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At the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, the Catalan Government confiscated the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, which operated as a public hospital until the end of the conflict. During this period, the centre made important medical advances, particularly in the field of surgery.

Construction of the Art Nouveau Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, designed by the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, began in 1902. However the site was not officially opened until 1930, when the 20 pavilions, interconnected by means of underground passages, came into service. This distribution responded to early-20th-century hygienist medical requirements. The new hospital quickly won great repute due to the quality of its facilities and doctors.

On 27 July 1936, shortly after the outbreak of the war, the Catalan Government requisitioned the centre, which was renamed as the General Hospital of Catalonia and was run by the Ministry for Health and Social Assistance, which was directed by the anarchist Pere Herrera. This wartime initiative responded to the Generalitat’s determination to provide quality public health services to the entire population. The hospital’s staff publicly welcomed the new administrative organisation and offered their full cooperation to the authorities.

During this period of public management, which lasted until 1939, great medical advances were made. An example is the war surgery method devised by Doctor Josep Trueta, head of hospital services, and which was later employed widely during World War Two. This was a method of treating fractures and open wounds that prevented gangrene and the consequent amputation of affected members. After the Francoist victory, Doctor Trueta went into exile, firstly in France and later in England, whilst several doctors at the hospital were purged by the new authorities and forcibly barred from their profession.

In 1997, UNESCO catalogued the hospital site as World Heritage. Today, the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau houses various institutions and is open to the public for guided tours.

Address: 167, Carrer de Sant Antoni Maria Claret || Coordinates: (LAT, LONG): 41.411397640, 2.174315178

  • Periods:
  • Second Republic
  • Civil War
  • Francoism
  • Transition