Palau de la Música Catalana (page 1 of 2)

Lluís Domènech i Montaner
1908
Carrer de Sant Pere Més Alt II and Carrer de Amadeu Vives I (or Carrer de Sant Francesc de Paula 2)



Classified by UNESCO in 1997 as a World Heritage site, this is the most famous building designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner. It is thoroughly Modernista, seen especially in its integration of various visual arts, decorative richness, use of color, and floral ornament. It is the home and concert hall for the Orfeó Català, a choral society founded in 1891 by Lluís Millet and Amadeu Vives. This organization was so successful that it commissioned in 1904 this concert hall, which is still active with almost half a million people a year attending a variety of concerts from symphonic and chamber performances to jazz and cançó.

The building is on the site of the former cloisters of the old monastery of Sant Francesc; the streets are narrow and cramped. In fact, it is impossible to see the allegorical mosaic at the top of the facade unless one is lucky enough to get inside buildings opposite the concert hall. Thick columns support the arcades at the entrance; where they join a shield advertises the Orfeó Català. During Franco's regime the government ordered that all references to Catalan be concealed.

 
A double row of columns on the main balcony is decorated with colorful and different mosaic designs.

 
Floral themes--characteristic of Modernism--are evident in stained glass, ceramic, and mosaics.
 
One of the thick columns at the entrance originally served as a ticket booth. While the building is predominantly red brick, mosaic decoration covers many surfaces.
 
The chief designer of the mosaics was Lluís Bru.
 
The large sculpture on the corner, by Miquel Blay, is entitled La cançó popular catalana (1909). Catalan song is personified as a graceful maid before a group of male and female figures. Above them is a copy of a silver statuette of St. George in the Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya chapel.



Continue to page 2.

Other buildings on this site by Lluís Domènech i Montaner include: Casa Marià Fuster i Fuster, Casa Albert Lleó i Morera, and Editorial Montaner i Simon.

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© 2001 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. (I would appreciate being told if you find them useful.) They are not available for commercial purposes without my explicit permission.

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