Barcelona essential: Palau de la Musica

Palau de la Música Catalana

Among the most famous modernist buildings of the city, the Palau de la Música Catalana stands prominently in the street Sant Pere més Alt. This is one of the main buildings of the capital, one of the best concert halls across Europe, and one of the most important architectural works of Lluis Domenech i Montaner, along with the Hospital de Sant Pau, Hotel España, the Casa Fuster or Lleo Morera.

Choral Society and modernism in the Palau de la Música Catalana

If we go back to the origin of the Palau de la Música, the Catalan Orfeón was born in the interest of industrial groups and Catalan philanthropists who wanted a new auditorium which represented the same than Teatro del Liceo creation meant.

In 1908 the building for orchestral and instrumental music was opened and, today, has more than five hundred acts over daily schedule; the architecture of the enclosure is considered World Heritage by UNESCO since 1997, and no wonder. The central structure of the building is made with metal and glass, so that the concert hall remain in symmetry with the input distribution and light as the rest of the rooms. All it decorated with sculptural motifs, mosaics, stained glass and wrought iron elements from artists like Gargallo, Maragliano or Bru, who sought a direct relationship with figures like Ludwig van Beethoven, Richard Wagner or Anselmo Clave.


Fachada del Palau de la Música Catalana

Palau de la Música Catalana Facade

The building is divided into a hall, which is entered through the old entrance in Sant Pere més Alt, presented with a grand staircase between glass balusters and glazed pottery. In the first floor, we find Lluís Millet hall for social activities, the concert hall with a capacity for more than 2,000 people and a stage of 11 meters wide; all richly decorated with busts and motives of great personalities, but where stands out above all, the large skylight ceiling and the Walcker organ, who had the honor of being the first to be heard outside a religious compound in Barcelona.

After the rehabilitation of the Palau de la Música in the late twentieth century, Oscar Tusquets conceived the idea of the Petit Palau, eleven meters deep below the original building, which was inaugurated in 2004 with a capacity of 538 people and is a spectacular space for chamber music.

Also, the traditional functions of the Palau de la Música Catalana have diversified and we can find events in recent years with the most transgressor flamenco or jazz and blues concerts on the same place that offers classic pieces for symphony orchestra.

Do you dare to visit one of the powerhouses that have been part of the Catalan life in the last century?


Youth Hostel Barcelona

Photo credit: kkmarais via / CC BY


This post is also available in: French, Catalan, Spanish

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