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Arts & culture

Hidden modernist jewels

Hidden modernist jewels
Written by David

Barcelona is the city of Modernism. The movement has Gaudi as its most famous artist and thousands of tourists visit  every day La Sagrada Familia, La Pedrera or La Casa Batlló. But there’s more modernism (much more) than Gaudi and the city is full of spectacular buildings. From ShBarcelona we recommend 4 not so popular Modernist buildings that will blow your mind away.

  1. Hospital de Sant Pau (St Paul’s Hospital)

 hidden modernist2   Crowds gather around the Sagrada Familia to take a picture from any possible angle, but only few continue all the way up the nice Avinguda Gaudi to visit the wonderful Hospital de Sant Pau. Still working as such, it finished its restoration process last year. Built between 1901 and 1930 by Domènech i Muntaner, it’s the largest Modernist complex in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site. The hospital was designed as a city within the city, and once you pass by the Admission Pavilion (with beautiful tiles and glass windows) you enter a huge space full of smaller pavilions and gardens. If you don’t want to pay the ticket to get in (it’s 8€ without discounts) it’s worth walking to it just for the impressive façade and for the view of the Sagrada Familia from the doorway. When you walk through Avinguda Gaudi don’t forget to stop and have a look at the modernist streetlights distributed along the avenue.  

Hospital de Sant Pau i la Santa Creu: There’s an entrance in Carrer de Sant Quintí 89, although the one at the end of Avinguda Gaudí is nicer

Related article: Bellesguard Tower, a modernist wonder
  1. Casa Amatller

Casa Amatller is located in the central Passeig de Gracia, just next to the popular Casa Batlló that steals all the looks hidden modernist5and attention. Constructed between 1898 and 1900 by Puig i Cadafalch, it was designed to be the house of the Catalan chocolatier Antoni Amatller. The house was redesigned from an existing one with the inspiration of a Gothic Palace and some influence of the Gothic Dutch architecture. It’s now possible to visit the inside of the house (the general ticket is around 15€), but you can look around the beautiful hall (with its impressive staircase and glass ceiling) or even have a drink at the new café on the groundfloor. There’s also a small shop where you can get the Amatller chocolate bars.

Casa Amatller: Passeig de Gràcia 41

  1. Casa Vicens

hidden modernist4This house, located in the district of Gracia, was  designed by Gaudí in 1889 and was his first important work. Not so popular (and central) as Casa Batlló or La Pedrera, the house was bought in 2014 from the family that was living there since the 19th century and will open to the public in 2016. The house was built for Manuel Vicens, the owner of a brick and tile factory (the façade is covered by tiles from the Vicens factory). It was designed following the Moorish style and has a small garden. If you want to see the inside there’s an interesting video from a TV programme in which the old owner of the house shows some of the spaces of it.

Casa Vicens: Carrer de les Carolines 24

  1. Casa Golferichs

Now a public cultural centre, the house was originally designed by Rubió i Bellver in 1901 for Macari Golferichs i hidden modernistLosada, a trader of exotic woods with business in the American colonies. The building presents an interesting combination of tiles and brick, with influence of Neo Gothic style. The house was occupied during the Spanish Civil War (1936), to be the site of a Liberal and Popular University. After the war, it was given to a religious order and was a school until the 70’s, when a private investor bought it to demolish it and build flats. Thanks to the resistance, protests to avoid the demolition and even the occupation of the neighbours, the Town Hall bought the house back in the 80’s and now it allocates a cultural centre and exhibition rooms. You can enter the house and visit some of the spaces for free.

Casa Golferichs: Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 491

About the author


David is an English teacher and a part-time writer.

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