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Palau de la Música Catalana

The Garden of Modernista Delights

Exterior of the Palau

If you had to choose one building that summed up the fantasies and obsessions of Barcelona's turn of the century artsy nationalists, it would have to be this exuberant bouquet of a concert hall, where brick, stone, stained glass and tile are employed in the service of song and flowers.


Flushed by its success at the Universal Exhibition of 1888, the Orfeó—Barcelona's most fervently Catalan choral society—bought this plot of land in 1904 and asked Lluis Domènech i Montaner to create a ‘Temple of Catalan art’. Domènech, who shared the Orfeó's ideals, didn't have to be asked twice, and hired the best Modernista artists of the day to create the perfect setting for the Orfeó's Catalan warbles.

Perfection was costly. Domènech took a 20 per cent cut in his fee but still hadn’t been paid when the doors opened—a mere three years later. He was too cheesed off to attend the opening, but his masterpiece was a glittering success, winning the city’s prize for the best building of 1907.

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Modernista Art and Architecture

Nightlife & Performance

La Ribera / El Born


Top Sights

Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Images by Laura Padgett, Wikimapa