You Just Have to Look Like You Know What You’re Doing

Just Yesterday, at my internship, I was doing some research to plot any major POIs in the barrios surrounding Gracia. Most of the points I plotted in Eixample – the area in which I live – I had already visited. To the east of Gracia is Horta-Guinardo – the barrio in which I used to live. That area isn’t well known for its attractions, other than the Parc del Laberint (see previous posts). But there was one point here I had heard about but I had yet to visit: Hospital de la Santa Creu I Sant Pau.  The nearest metro stop was just up the street from the hospital and it was on the metro line that I take to and from my internship. Could it be easier to get there?  So I went.

The hospital (no longer functioning – but next to a modern, functioning one), was designed by Domenech i Muntaner.  Presently, the whole area is under renovation, so you can’t see much other than the façades of a few buildings. You can however, go inside the church, la Esglesia de l’Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau. The church has a sign on the door detailing when it is open for visits. The sign noted that it was open at the time I was there, so I went inside. Well, it sure didn’t seem open once I was inside. It was very beautiful, but very empty.  I have never been alone in  a church before, and let me tell you, it was super creepy. It kind of feels like all of the figures watch you as you walk around. I admired, took photos, and promptly left.

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On my way out, I passed by a building once part of the hospital, now used for part of a university. I thought, maybe instead of walking around the building, I would walk through it. I got up to the door and there was a sign that said the building was open to university people only. Oh well, I am a university student… Just not there. So I went in anyway. When there was no one around I admired the building and its spectacular tiled walls.  And when there were people around, I walked quickly, with purpose, like I totally knew where I was and what I was doing. Except I didn’t.

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I left the hospital and got back on the metro. Instead of taking it straight to Passeig de Gracia (my stop), I got off at Verdaguer – or as I think of it in my head, Verdura (that’s so much easier to say, and a real word!).  Right outside the metro station is a building called Casa Macaya.  I have no knowledge of its purpose or history; I just saw it on TripAdvisor, and thought I’d check it out. It’s a very pretty building. You can’t go the the upper floors, only the courtyard, but that’s alright. The whole ceiling in the courtyard is a skylight, so it’s all extremely bright. In the center is a small tree.  But the stairs were my favorite.  Well, not the stairs themselves, but the cover for them.  The stairs were made into a sort of inclined passageway by a stone covering.  From the side or bottom, only the shape was interesting, but from certain vantage points, you could see the top, and that was spectacular. After Casa Macaya, I went back to my apartment, I really needed to get some rest.

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