. 

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