"In 1401, six hospitals in the city of Barcelona merged to form the Hospital de la Santa Creu (Hospital of the Holy Cross), a fine example of civilian gothic architecture. It was one of the earliest medical complexes in Europe. It was planned as a very large building, with four wings of rectangular construction, of two floors each, around a courtyard, following the model of ecclesiastical cloisters. The fourth wing, which would have enclosed the cloister, was never built. Since its foundation in 1401, the Hospital de la Santa Creu underwent constant development. Its original mission was to serve the poor and pilgrims according to Christian Charity"1.
"Towards the end of the 19th century, the Hospital de la Santa Creu became too small to meet the needs of the growing city and to keep pace with the advances in medicine, and construction of a new building was considered"2.
The old and very beautiful buildings are no longer medical facilities. They host the National Library of Catalonia and other Institutions (among them, the Reial Acadèmia de Medicina de Catalunya) and the Reial Acadèmia de Farmàcia de Catalunya.
The main entrance is from the Carrer de l'Hospital.
The entrance to the old Hospital's church, now a space for exhibitions.
The entrance to the main courtyard which is surrounded by the buildings of the old hospital wards:
The central Baroque column with a cross sculpted by Bernard Vilar3:
The staircase of the east wing, with an allegory of Charity4:
The interior of the old wards, now the seat of the Biblioteca de Catalunya:
An ancient memorial tablet under one of the arcades of the central courtyard:
- Photos by Luca Borghi ti.supmacinu|ihgrob.l#| (September 2011)
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