Palau de la Musica

This beautiful concert hall is designed in the Catalan modernista style by the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner.

TravelCurious Tip

To fully experience the Palau de Música, you should really take a tour by day for the resplendent skylight and a concert by night for the glorious acoustics

Built at the open of the 20th century, the Palau de Música Catalana remains Barcelona’s most spectacular concert hall. It was commissioned by the Orfeó Català, a nationalistic choral society. As bizarre as that sounds, they were a leading force in the cultural movement known as the Renaixença — the Catalan Rebirth.

Designed in the Catalan Modernista style by the architect Lluís Domènech i Montanaer, it was extensively restored in the eighties and has since been declared a World Heritage Site. It’s an old hand, but far from retired — more than half a million people a year still attend performances there.

Modernista, Fashionista

The building exemplifies many of the traits of Catalan modernism: curves and dynamic shapes triumph over straight lines and static forms, and it’s all capped by a riot of florid ornament. The extravagant façade is a marriage of Spanish and Arabic architecture, with a mixture of exposed red brick and iron, mosaics, stained glass and glazed tiles. And although nationalistic, it was not beyond the Orfeó Català to acknowledge some of the greats: busts of Bach, Beethoven and Wagner gaze over the building’s entrance.

High Noon

The concert hall is the type that renders architects and designers giddy and speechless. It is the only auditorium in Europe that during the day is illuminated entirely by natural light. Over the stage there is an enormous stained glass skylight, with an orange centre burning out into an azure periphery, like the sun in a midday sky. 

Orders from Above

Elsewhere the decoration runs a strong choral theme, as you would expect. Depictions of great musical works, such as Wagner’s Die Walküre and Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, are coupled with references to classical mythology, including the 18 young women known as the muses and Pegasus, who was ridden by the muses whenever their father Zeus called for them at his side on Mount Olympus.

Nearby Attractions

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Related Tours

Explore El Born District: Private Half-Day Walking Tour
Experience the best of medieval and modern culture in El Born, Barcelona's trendiest and most beautiful neighbourhood on this private walking tour, including tickets for the guided tour of the Palau de la Música, an icon of modernism. 

On your private half-day tour your will: 

  • Discover the highlights of the fashionable and historic district of El Born;
  • Walk through quaint streets like Carrer de L’Argenteria and Carrer Barra de Ferro and pause outside the Picasso museum;
  • See the stunning 10th Century Gothic Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar (St Mary of the Sea);
  • Stroll along with the Passeig del Born into the heart of the area, and one of the best places for artisanal, designer and boutique shopping;
  • Stop by the designer studios and small workshops along the charming backstreets such as Carrer del Flassaders;
  • Admire Parc de la Ciutadella (the Catalan Parliament) and see the Arc de Triomf;
  • See the El Born Centre de Cultura I Memòria an archaeological museum housed inside a former 19th-century market, and learn all about the history and evolution of this fabulous neighbourhood;
  • Walk by the Convent Sant Agusti and on days it is open enjoy a fantastic stroll through the ever-vibrant Santa Caterina food market;
  • End your tour with a 50' guided visit to the "Palau de la Música Catalana".

El Born, while home to some of the oldest medieval buildings in Barcelona, has become one of the city’s most lively, trendy and popular neighbourhoods. Originally inhabited by fishermen and dockworkers, it was absorbed into the city walls in the 15th century and gradually became desirable to the aristocracy and merchant classes. 

Today, it is a bohemian, artsy, cultural paradise –famous for its great tapas and fashionable bistros, museums, gothic architecture, food markets and music halls! A place where history and modernity blend effortlessly. 

Your private walking tour will take in all the highlights of the art, architecture and vibrant culture of El Born and culminate at the Palau de la Música Catalana. This opera house is one of Barcelona’s most impressive Modernist masterpieces, designed by Catalan architect Lluis Domenech I Montaner. This is where you say goodbye to your guide, who will have arranged your tickets for a guided tour inside the iconic concert hall.


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