The Palau de la Musica Catalana got its start early in the twentieth century because a local choral society wanted a place to perform. The result is a world class venue that offers concerts from Baroque to Rock. A lot of them. The hall is active over 300 nights a year.

Because the hall is located in the heart of the old city where streets are more like alleys and space is tight, there is no grand approach to this decorative building. So why put so much effort and expense into an ornate exterior? The architect, Lluis Domènech Montaner, thought that someday the surrounding buildings might be demolished. So far, they have not.

We began our tour on the ground floor. Besides the lobby, there is a restaurant where once there were offices, and a space for rehearsals and small performances.

Even the door handles are beautiful.

As we climbed the stairs to the main hall, we noticed the unusual tile ceiling along the stairway and the even more unusual glass posts supporting the railings.

Because buildings in the area are packed so tightly, they can be dark. Montaner made sure that was not the case here by use of huge windows and a magnificent skylight.

Outside the main hall is a ”smoking room” used at Intermission. Its rather austere look was due to budgetary constraints. In fact, it was so dull the only photo I took was of the chandelier. Not so the adjoining balcony.

In the modern wing of the building, recently constructed to house a music school, there is a stairway with a rather nice chandelier made to look like organ pipes.


    1. I left out a full description. The entire building is supported by ironwork, including the bannisters. If you look inside the glass cylinders, you can see a twisted iron rod. The glass is not just decoration, though. It keeps the iron from rusting.

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