In for a treat?

2 Mar
copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Carrer Montalegre

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had an intense week, and am ready for the weekend. And weekends should be all about treats, so I have one in store for you in today’s post. Are you in for a treat?

On Carrer Montalegre, just up the road from the CCCB is another lovely old building from bygone times when this area of the Raval was home to hospices, hospitals and charity houses. This is one of the latter, and looks a little forbidding from the outside, or in any case very plain, except for the minor detail above its doorway.

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Charity house

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Gorgeous courtyard

Once inside, however, there is nothing plain or forbidding about the building. Quite the contrary in fact: it is full of rather feminine detailing, from its sgraffito treatment of its walls to the flowery tiles that run along their base. The structural elements have been kept simple, and so the detailing jumps out at you all the more. Quite simply, delightful!

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Pretty tiles

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Arches + rosette

Naturally, in the times this building was created, those who ran charity institutions were the religious orders, and so, above the arches of the galleries on the ground and first floors, a rosette with inlaid stained glass, on an adjacent chapel can be seen.

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Ceiling glimpsed

The most stunning details that I discovered when I visited this lovely courtyard, are the wooden ceiling panels and beams, which are richly decorated. I’m not sure if it is marquetry, maybe it is just paint, but the detailing is very pretty and such a delightful surprise. It makes me so happy to see how well it has been looked after all this time.

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Marvellous marquetry

Charity houses were funded by the rich, but also needed to make money for themselves, somehow, and so the resident orphans and other recipients of charity were put to work, often in very bad conditions. From the look of this beautiful courtyard, I’d like to imagine conditions were not so very appalling here. An old machine from the time of Barcelona’s golden era stand by the main staircase as a reminder of the kind of work that took place here many years ago.

But let’s have no more thoughts of work, bring on the weekend! Have a good one, everyone, and see you back here, at the Cute Suite, on Monday!

copyright: Lisette van de Graaf

Grand stairs

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