Sala Gimbernat – Barcelona, Spain - Atlas Obscura

Sala Gimbernat

18th century anatomical amphitheater of the Royal College of Surgery of Barcelona. 


Sala Gimbernat looks more like a cult conference room than a legitimate classroom for medical learning. The walls are bedecked with bright red fabric and imposing wooden chairs form a semi-circle around a marble operating table in the center of the room.

Despite its likeness to a sacrificial chamber, the Sala Gimbernat was actually a renowned anatomical amphitheater. Although a bit grisly in its nature, the amphitheater was used to teach anatomy through the dissection of human corpses. Students and scholars would line the room’s stadium seating as a full dissection was performed before their eyes. The theater was created for use by the Royal College of Surgery of Barcelona, which trained many of Catalan’s doctors during the 18th century.

Built in 1762, the Sala Gimbernat is one of the oldest surgery theaters in Europe. Its old-world splendor complete with stained glass and golden fixtures can still be toured today during a guided tour. 

Know Before You Go

Paid tours may be available with prior confirmation. 

It's accessible from metro station: Liceu (L3).

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