Old Hospital De Nicastri

The old hospital De Nicastri was located in the historic centre of the city of Lucera (via Spagnoletti Zeuli,28).

THE ORIGINS

The hospital was founded at the behest of the Marquise De Nicastri Rosa D'Amelj. For this reason, the hospital became known as " De Nicastri".
The Marquise was born in 1778 in Bari in a noble family. After the death of her husband, the Marquis Pasquale De Nicastri who had become ill with cholera in 1837, she decided to dedicate all of her life in works of charity and solidariety. Therefore, on 3rd October 1872 "lying on his bed because ill of body but healthy of mind and with good eloquency" (as we can read in her testament of death), wrote in her will that it was her intention to found in the then poor city of Lucera a hospital for women who were poor and in need.
So she left her son the duty of hosting the De Nicastri Hospital in some buildings in their possession.

In these pictures you can see:

  • The portrait of the Marquise
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  • The portait of the Marquis
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  • Part of the original testament,in which we can read: "DEL CAPITALE ISCRITTO SOTTO IL DI LUI NOME…SE NE FORMI UN OSPEDALE IN QUESTA CITTA', TENENDO OTTO LETTI PER LE SOLE DONNE POVERE E BISOGNOSE DI QUESTA CITTA'…" (WITH THE CAPITAL…TO SET UP A HOSPITAL IN THE CITY ', 'WITH EIGHT BEDS FOR POOR AND NEEDY WOMEN OF THIS CITY'…")
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  • On the right side of the picture the front of the old hospital
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EVOLUTION

Ten years after the death of the Marquise De Nicastri Rosa D'Amelj, her son Don Nicola in 1883 decided to found a hospice for both sexes but going against the wishes of his dead mother.
In time the De Nicastri Foundation underwent many transformations. In 1917 it became a hospital for women. Especially during this period the hospital recived many donations and offers from grateful patients and rich benefactors.

In these pictures you can see the inventory of the hospital for women:

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In 1961 it became an ophthalmic hospital, first under the managment of Dr.Civetta, then of Dr.Cavalli and finally of Dr.Penna Caroppi. In 1990 the optic activity ceased permanently and it became part of the Francesco Lastaria's Hospital in Lucera.

In these pictures you can see:

  • The map of the hospital
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  • The front of the hospital
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  • Some items used in the hospital such as optical lenses and surgical instruments
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  • Surgery done by Dr.Civetta
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THE OLD HOSPITAL NOW

In 1991 a part of the building was given to the Diocesis of Lucera/Troia which hosts the Centre of Solidariety "Padre Maestro" where some volontary associations operate.
The De Nicastri Foundation is now founded more than ever on values of charity and love for others, values which the Marquise had desired for her hospital. In the centre, sanitary assistence for the needy and poor is provided.
At the entrance of the modern building you can find the Hospital De Nicastri's foundation memorial tablet which commemorates the birth of the old hospital.

  • The front of the actual building
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  • The small chapel
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  • Photos by Antonella De Palma(December 2011), courtesy of Felicetta Di Iorio.

Bibliography

  • Felicetta Di Iorio, La fondazione De Nicastri. Testimonianza di nobilt√† e d'amore.Associazione Pro Loco Lucera.
  • Ennio Granieri, Il de Nicastri attraverso i secoli fino ai giorni nostri. Fondazione Marchesa De Nicastri Rosa d'Amelj, da Ospedale "Santa Lucia" a Centro di Solidariet√† "Padre Maestro". tipografia Pubblisud 1999.


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