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L'Antic Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau Popular

Carrer de Hospital, 56, 08001, Barcelona
Nearest Metro
Liceu L3
City District
Ciutat Vella: El Raval
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L'Antic Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau
L'Antic Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau Barcelona. The Antic Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau in Barcelona is a medieval 15th century building in the Raval area of Barcelona and now used as a cultural centre. The name can be confusing because there is another old (but not as old) hospital from the modernist era in the Eixample area of Barcelona with the same name.

The Antic hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau is on the street Hospital in the Ravel part of the Gothic neighbourhood. The buildings consist of a 15th-century gothic core with baroque and classical additions. It is one of the earliest medical complexes in Europe.
The name means the "old Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau. " This former hospital has this name because a newer hospital was built in the Eixample area of Barcelona in the modernist period of Barcelona using the same name. So the most recent Sant Pau hospital also has an old part. This can be confusing. Bottom line. Two hospitals buildings - in different parts of barcelona - both old - with same name. Here is the link to the newer modernist Sant Pau hospital which can also be visited> New Sant Pau hospital in Eixample area

The older Santa Creu i Sant Pau hospital in the Raval is no longer a medical facility or a hospital. It was taken over by the city council in 1926 and now houses an art school (Escola Massana) and the 1.5 million volume Biblioteca de Catalunya (National Library of Catalonia) It is also home to La Capella, an art exhibition centre.

There was a hospital on this site as far back as 1024. In the 15th century this was expanded to contralise all the hospitals in Barcelona. In more modern times by the end of the 1920's the hospital was hopelessly overstretched and the new hospital Hospital Sant Pau was built in the Eixample area. Towards the end the old hospital was also used for poor and indigent patients and one of the last and most famous patients at the hospital was Antoni Gaudí, who died in this hospital in 1926. Gaudi was hit by a tram and because of his shabby appearance, he was not recognized and was thought to be homeless. So he was taken to the Antic Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau in the Raval area. You can still see the archives recording Gaudí's admittance and photographs of the infirmary and private room where he died.

Pablo Picasso painted one of his first important pictures, "La Dona Morta" -The Dead Woman, here in 1903. This painting can be seen at the Picasso musuem in Barcelona.

Highlights of L'Antic Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau:

- Neo-classical lecture theatre complete with revolving marble dissection table
- Patio of the old Casa de Convalescència (Convalescence House), with Renaissance columns. In the vestibule the tiled lovely baroque ceramic murals depict scenes from of Sant Pau (St Paul) including an bloody decapitation scene.
La Capella, the former hospital chapel now a space for exhibitions of emerging art throughout the year
- Beautifully shaded colonnaded courtyard is a popular spot for reading or eating lunch