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One has to buy tickets ahead of time to see the Palau de la Musica (palau means palace) Catalana. One can only enter with a group that is guided.
One is amazed at how beautiful the building is. It is definitely the most beautiful building in Barcelona and a Modernist masterpiece! The architect was Lluis Domenech i Montaner, who was the director of the School of Architecture of Barcelona. He was one of the best Modernist architects. The building was supposed to become the home of the Catalan Choral Society, which was founded by Lluis Millet and Amadeu Vives. The building was going to be the showplace of a Catalan renaissance and Domenech planned everything, choosing all the artists and craftsmen who would build the building. The palace was completed in 1908, only three years after it was started.
The palace has plenty of light because the side walls have many stained glass windows and a wonderful stained glass skylight. The palace has been built using many different materials, such as exposed brick, glazed tiles, glass and iron. There is a sea of flowers in the stained glass and ceramic tiles used that is really amazing to see. On the facade of the palace is a beautiful sculptural group that was created by Miquel Blay, that depicts a warrior, a beautiful woman, children, and youths. There are busts of Palestrina, Bach, Beethhoven, and Wagner in the front of the building.
The concert hall inside has seats arranged in three levels. The stained glass skylight is a masterpiece and is in the shape of an enormous drop of light. On the sides of the stage are huge sculptures of a winged horse, three muses called the Flowers of May, and the Valkyries. The back of the stage has 18 sculptures of women playing historical musical instruments. The figures were created by Eusebi Arnau and show half of the body of the women coming out of the wall. The lower part of the figures showing the dresses are done in glazed tile and are flat on the wall.
There are about two thousand large ceramic roses in different colors that adorn the ceiling. The mosaic artists were Lluis Bru and Mario Maragliano. The stained glass was done by the firm of Rigalt Granell. When the group is seated in the concert hall, there is a demonstration of organ music of the large organ that sits behind the stage on the second floor. It shows how good the acoustics are in the concert hall. One is really overwhelmed by all of the decorative arts used in the palace, so very much beauty.
No trip to Barcelona is complete without seeing this magnificent palace. The palace was named as a World Heritage Site in 1997. There is a very good museum store where one can buy a booklet about the palace, to remember all its decorative details.
Photography is allowed in the Palau.
Calle Palau de la Música, 4-6
Guided Tours of Palau Musica
The Palau de la Música Catalana organises daily guided tours of the Modernist Concert hall and, when available, Lluís Millet Hall and the Chamber Music Hall. Limited space is available. Price:€18 as of January 2014. Various discounts are available, consult the web page of Palau Musica.
Every 30 minutes. Tours are available in Catalan, Spanish, French, English and Russian. Consult the web page of Palau Musica to see times for tours in your preferred language.
Daily: from 10.00 a.m. to 3.30 p.m.
Easter Week and July: from 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.
August: from 9.00 a.m. to8.00 p.m.
Tour Starting Point: Foyer (bar) of the Palau de la Música. Access from the square of Palau (Calle Palau de la Música 4-6). The tour takes 55 minutes.
An alternative way to enjoy the Palau is to visit an actual concert. They are performed throughout the year. You can check the upcoming concerts on their website: http://www.palaumusica.cat/en/ (If you settle for this option, make sure that the tickets you buy are for an event in the "Concert Hall", since Petit Palau is a smaller scene with contemporary design.)