One of the most extreme and exciting of the Modernista buildings, this structure may be Lluís Domènech i Montaner’s masterpiece. Commissioned by the Orfeó Català choral music society, the architect laid the first stone on St. George’s Day (May 5, the feast of Catalunya’s patron saint) in 1905. It finally opened in 1908—a marvel of stained glass, ceramics, statuary, ornate wrought iron, and carved stone. In keeping with the architect’s signature style, the facade features exposed brick combined with colorful ceramic mosaics. The sculptures are symbolic and, frankly, nationalistic. The stone prow, a work by Miquel Blay, is an allegory of popular music with two boys and two old men embracing a nymph while St. George protects them with the Catalan flag. Inside, the vaults of the foyer are lined with Valencian tiles. The concert hall itself is topped with an enormous stained glass skylight representing a circle of female angels surrounding the sun as a choir—quite appropriate for a choral society. If you want a detailed explanation of all the imagery, plan to take a guided tour. We find that the best way to enjoy the hall is to attend a concert. Arrive early and you can study the rich details from your seat.
- Frommer's Staff