The neighbourhood of the Sagrada Familia is a charming place in Barcelona which has the great privilege of coexisting with the most famous (and most visited) temple of Spain. This privilege has also something of a curse: there are millions of tourists who move to this area of Barcelona just to see the wonderful Gaudí’s masterpiece and do not enjoy the atmosphere which is much more than the Sagrada Familia. What to look beyond the famous temple?
Sant Pau Hospital: the other gem
Apart from the wonders by Gaudi that can be appreciate citywide, other modernist gems, by one of the other great architects competing with the famous Gaudí, pops up in this district. If the bone of contention consists in four buildings for the Casa Batlló, in the neighbourhood of the Sagrada Familia this is without doubts the Hospital de Sant Pau, which despite being a single building, a total of eight and the magnificent central pavilion are more than enough to look face to face with the unparalleled beauty of the Temple of the Sagrada Familia.
To enjoy this wonder, we just need to walk along the Avinguda Gaudí and we will finally (after eight minutes walking approximately) arrive to a modernist complex which appears in front of us.
Sant Pau Hospital, designed by the “rival” of Gaudí, the architect Lluis Domenech i Montaner, is an authentic aesthetic representation of pure modernism, which was declared part of the UNESCO World Heritage.
Avinguda Gaudí: a walk to the paradise
As we have previously mentioned, the Avinguda Gaudí is the magnificent road linking the Sagrada Familia with the Hospital de Sant Pau.
Far from being a simple link between the two monumental complexes, this lively avenue deserves its own attention: completely pedestrian and with beautiful lampposts and small details which go on introducing us into the world of Gaudí, this avenue is a real pleasure and invite the visitor to stop at any of the cafes to take a break from such tourist confluence while enjoying the breath-taking views.
This impressive avenue can be divided into several sections: the first section, in which the canopies decorated with iroko beams (wood from Cameroon and Angola) must be highlighted and the last stretch, the closest to the hospital, where a fountain and a sculpture called “The Good Weather Chasing the Storm” stand.
The lamps we refer to will accompany us throughout the ride, there is no moment without beautiful details to observe in our walk.
Antiga Fábrica Damm
So important and interesting the past and present of the industrial side of Barcelona is that something as “banal” as a brand of beer becomes a symbol of the city. And that’s what happens with beers “Damm”, now becoming and icon not only in the capital but throughout the Mediterranean coast and a reference of this culture and lifestyle.
The epicentre of the activity of this beer brand in Barcelona is not found in his factory, but in its old first building, where all the empire that today includes many bars around the Spanish territory was born.
This space located in the Roselló street, an exhibition building today, is one of the monumental references not only of the industrial period in Barcelona where factories and towering chimneys were genuine symbols, but part of the cultural activity of Barcelona being a sponsor of many events, whose climax is the traditional concert of the Mercé (the popular party par excellence in Barcelona), where many leading artists: such as The Kooks, The Klacsons or the Crystal Fighters have recently played.
To say it shortly, La Sagrada Familia (the neighbourhood) is more than just a temple and a busy subway station, where there is life beyond the genius and where an apartment in Sagrada Familia brings you to a neighbourhood with much character that has managed to survive the hordes of tourists who visit it deservedly.