Gaudi‘s not the only architect in town though it is easy to see where one might get that impression. Any bookstore in Barcelona will have ten or twelve different titles at least on the man and his work but no books on either Josep Puig i Cadafalch or Domenech i Montaner to name just two who should be lauded as well. Montaner in particular is one to explore. On this trip, it was his works that impressed me the most. He’s a little restrained in comparison to Gaudi. Like Gaudi, he controlled every aspect of his buildings but retained just a little more of a classical sense of proportion and symmetry combined with a substantial Arabic influence.
The two most famous works are the Palau de Musica Catalana and the Hospital de Sant Pau. We took the tour through the Palau but pictures were not allowed so I have only some exteriors here (here are some photographs of the interior). If you do make it there, it is worth the walk through; this was constructed to take full advantage of natural light and inside it does feel light and open.
Some exteriors then:
During the tour, we were first shown a film and then a walking talk with questions very welcome from a man who was fluent in a number of languages. His English was very good, quite correct but he made a Monty Python sort of error when he spoke about the legend of St George and the dragon when he referred to George as a Nit.
These pictures illustrate something I like very much about Art Nouveau; there is no compulsion for the sides of the building to exactly resemble each other.
The picture at the top of the post is a panorama of the Hospital de Sant Pau which of all the things I had already seen in Barcelona I felt compelled to return to, and if I make it back there again, it will be on the agenda. Its composed of over forty different buildings, beautiful greenery and the fact that it still functions as a hospital makes it more than just a monument.
(You can find more information here.)
One of the pavilions inside the complex.
Just inside the main entrance.
Detail on a projection.
Ironwork on main front gate.