The Palau de la Música Catalana is a unique building and a UNESCO heritage site as the only concert hall in the world with natural light. It has acquired the status of the main one in Barcelona, with concerts of classical and contemporary music, lectures, seminars and performances. The Palace of Catalan Music combines the best features of several architectural styles and has excellent acoustics, giving the sound in its walls of the volume and power. The auditorium has 2,200 seats, but the popularity of the palace is such that up to half a million spectators attend during the year.
History of the Palau de la Música Catalana
The building is considered a unique example of Art Nouveau. The author of the project was the architect Luis Domenech y Montanier, who by that time already had fame and recognition. He conceived an original design with a vaulted mosaic dome. Its structure allows the sun’s rays to penetrate into the remotest corners of the auditorium. Gold, blue and shades of blue were chosen as the basis for the mosaic patterns. Thus, a prototype of the vault of heaven with the luminary in the center was created.
Not a single coin was spent from the city budget. Construction was funded by private donations. We can say that the Palau de la Música Catalana was created, thanks to the people of Catalonia.
Construction took three years and in 1908 the grand opening of the concert hall took place. In its appearance, there is a clear mix of Art Nouveau styles, Arabic elements and characteristics of classical Spanish architecture. Originality is given by the abundance of curved lines, fanciful stuccowork in the interior decoration and superbly planned system of natural lighting.
On the main facade, guests are greeted by busts of great composers of past eras, the entrance is decorated with columns and even the ticket office outside is lined with fanciful mosaics. The luxurious building was named best building of the year and the architect was awarded a gold medal.
There are no static elements in the outline of the building. The hall and lobby resemble a frozen melody, fluid, whimsical and at the same time measured.
The basis of the structure is a steel frame, which has a large margin of safety, so the spacious interior rooms are not equipped with additional supports, they are full of light and air.
The House of Music in Barcelona was built for the local choral society. This was recorded in the form of an allegorical group on the façade by the artist and ceramist Louis Bru.
The mosaic dome and walls were a special feature of the interior. Against the background of colored stained-glass windows, the statues of Pegasus, the composition based on the opera “Valkyrie”, and the busts of composers look unusual and spectacular.
In the center is the flag of Catalonia, 18 Greek Muses. Above the stage are the pipes of the organ. The hall is built according to classical canons, and there are two tiers above the parterre. The shape is designed to create great acoustics. From any point you can hear the slightest dynamic nuance in an instrumental or vocal performance.
Excursions to the Palau de la Música Catalana
You can get into the building by purchasing tickets to one of the concerts or by taking a guided tour of the palace’s interior. The introduction begins in the choir society’s rehearsal room. Further on, the route leads to the Staircase of the Noble, decorated with a balustrade in which a variety of materials, including glass and moldings, were used. In the Salle Luis Millett, the wide exterior balcony, whose decorative elements symbolize the richness and generosity of nature in Catalonia, attracts attention.
The concert hall impresses by the richness of its decoration, the breadth of its forms, and the amazing combination of streams of light pouring through the windows and the dome, decorated with stained glass paintings. A closer look at this abundance can be seen from the gallery of the second tier.
The tour of the Palau de la Música in Barcelona ends with a tour of the custom-built organ by German craftsmen. After seeing the splendor it is unbearable to hear the sound of music or attend one of the performances.
Tickets for tours are purchased at the Palace box office, sittings are provided for families of 4 people, students, pensioners and groups of tourists over 25 people. The tour of the Palacio de la Música Catalana is 60 minutes long, and groups are packed every 30 minutes.
On the first and last Wednesday of each month, a discount is given to all visitors.
Palau de la Música Catalana
All information about upcoming events can be found on the official website, as well as times and days of performances and concerts.
The official Internet address is www.palaumusica.cat/en.
On the list of music events:
- masters of the Spanish guitar;
- operas by Verdi, Mozart, and Wagner;
- instrumental music by composers of different eras;
- organ concerts;
- flamenco festivals;
- Solo performances by famous instrumentalists and vocalists;
- choral music.
The poster is constantly updated, so you can plan in advance to visit the event and buy tickets in advance.
Opening hours and prices at the Palau de la Música Catalana
The concert hall opens at 10 a.m. and is open until 3:30 p.m. During the summer months the operating time is extended by 2.5 hours. It can be reached by metro, Urquinaona station.
Location on the map
The price of the ticket for a tour is 18.9 €, the cost of attending the events must be found out separately on the official website.
The Palau de la Música Catalana is rightly considered an outstanding example of Art Nouveau architecture and one of the symbols of Barcelona.