Founded around 897 by Earl Guifre Borrell whose burial site, on the left side of the Church as you enter, helped in ascertaining the date of the Church founding, Sant Pau del Camp (St. Paul of the Fields) was a simple Church so named because it was built in the agricultural plain in what was considered at that time the outskirts of the city of Barcelona. It is now the oldest surviving Church in the city of Barcelona.
Today, it is like an oasis in the midst of a busy and crowded section of the city called Raval. Raval is where it all happens. It is colourful, full of bars and restaurants and peoples from different cultures as this is the place where most immigrants end up living. It is in here that this old and tiny Church of Sant Pau is located.
Where is Sant Pau del Camp?
Address: Carrer de Sant Pau, 101
Telephone: 34 934 410 001
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday: 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Saturday: 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Reconstructed by Geribert Guitard and his wife Rotlandis, it became a Benedictine monastery, a priory of the Monastery of Sant Cugat but in 1835, the monasteries in Spain were secularized so the monks abandoned it. In 1879, it was declared a National Monument. Below is what remained of the Monastery.
You can see in the next photo the entrance of the Church. Decorations are from nature.
Some of the Interesting Features Inside the Church of Sant Pau del Camp
The Romanesque nave with the altar is very simple with not too many decorations to distract one from worship. The tiny windows just give enough light adding mystery to the Church.
When we visited the first time, there was a Japanese lady musician from Okinawa practicing for a concert. It is a pity we did not have time to go back for it. She claims that the Church has one of the best acoustics she has ever played in.
The Church floors are all mosaic with different designs. On the left of the main altar is where the Blessed Sacrament is located. Here, there are candles you can light in prayer for whatever intentions you have.
Unlike the other major Cathedrals in the city where there are so many things to see and many other tourists vying for front view, this Church in its simplicity invites one to pray or to sit in silence. It speaks of age and wisdom, of what a Church should be, a connection to the unknown, to God.