Catalan Modernism – 5 Interesting Facts About Palau de la Musica Catalana in Barcelona
A historic concert hall built in 1908, the Palau de la Musica Catalana is a turn-of-the-century piece of modern architecture by Lluis Domenech I Montaner. Its immaculate design, stained glasses, detailed mosaics, and expressive façade are some of the few things that attract tourists from around the world.
The building is serving the role for which it was initially constructed and that is providing a platform for talented artists to showcase their talent in the most exuberant way possible. Owing to this fact, many famous artists, including Igor Stravinsky, Woody Allen, and Herbert Von Karajan have performed in this “Palace of Music.”
But this is not the only interesting fact about the place. Here’s more.
1. The architect is the epitome of Catalan Modernism
The modernist era was a movement more than a time period. It completely changed the very fabric of the architectural styles in Barcelona. The form of the palace or the hall speaks volumes of the craftsmanship of Lluis Domenech I Montaner. It is fluid, vibrant, and descriptive of the themes that the place is built on.
2. It was initially built for a famous choir
Orfeo Catala – a choral society – had initially requested the construction of a building where artists like them could perform. They were leading an awakening movement in the city and it was their best shot to have a place where they could show their talents.
3. It has remained open to the public ever since its construction in 1908
Since its creation, this piece of wonderful architecture has remained open to the public. That makes roughly 100 years of its operation as a concert hall. Although initially it was adorned by the performance of Enric Granados, a famous poet and composer of that year, it still welcomes performances by leading artists from around the world. Bringing into consideration all of the performances that have taken place here, one can see that it will continue to be a refuge for artisans of the world.
4. It’s not a work of Gaudi
Some people associate the construction of this palace with Antoni Gaudi because the majority of the buildings in the city that are based on the modernist style were designed by him. However, you already know by now that this is the work of Lluis Domenech I Montaner. He was a contemporary of Gaudi, and together, they pulled out Catalonia from the shades of medieval construction into the limelight of modern architecture that included a blend of ostentatiously exquisite mosaics, stained glass, and intricate facades.
5. It’s entirely illuminated by natural light
In all of Europe, this hall is the only one that is entirely illuminated by natural light during the day. This is because the stained glass is immaculately placed in each corner of the hall and the ceiling. The colors of the glass have been kept appropriate and compliant with the natural shades. For example, the glass of the ceiling has shades of gold and blue.
Besides these five interesting facts about Palau de la Musica Catalana, the hall is considered to be a symbol of the national pride of Catalonia, and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
WHERE TO STAY IN BARCELONA
I stayed in these two hostels in Barcelona: Urbany Hostel BCN Go and TOC Hostel Barcelona. I’d recommend both. They’re in a good location and very accessible to the metro. There are also shops and restaurants all around the area. However, when it comes to comfort and amenities, I’d prefer TOC Hostel because the rooms are spacious and the beds are sturdy. They have a nice cafe and a swimming pool, too!