Now a public library, the Hospital de la Santa Creu was for a long time the most important hospital in the city.
At the beginning of the 15th century, the city of Barcelona had six small hospitals. In 1401, these centres were united to create the Hospital de la Santa Creu, one of the oldest in Europe and the world. The hospital was managed by the Most Illustrious Administration and its income depended on alms, donations and legacies from individuals.
Over the years, the hospital incorporated new sources of funding through various privileges granted by kings and popes. For more than five centuries, the Hospital de Santa Creu was the main hospital of the city of Barcelona and its area of influence. Its contribution to the evolution of medicine was of primary importance. However, after five centuries of uninterrupted activity, the Santa Creu Hospital could no longer keep up with the growth of the city of Barcelona and the constant progress of medicine. The construction of a new hospital became necessary.
Construction of the new Santa Creu Hospital, named Sant Pau Hospital, beginning in 1902
The architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner was in charge of this huge building site, which would be called the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, now known as Sant Pau Hospital or the Modernist Site of Sant Pau.
Construction of the buildings began in 1902 and the hospital was inaugurated in 1930. Over the years, the Santa Creu i Sant Pau Hospital has become an important point of reference for Barcelona's heritage and culture and has been declared a historical-artistic monument and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In 2009, the healthcare activity moved to a new modern building on the north side of the complex, while the modernist buildings were renovated to highlight the work of Domènech i Montaner and make Sant Pau a knowledge centre of international importance and a new cultural reference point.
Today, the Santa Creu Hospital houses the Public Library of Catalonia.
Hospital de la Santa CreuCarrer de l'Hospital, 56, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
Area: El Raval
Website: Old Hospital de la Santa Creu - Public Library - Barcelona
Opening hours: Monday to Friday: from 9am to 8pm. // Saturday from 9am to 2pm.
Phone: +34 933 020 797
Metro/Bus: Metro: L3 Liceu
Barcelona metro map