Palau de la Música Catalana

Cultural heritage
  • Creativitat
  • Lluís Domènech i Montaner
  • Modernisme
  • Oci i lleure

Palau de la Música Catalana

The Palau de la Música bewitches visitors with its surreal nature of luxurious colours and flower-crowned dancing nymphs that escape impossibly from the stained glass windows. It is pure exuberance watched over by the severe faces of music's great masters.Half hidden between the streets of Ramon Mas and Sant Francesc de Paula, the Palau de la Música emerges, as if by magic, as a garden of ceramics, glass and metal.

An explosion of creativity

A second of silence is eternal. That which is produced by the public after hearing a perfect symphony or an aria in the pure voice of a soprano. A silence that is broken by thunderous applause. This is what you feel the first time you enter the Palau de la Música. Exuberant, voluptuous, impressive. We will never run out of adjectives to describe architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner's magnificent building, the only concert hall to be declared World Heritage by UNESCO in 1997, a Modernista building on all four sides that reflects the will of Barcelona to modernise.

Its history began in 1905, when Lluís Domènech i Montaner, one of the founders of Modernisme, was encharged with building a new concert hall for the Orfeó Català. With total creative freedom, he designed an allegory of nature in nymphs, flowers and plant motifs that made the perfect backdrop for listening to the music. The building was built around a glass-covered metallic structure, a very avant-garde idea for the times, and into it he integrated all the applied arts: sculpture, ironwork, stained glass and ceramics. Domènech i Montaner also wanted light to be an architectural element, so large panels of stained glass, other windows and a central skylight let the sun flood into the Palau. The Modernisme that is reflected by the Palau de la Música is more than an aesthetic trend: it represents an ideological movement that wanted to modernise the city.

A privileged stage

From its inauguration in 1908, the Palau de la Música, nestling right in the centre of the Ciutat Vella district, has been a privileged setting for music, but also for politics and ideas. Great musical masters like Enric Granados, Manuel de Falla, Maurice Ravel, Igor Stravinsky and Frederic Mompou made their debuts in this auditorium. The Palau de la Música is a benchmark not only in the worlds of music and Modernista architecture: is the symbol of an era in Barcelona, the age when it became a modern city.

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