What to see that’s New
Have you been to Barcelona? It is a must visit city. I have waxed lyrical about its various sites before and of course nothing is more breathtaking then your first entry into Gaudi’s unfinished La Sagrada Familia cathedral. (book your entry tickets in advance online to avoid queues)
Other MUST visits are:
- Gaudi’s Casas Mila and Battlo near Placa Catalunya
- Gaudi’s Park Guell ( a bit of a hike to get to but lovely)
- The Old City or “Barri Gottica” with the superb Cathedral, Placa Neri and much more to wander through
- La Boqueria – medieval food market on La Rambla
- The Park Ciutadella (see Gaudi’s fountain) and Zoo
- La Rambla – main street that used to be a river
- The wonderful beach of Barceloneta
- Day trips to: Toledo, Girona, or Montserrat – all are really worthwhile and spectacular
- A concert and guided tour of Montaner’s superb Palace of Music (Palau de la Musica)
Montaner, a contemporary of Gaudi, a philanthropist and architect, also built a hospital very near the Sagrada Familia which is now a hidden gem to visit and is spectacular.
As you can see below on the map; very nearby the Sagrada Familia and much lesser known , Montaner’s magnificent Sant Pau Hospital Complex is now re-dubbed in 2014 the ‘Recinte Modernista’ .
It was only recently re-purposed from a hospital into its various spaces becoming cultural centres, offices and something of a monument. The complex, including 16 pavilions – together with the Palau de la Música Catalana, a joint World Heritage site – is lavishly decorated and each pavilion is unique.
The pavilions, set among gardens and connected by underground passages, are breathtakingly beautiful and a showcase for the applied arts, featuring sculptures, stained glass and mosaics.
Domènech i Montaner wanted to create an environment that would also cheer up patients. Artists contributed statuary, ceramics and artwork. The hospital facilities have been transferred to a new complex on the premises, freeing up the century-old structures, which are being restored to their former glory in a plan to convert the complex into an international centre on the Mediterranean.
Guided tours are available (adult/concession from €7- €10) in a variety of languages, upon request.