Ex Ospedale dello Spirito Santo


The complex called Ospedale dello Spirito Santo is the only example of lay architecture in Lecce (Via Giuseppe Libertini, 6) and it served as a hospital during the Renassaince.1



It was founded in 1392 by Giovanni d'Aymo, on the pattern of S. Maria in Gradi Hospital in Viterbo, which was built when Antonio da Viterbo was the bishop of Lecce.
The new institution took the place of an earlier one dedicated to S. Giovanni Battista and was assigned to Padri Predicatori.2 After many conflicted events that had involved the local university into the administration, in 1548 the old medieval construction, which had fallen into ruin, was almost completely demolished and rebuilt according to G. Giacomo dell'Acaya's drawings.3 The architect, who was in the city at the time, beside being rector of the hospital, was also clerk of the works for the enlargement of the city and Castle of Charles walls.4



Down the ages, the hospital received several bequests and donations from many patients. It also got numerous contributions from noble families of Lecce so that it became the richest hospice of the city.5
In the first 20-year period of the 20th century, with the creation of the new Hospital "Vito Fazzi", the ancient hospice was first designated as the base for army medicals. Subsequently, a part of it was assigned to Government Monopoly as settlement of the Manifattura Tabacchi, which remained there up to thirty years ago.6

Currently under restauration


Main entrance


Porta Rudiae in the background


  • Photos and main text by Mariangela Celeste Portaluri @ and Camilla Aceto @ (December 2017), courtesy of Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Roma staff


  • Silvia Nobile, "Istituzioni e attività assistenziale dell'ospedale dello Spirito Santo di Lecce", in Istituzioni, assistenza e religiosità nella società del Mezzogiorno d'Italia tra il XIII e il XIX secolo. (I Edizione), Cacucci, Bari 2009, pp. 108-120
  • Michele Paone, Palazzi di Lecce, Documentari. Luoghi doc. Artisti Puglia, II edizione, Congedo, Galatina 1979, pp. 42-44


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