Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site: Sant Rafael (8)

Sant Rafael Pavilion is one which you can enter. It was built between 1914 and 1918 and was initially the trauma ward then became used for internal medicine and infectious diseases.

The adoption of flora and fauna as ornamental decorations (see above the windows and the decorative capitals) both in ceramics and sculpture are not only decorative, but also infer healing and regeneration, positive over negative and life above death.

The roofs also feature ventilation shafts surmounted by either glazed ceramic or decorated stone and ornamental pinnacles also in glazed ceramic. Above you can see the patterns created using the scales in different colours on the day room domes.

Eusebi Arnau was responsible for the sculptures of all the saints and virgins on the pavilions.

Inside Sant Rafael you can see an example of what the former infirmary pavilions were like. Each one consisted of a broad lengthwise ward for 28 beds along with a circular ‘day-room’ in which those patients not confined to bed could spend time with their families.

Old Photograph of the pavilion in use

The pavilion walls and ceilings have yet to be refurbished, only additions over the years have been removed to show the original volume.

Ceramics were used inside too as they are easy to clean and therefore guaranteed hygiene. The gentle colours served a therapeutic purpose.

The pavilion was named after Rafael Rabell, who along with his daughter, Concepció Romaguera funded the construction and you can see that both the outside and inside have been decorated with a letter R in his honour.

Source: All the information in these Sant Pau posts is taken from the admission booklet. 

How to get there:
Metro: L5 Sant Pau / Dos de Maig or L2 to Sagrada Familia and walk up Avenue de Gaudi
Bus: H8, 19, 20, 45, 47, 50, 51, 92, 117, 192

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I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

8 thoughts on “Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site: Sant Rafael (8)”

  1. Love the tiling. It’s probably my next favourite decorative art after stained glass. I remember the first time I visited somebody in hospital being surprised that he wasn’t in a long ward like that because that’s what I was used to seeing on TV.!

    1. I remember visiting my mother in a ward that was long, but nothing like as glamorous as this one. She might have felt better more quickly had she been in these surroundings.

  2. The more I look at these images, the more these buildings seem to be almost organic. They appear to have grown, rather than been built. There is something quite compelling about them.
    Best wishes, Pete. x

  3. What I find interesting about the old photo of the ward are the heating rads in the centre of the room. What a novel idea rather than slammed up against the walls like we normally see them.

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