El Guinardó

A Famous Farmhouse and Hospital de Sant Pau

El Guinardó used be the highest part of the old municipality of Sant Martí de Provençals located on the borders with Horta and Gràcia.

Until the end of the 19th century, the area was farmland with the farmhouses scattered across what was known as the Muntanya Pelada.

The most celebrated of these was Mas Guinardó, which is reported to have been occupied by Joan d'Austria in 1652 and later by James Fitz James, the Duke de Berwick, commander in chief of the French and Spanish forces that subdued the Catalans during the Seige of Barcelona in 1714.

Mas Guinardó ended up giving its name to the whole neighbourhood, and along with Mas Viladomat was owned by Salvador Riera, who began building houses here in 1896.

The old Mas is shown in the picture below and the effects of uncontrolled building in the area can clearly be seen.

Mas Guinardó


By the 1930s, the area was mainly small houses with a garden occupied by middle-class families.

Like most of the neighbourhoods in the Horta Valley, until relatively recently the population was made up of market gardeners, tradesmen and craftsmen and people who had a summer residence here.

In the 1950s El Guinardó became the object of severe speculation and many large apartment blocks were built to absorb the influx of immigrants from other parts of Spain.

However, although quite densely populated, industry never moved in the neighbourhood is still residential and the very pleasant Parc del Guinardó was never built on.

The park opened in 1910 and has gardens by Forestier from 1916 and Rubió i Tudurí from 1920.

At the entrance to the park, look out for the sculpture El Nen de la Rutlla - The Boy with the Hoop - installed by Joaquim Ros i Bofarull in 1961 and considered the symbol of the neighbourhood.

From a tourists point of view the main reason for visiting is the marvellous Modernista Hospital de Sant Pau located in the corner where Guinardó meets the Sagrada Familia neighbourhood.

The hospital is one of the finest examples of Modernista architecture and was designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner as Barcelona's main hospital where the beauty of the surroundings would have a positive effect on the patients.

Work began in 1905 under Domènech i Montaner and, after his death in 1920, was completed by his son Pere Domènech i Roura in 1930. 

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