Hospital Real de Granada

The Royal Hospital of Granada was a former royal hospital located in the vicinity of the Triunfo Gardens and the Convent of Capuchinos, between the streets Real de Cartuja, Ancha de Capuchinos and Cuesta del Hospicio, the latter being the access to the building. It is currently the headquarters of the Rectorate of the University of Granada, the University Library and some of the central management services. It was declared a Historic and Artistic Monument, which is why current legislation gives it the status of an Asset of Cultural Interest.

After the capture of Granada in 1492, the Catholic Monarchs decided to undertake numerous works in the city, turning it into the last great nucleus of Spanish Gothic architecture. Among these works, the Royal Chapel and the Royal Hospital stand out. Thanks to a Privilege Letter given by the Catholic Monarchs in Medina del Campo on 15 September 1504, it was decided to found the hospital, which was to replace the one installed in the Alhambra in 1501. Initially it was planned to locate it between the Puerta de Bib-rambla and the Puerta de Bibalmazán, but in 1511 it was decided to build it on an old Muslim cemetery, near the Puerta de Elvira (its current location), as the requirements of the time were to install the hospitals in more sanitary places outside the walls.

Construction was interrupted after the death of Ferdinand the Catholic and was resumed in 1522 by Emperor Charles V. It began to function as a hospital in 1525 and was inaugurated in 1526, although it was unfinished, as it lacked the decoration of the courtyards (except for the Chapel), the windows, the façade and a good number of coffered ceilings. The façade, the work of Alonso de Mena, was completed in 1640. Work and remodelling continued throughout the 16th-18th centuries.

It was originally intended to house syphilitic patients, but from 1536 it would have new guests: the insane or innocent, due to the closure of the Maristán (an old Muslim hospital located in the Albayzín, next to the Bañuelo). It was later used to cure the sick with the French disease from all over Spain.

After the disentailment of Mendizábal in 1835, the Hospital came under the control of the Diputación Provincial, and the Asilo de ancianos (old people's home) and the Casa de dementes (home for the insane) were established there. In 1961, the Royal Hospital was bought by the Ministry of National Education and was in a very poor state of repair. From that moment on, the Directorate General of Fine Arts commissioned the architect Francisco Prieto Moreno to carry out the restoration work, and there was some doubt as to whether it should be used to house exhibitions of tapestries from the National Heritage or to be used as university facilities. The University5 then made a proposal for it to house the University Library, although it was to be used as a museum and exhibition hall.

In 1971 it became part of the university heritage, and since then, restoration and cleaning work has been carried out. It was at this time that the railings from the Hospital de San Lázaro were placed in front of the façade. In 1978 the architect Francisco Jiménez Robles drew up a new project to adapt the building to its new functions as the headquarters of the Rectorate, General Services and the University Library. Finally, in the 1980s, restoration work continued, mainly affecting the dome, the ceilings of the high galleries of the Patio de los Mármoles and the urban appearance of the building's exterior.

It is an eclectic work, with a mixture of Gothic, Renaissance and Mudejar elements, in which the most important artists of the time took part: Enrique Egas, who is believed to be the architect of the project, Pedro Machuca, Diego de Siloé, among others.

Egas repeated the outline of the Hospital de Santa Cruz, taking as his model the Hospital Mayor in Milan, the work of Filarete, copied all over Europe from the 16th century onwards. The building has a Greek cross plan inscribed in a square, with four symmetrical courtyards at each corner and a dome at the transept. In elevation it has two storeys, but in the southwest corner there is another third storey, open to the exterior with balconies, known as the Convalescents' Hall, facing the Triumphal Gardens.

Its main façade has four highly ornamented Plateresque windows with the initials and emblems of the founders and the Emperor. In the centre is the doorway, made of Elvira stone in 1632, which bears the symbols of the Catholic Monarchs, yokes and arrows, an image of the Virgin and, on either side, the praying figures of the Catholic Monarchs by Alonso de Mena. On the circular pediment there is a coat of arms of the royal family, supported by the eagle of San Juan.

A large entrance hall leads to the building's various rooms. It has a rectangular floor plan and is covered with a wooden roof. The front doorway leads to the bays or naves and is formed by a semicircular arch, with a triple thread that rests on small columns, framed by an alfiz decorated with balls. The side doors lead to the courtyards and the upper floor or main floor.

The transept - the point where the four naves intersect - is divided into two, which is unusual, as this space was normally the only one for the two floors. The ground floor is covered with a ribbed vault, and the upper floor with a wooden dome, rebuilt after the fire of 1549 and designed by Melchor de Arroyo, with the approval of Diego de Siloé, these being some of the most important works of 16th-century carpentry. The naves of the ground floor are covered with alfarjes, the footings of which are of very varied typology - Gothic, Mudejar and Renaissance - and those of the upper floor with Mudejar frames. Of the four courtyards planned, only two were completed.

Article obtained from Wikipedia article Wikipedia in his version of 11/08/2022, by various authors under the license Licencia de Documentación Libre GNU.