The Palau de la Música Catalana is a concert hall in Barcelona with a close relationship with the Catalan culture of all times and especially through music. The building was designed by the famous Lluís Domènech i Montaner, built between 1905 and 1908 for the Orfeó Català that is a choral society founded in the XIX century and it was leading the Catalan Cultural movement known as the Reinaxença.
It is interesting to know that the project was possible due to the society who contributed to finance the Palau as well as industrialists and bourgeoisies who contributed too.
The Palau de la Música was declared a UNESCO heritage site in 1997 along with the Hospital de Sant Pau. The Palau offers a wide variety of performances during the year that go from the symphonic and chamber music to Jazz and Catalan songs.
The Palau is a typical Catalan modernist building, with its dynamic shapes, curves and rich decoration with floral and organic motifs, using artisan technics such as ceramics. The building has a rich decoration and used elements of many sources, there are parts that are inspired by the Spanish and Arabic architecture, known by the usage of red brick and iron, the mosaics and stain glass as well as the glazed tiles.
In the façade, there are columns above with large busts of Giovanni Pierluigi, Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven and Richard Wagner. There are the ticket windows in the façade that have concentric arches and adorned with floral mosaics, they are beautiful!
The façade and the outside of the building is spectacular but for me is even more impressive the inside, the ceiling of the vestibule is decorated with glazed ceramic following the shape of the stars. The magnificent marble staircase has crowned lamps on columns on the side that bring you to the second floor.
The Palau de la Música can host up to 2200 people and is the only auditorium in Europa that is illuminated during the daylight hours by natural light. The impressive skylight stained glass designed by Antoni Rigalt is what makes it possible to get natural light inside the auditorium.
The stage has a common theme, being the choral music, no surprise since it is a choral society who ordered the building. There is a choir of young women that surrounded the stained-glass skylight and a bust of Anselm Clavé -famous choir director in Catalonia-.
In 1989 they opened a six-story tower called Petit Palau that houses dressing rooms, a library and archives. It has an auditorium with a seating capacity of 538 people . It also uses the latest audiovisual technology and it is equipped with variable acoustics for different types of music.
Visit the Palau de la Música
The Palau de la Música Catalana is one of the most representative monuments of the city, if you are into Modernism this beauty is a must for you! The entrance costs 18 euros per person and there are guided tours to visit the building.
The tours start at the Rehearsal Hall of the Orfeó Català, the choir rehearses regularly so if you are lucky you can even see them in action when you visit. You can see the incredible staircase, the Lluís Millet Halland the Concert Hall. And last but not least the organ of the Palau that overlooks the room.
To get to the Palau the easiest is to get off at the metro station Urquinaona L1/L4 but you can walk from Plaça Catalunya L1/L3 station as well. The bus lines V15, V17, 45 will also take your there