Barcelona may be known as the “City of Gaudí” but Antoni Gaudí is not the only modernist architect who left a significant impression on the city.

Apart from Gaudi, Modernisme had two main proponents: Lluis Domenech i Montaner and Josep Puig i Cadafalch, and if you’re visiting Barcelona it’s well worth stepping away from the queues at La Sagrada Família to witness their sensational but often ignored works.

Josep Puig i Cadafalch and Lluís Domènech i Montaner have undoubtedly a proper name within Catalan architecture. They are great artists whose works shine in Barcelona.

Works such as the unfinished Sagrada Família or Park Güell by Antoni Gaudí are the clearest exponents of Catalan Modernism. However, many other buildings in Barcelona hide the names of artists who laid the foundations of Modernism in Barcelona but have remained in the shadow of Gaudí, despite having left in Barcelona a legacy of extraordinary beauty.

El Palau de la música

El Palau de la música. A masterpiece by Domènech i Montaner.

Domènech i Montaner

Lluís Domènech i Montaner (1850-1923) was both a contemporary and teacher of Gaudí, and a renowned architect in his own right. His Modernist masterpieces are as captivating as the best Gaudí work.

Domènech i Montaner was a pioneer reflecting the character of the Catalan people through sculpture.

Domènech’s buildings show an amalgam of rationalism and exquisite ornamentation. His works displays a Spanish-Arabic inspiration as well as a taste for curvilinear paths. Palau de la Música and Hospital de Sant Pau are the best examples that show the unique beauty of his buildings. Palau de la Música, indeed, is the building that best preserves the charm of Domènech i Montaner’s architecture. Both were declared World Heritage Sites in 1987.

The colossal Hospital de Sant Pau took 30 years to build. The initial project had to have almost twice as many pavilions, but in the end only 27 were built.

Sant Pau Hospital

Sant Pau Hospital. Almost a city inside the city.

This route will assist you in finding the most interesting Modernista works by Domènech i Montaner in Barcelona, ordered by importance.


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