The Palau de la Musica Catalana is a unique concert hall—the building is not only a performance venue but also an architectural symbol. On the list of Barcelona UNESCO World Heritage Sites, this building is a great representation of Catalan Modernist style and a wonderful place to learn about the history of Barcelona. Visitors today can either attend a concert or take an architectural tour of the Barcelona Concert Hall. For more than 100 years this building has been an important part of the cultural scene in Barcelona, and during your trip to this city in Catalonia, you will learn just how central music, art, and architecture are to the way of life in Barcelona.
Built between 1905 and 1908, the Palau de la Musica Catalana is an important symbol in Barcelona. Designed by architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, it instantly became the most popular places for concerts in Barcelona upon opening. In 2008, the Barcelona Concert Hall celebrated its centenary with a festival of music and culture for all age levels. Over the course of its 100 years, some of the most famous people in music graced the stage including singers, conductors, and musicians. Today, more than 500,000 people attend performances at the concert hall each year.
The Palau de la Musica Catalana was originally built to house a choral society called Orfeo Catala. The Barcelona Concert Hall is located in a neighborhood of Old Barcelona called La Ribera, and it’s famous not only for the quality of its music performances, but also for its structure. The façade is very striking with its rich decoration, mosaics, stained glass and glazed tiles. Many visitors to the building say that the glass, color, and atmosphere of the concert hall are what make it so special. The concert hall seats 2,200 people and is Europe’s only auditorium to be lit entirely with natural light during the day. The stained glass skylight is the must stunning feature of the concert hall, and it makes a wonderful complement to the music.
In 1997 the Palau de la Musica Catalana and neighboring Hospital de Sant Paul were together named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Hospital de Sant Paul was designed by the same architect as the concert hall, and it was a functioning hospital until June 2009 when renovations began for it to be used as a museum and cultural center. If you are impressed by the architecture of the Barcelona Concert Hall, be sure to also check out Hospital de Sant Paul during your trip to Catalonia.
The best way to experience the concert hall is to attend a performance. However, many visitors also choose to take advantage of the architectural tours that are available. The maximum number of guests for each tour is 55, and tickets can be purchased online up to a week in advance. Tours are available seven days a week at various times; consult the online timetable for further details on tour times. Tours are available in three languages, so if you’re looking for an English tour, check the schedule for this option. You can reach the concert hall with public transportation by taking the Metro to the Urquinaona station. The concert hall is open every day from 10 am until 3:30 pm, and tours last approximately 50 minutes. If you would rather experience the concert hall with music, or would like to do this in addition to your tour, purchase tickets online for one of the various events on offer.