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Monastery of Sant Pau del Camp

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Monastery of Sant Pau del Camp41.376316, 2.169553Monastery of Sant Pau del CampBarcelona Catalunya, España (Directions)

The Monastery of Sant Pau del Camp is located at Sant Pau Street, 99, in the Raval district of the city of Barcelona.

The first documentary mentions that we have of the current Monastery of Sant Pau del Camp are from the year 985, although it did not become a monastery until 1117. However, the discovery of the tombstone of Count Guifré Borrell, who died in 911, and of two Visigothic capitals, together with the attack of al Mansur, which was in 985, makes us think of the existence of an older monastery. Until the 14th century, this monastery was outside the walls of Barcelona.

The building is a construction inspired by the Lombard Romanesque models of the 12th century. It is a single-nave building, with three apses at the head. The central apse is larger than the lateral apse. The interior roof of the church is made of barrel vault topped by an octagonal dome.

In the main façade we can see the door flanked by two columns with vegetal capitals dating from the Visigothic period. In the tympanum of the door are the sculpted images of Jesus Christ flanked by Saint Peter and Saint Paul. At the foot of the figures there is a deteriorated inscription that still allows us to read the names of the promoters of the monastery. This image is completed by the figures of the evangelists. On this façade we can also see a decoration of blind arches. This church has been reformed on different occasions since the 14th century.

One of the most outstanding parts of this monastery is the square cloister. In this cloister we can observe different lobed arches (there are three and five lobes) that are supported by columns with capitals figured with vegetal motifs, fantastic animals and images related to Genesis. The singularity of this set, from the 13th century, has led to a relationship with supposed Muslim reminiscences.

The coenobium of the monastery of Sant Pau del Camp abandoned this building in 1835. Since then, Sant Pau del Camp has ceased to be a monastery and has become a parish church.