La Avinguda Gaudí (Gaudí Avenue) is an attractive avenue running diagonally through the right-hand side of the Eixample district of the city. Its purpose is to unify two of the most representative works of Catalan Modernism: the Sagrada Família of Antoni Gaudí and the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau by Lluís Doménech i Montaner, both World Heritage Sites.
You can admire the façade of both Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau and the Sagrada Família from wherever you are in the avenue, now partially pedestrianized, which makes a stroll so enjoyable and worthwhile. There are currently a good number of shops, bars and restaurants, many with terraces that are open for summer visitors to enjoy the deep shade cast by the trees in the avenue.
The scene is completed by modernist street lighting, which was installed in the Avinguda Gaudí only after having been used to first light what is now Plaça Joan Carles I, also known as Cinc d’Oros, at the junction of Av. Diagonal and Passeig de Gràcia.
La Sagrada Família
The church of La Sagrada Família is without doubt the most spectacular and most visited architectural work in Barcelona. It is set in the square of the same name, which continues behind the basilica to the Plaça Gaudí, both of which lie between the streets of Mallorca and Provença.
It is the maximum exponent of Catalan Modernism, and works began in 1882 although Gaudí himself did not take charge until 1891, when he finished the crypt and radically modified the rest of the plans. On his death in 1926, when the then deaf Gaudí was run over by a tram, this genius of Modernism had completed the apse of the church and had crowned the first of the towers of the Façana del Neixement, or Nativity Façade. From then onwards the construction of the church has continued with towers being built and spaces unified in accordance with the plans of the great architect. This includes three façades or porticos, each with four, 107-metre-high spires, and rising above these as the culmination of the nave is the planned Torre del Salvador, or Tower of Our Saviour. The central nave was completed in 2010 and in November of that year the Pope Benedict XVI visited to consecrate the church as a basilica.
Architects in charge of the building works are aiming to complete the building in 2026, one hundred years after the death of its creator. The finished church is planned to have eighteen towers: twelve dedicated to the Apostles; four to the Evangelists, one to Jesus and one to the Virgin Mary.
Address: Mallorca, 401.
Phone: 932 080 414.
Metro: L2 and L5 Sagrada Família.
Bus: 19, 33, 34, 43, 44, 50, 51.
Opening hours: January to March and October to December open from 9:00 to 18:00. April to September open from 9:00 to 20:00.
Audio-guides available in several languages.
Estrella Damm Old Brewery
At the facilities of Estrella Damm’s Old Brewery, visitors can also tour the museum, which features numerous objects, historical documents and visual resources of interest relating to Barcelona’s Beer. Here they Hill discover other brands and specialities of the company, including Estrella Damm Inedit, Voll-Damm, A.K. Damm and Weiss Damm, all which have helped to make Damm our contry’s leading brewery.
On occasion the factory opens its doors for concerts or exhibitions. An exhibition called Una estrella desde 1876, or A Star Since 1876, can be seen every Wednesday from 15:00 to18:00.
Address: Rosselló, 515.
Phone: 902 300 125.
Metro: L5 Sant Pau – Dos de Maig.
Bus: 15, 19, 20, 45, 47, 50, 51.
The Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau
We can see the main façade of the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau in the street of San Antonio Ma Claret at the other end of the Avinguda Gaudí. It is currently being restored and no longer carries out its functions as a hospital for which it was designed and built.
The project for the hospital got underway in 1901 thanks to the legacy of a Catalan banker who lived in Paris. With plans for the project put out to tender, the winning architect was the modernist Lluís Doménech i Montaner, who came up with the idea of not just one hospital but an immense enclosure of forty eight pavilions connected by underground passages below landscaped gardens. The building works were finally completed in 1930 by the son of the architect and from then until 2009 the building was used as the hospital for which it was created. The complex is currently being restored, though its final use is not yet known. The outstanding main entrance pavilion is on the crossroads of Carrer Cartagena and Carrer San Antonio Ma Claret and faces the Avinguda Gaudí, from which it can be seen and admired by any passer-by. In 1997 UNESCO declared the Hospital de Sant Pau World Heritage Site.
Address: Sant Antoni Ma Claret, 167.
Phone: 932 156 050.
Metro: L5 Sant Pau – Dos de Maig.
Metro: 15, 19, 20, 45, 47, 50, 51.
The Street Lights
A pleasant stroll along the Avinguda Gaudí between the Sagrada Família and the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, masterpieces of Catalan Modernism, really is a must for any lover of this artistic style that was embraced with such success in Catalonia. Illuminating this promenade are the modernist streetlights of the great architect Pere Falqués.
These streetlights were originally created to light the Cinc D’Oros, the junction of Passeig de Gràcia and Diagonal, but in 1957 they were removed as they were getting in the way of traffic. After many years in storage, in 1985 they finally found their place in the revamped Avinguda Gaudí, the modernist boulevard connecting the grand works of Gaudí and Domènech i Montaner.
Address: Avinguda Gaudí.
Metro: L5 Sagrada Família and Sant Pau-Dos de Maig and L2 Sagrada Família.
Bus: 15, 19, 20, 43, 44, 45, 47, 50, 51.