The Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau dates back to 1401 when six hospitals in the city merged, forming the Hospital de la Santa Creu. With the growth of the city and the advances in medicine in the 19th century, the centre was unable to meet the demands of the time and construction of a new building was proposed. The original 15th century buildings, located near Hotel 1898, now house a design school and a library. The new buildings were erected outside the ancient city, on the new ‘Eixample’ and near the Sagrada Familia grounds.
Thanks to the legacy of Pau Gil, a banker, on January 15, 1902 the first stone of the new building was laid. “Sant Pau” was added to the old hospital’s name to honour the wishes of its benefactor. The genious architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner was commissioned with the project. Domènech i Montaner is also known for his work at Palau de la Música Catalana. Over the years, the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau has become the most significant public building in Catalan modernisme. On 1997, the building was acknowledged as World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Recently, Hospital de Sant Pau has been seen in Woody Allen’s movie Vicky Cristina Barcelona and pictured as scenario in Batman‘s Barcelona adventure.
After one century serving the city, the modernist pavilions needed a major update, and a new building will now host all the health services. The modernist pavilions will be fully restored and soon to be used as a permanent seat for the Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean, together with other cultural activities.