The Palace Of The Paupers — Saint Paul’s Hospital, Santa Croce | iVisits

The Palace Of The Paupers — Saint Paul’s Hospital, Santa Croce

On gaudi street in the centre of Barcelona, opposite the sagrada familia, a UNESCO world heritage site, is a palatial cluster of buildings, the hospital of Santa croce Sao Paulo. Since its inception, the hospital has been known as the “palace of the poor” and is also a UNESCO world heritage site.

Yet until 2009, when it was turned into a museum and cultural centre, it was one of Spain’s largest and most medically sophisticated hospitals, explicitly “dedicated to the poor”. To this day, the building behind the museum is still one of the best medical hospitals in Barcelona and very popular with ordinary people.


St. Paul’s hospital, formerly known as the hospital of the holy cross, was founded in 1401 AD by the merger of six medieval hospitals. It has a lot of medical records from the 15th and 16th centuries. In the early 20th century, just as the hospital was overwhelmed by size, equipment and money, it was financed by the banker s? The extension was designed and presided over by montanel, the teacher of modern architecture master gaudi. In 1930, the expansion project was completed under the continuous efforts of two generations of montanels.

Legend has it that montanel designed the hospital on the scale of a small town. On his drawing, the hospital has 48 separate buildings, covering nine blocks. Art decoration, but also reflects a saint of epic. For a variety of reasons, only the current size of 12 buildings was completed.


The expanded hospital was renamed “saint Paul’s hospital of Santa croce”. It covers 36,000 square meters and can accommodate more than 1,000 patients. An average of 145.5 square metres of space per patient; That was far higher than any other hospital in Europe at the time.
What’s more, the most beautiful hospital in the world has always carried forward the tradition of holy cross hospital and the will of the bankers to ensure that “the poor people can find their own refuge here at any time”.

The hospital departments are scattered in separate buildings, with wide ground floor access between the buildings. Such arrangement, can avoid the cross infection of nosocomial already, had provided convenience again for daily medical treatment business.


The ward buildings vary in shape, with a statue of a saint or angel on each building. According to the introduction, the saints and angels shaped, or legend has the magical power to cure and prevent a certain kind of disease, or folk respect as a certain branch of medicine ancestor; Thus, the statue can indirectly identify a building as a hospital department.

It is not only a treasure in the history of architecture, but also an excellent medium for understanding the history.

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