Friday, May 1, 2009


This is a hospital just up the street from my apartment. How awesome is that?!

My first visit to Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau (unesco world heritage site) was an odd one. In one instant you walk past a few tourists taking pictures of it's main building's high domed ceilings (covered in shiney rosey coloured tiles), then you are trying to stay clear of the paramedics running from one building to the next (dressed in hair nets and those creepy green scrubs). Domenech (architect) opted for this hospital to contain isolated pavilions (gingerbread houses) joined by an underground gallery (probably haunted and scary). This surgery pavillion allowed patients to be moved to their rooms for post-surgery care. The ones behind it were made into some convent for the nuns who cared for the patients.
It's Administrative Pavillion (like the picture above), I think it's facade was built in the 19th century, but I'm not totally sure.
From the brouchure, I gathered that the architect created large, "diaphanous" rooms by combining traditional Catalan building techniques- the Catalan vault - with structural innovations using steel, the "emblematic" material of the industrial revolution (this allows the sun to fill the interior of the pavillions and the breeze to flow from one end to the other, thus reducing the risk of infection... nice). Adobe ("can you say... 'Adobe'... there's no basement in the Alamo!"... haha only some of you may know this reference), the adobe bricks are useful aparently, for erecting the walls without "roughcasting" (Domenech technique).. ;)

What is really cool is that this place was founded in Ciudat Vella in 1401 (when six small medieval hospitals were joined). It's Europe's 2nd oldest and one continued to be used until present day! My roomie told me that her friend had given birth in that place. Their equipment, however, resembled those used in the 1950s... so... perhaps, if ever in an accident, I should take the metro an extra 2 stops to the other nearby hospital, eh?
Although, the place may be a bit behind in technology, the inner courtyard is heavenly. Filled with pretty trees and flowers, the ambulences are barely noticed. The Architect maybe had forseen the polutions of modernity when designing the layout.

(oops sorry, just looked at the brochure again, there is a "new hospital" hidden behind the fancy stuff. Althought that doesnt explain the panicy paramedics in the admin. pavilion!?) hmm.

Oh! Other factoid: the scene where Christina (the brunette) from Vicky Christina Barcelona, leaves her "language school" with her admirer (fellow student) and they are shot facing down the av. gaudi and the sagrada familia, remember? Well! that "school" is actually this hospital. I just noticed that last night (I watched the movie AGAIN).

So yeah, anyway, just hanging out indoors today. The weather here is the strangest. It gets blazing hot when the sun comes out, but then an hour later is pours and doesn't stop for a while. It does this everyday. EVERYDAY! (at least for the month I've been here.) I walked to the hospital again today and then drank mediochre coffee and a croissant with too much glaze on the top and stuck to the backs of my teeth (i must be in a bad mood, to be complaining about a croissant). Then I took out money from my account to pay for rent. OUCH. Then cleaned the window sill with a toothbrush so I can start planting flowers in the flower pot. :) haha, i kind of enjoyed it.
Now, eating my yogurt and waiting for my tardy father to log into skype! grr...

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About Me

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Barcelona, Catalunya, Spain
No, I didn't come to Barcelona because of THAT movie. (although it did fuel my obsession with this city, slightly). First time living away from home, away from Canada... Thinking it's gonna be an adventure. I want to share my ups and downs with you during my European get away, so enjoy. :)