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Barcelona is known for Gaudi’s Sagrada de Familia. Its next top spot is also an architectural marvel and a unique place to visit. While most historical monuments tend to be places of worship like a church, a temple, or a mosque, the Palau de Música Catalana sets itself apart because it is a concert hall.
The concert hall is considered as one of the best buildings that showcase the best of Catalan modernism. Its chief architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner completed the construction in 1908. The following year it has won an award for being the best building in Barcelona. Some prominent figures criticized the building and its opening has brought a lot of money problems to its creator. Today, however, the Palau de la Música Catalana wins recognition for being a carefully-crafted and designed Modernist building.
The concert hall is open every day but if you are visiting during the Holy Week, make sure to check their website for the days they are open. Opening hours vary. From September to March and the whole month of July, they open at 10AM and close at 3:30PM. For the entire month of July, they extend operating hours until 6PM and even longer in August where they open at 9AM and close at 6PM. The entrance fee is at 20 euros or 23 USD.
The Palau, as it is commonly called, is easily accessible by public transportation. By metro, you can take the Yellow Line, L1 or L4 to Urquinaona station. If you are going by bus, you can take the following buses 39, 42, 55, H16 which are for Plaça Urquinaona. Another route is via Laietana or Comtal; these buses are 45, V15, V17. Most tourists though prefer the convenience of the hop-on hop-off tourist buses and stop by Catedral – Gòtic. The hop-on hop off buses also offer a 10% discount on the entrance fees. Sightseeing bus tickets cost 30 euros for a one day and 20 euros for two days. If you’re visiting a lot of places, this option will be the most convenient for you.
Even from afar the façade of the Palau is already impressive. At first glance, you can see red brick and stained glass adorn the building. Upon closer inspection, you will notice the glazed tiles and the mosaics. There is a sculpture on the corner of the building called The Catalan song that contributes to the overall atmosphere of openness and welcome. During your visit, pay close attention to the entrance pillars with its intricate mosaic and arches. Everywhere you turn is a visual feast from the stairs to the foyer. Other sections in the Palau include the Lluís Millet Hall, the main auditorium, and the Petit Palau. For the best experience, it is better to go on a guided tour of the concert hall. Standard tours cost 20 euros and it gives you access to the various parts of the building. The mosaic tiles, the stained glass, and the skylight is truly a spectacle that you should not miss. For concert-goers and music-lovers, you can choose the tickets with the piano or live organ added to the tour. Food-lovers will also love Palau Square that has a café for your dining needs.
The history buff, the architecture lovers, concert-goers, foodies, and the casual tourist will surely love Palau de la Música Catalana.
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