Old Hospital de Santa Creu i Sant Pau
Source: Josep Renalias on Wikipedia.
Most of the Hospital de Santa Creu i San Pau was built in the 1400s, bringing together different hospitals in Barcelona into one large assemblage. It formed one of the largest hospitals and charitable institutions in Europe, and was built outside the main city walls in El Raval. It was finally closed in 1923 and replaced by Domènech i Muntaner’s modernista masterpiece, Hospital de San Pau. One of the last patients to die here was Antoni Guadí, brought to its ailing facilities after being hit by a tram. Earlier and Bizarrely, Buffalo Bill visted the hospital to have a tooth extracted during his stay in Barcelona in 1889.
Note the two monumental staircases facing each other with twin statues. The left hand statue (coming from C/Hospital) depicts St Lazarus with a child and animal standing by him. He is raising his coat to expose his thigh in what could be construed as an erotic gesture. Actually, he is revealing the early signs of leprosy which often first appear on this part of the body, indicating the hospital’s role in helping lepers, supported by the order of St Lazarus.
Today the buildings are used by a collection of public libraries and institutions including Sant Pau public library. Stroll in, if open, and admire the superb Catalan Gothic vaulting.
All in all, well a visit and spend an hour or so reading a book in the courtyard in the shade of orange trees.
El Jardí is a very pleasant café-restaurant nestled in one corner of the courtyard.
Most reliable access is by C/Hospital
Places in El Raval