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Old Hospital of Saint Mary

The old Hospital of Santa Maria, located in the city of Lleida, represents an outstanding example of Catalan Gothic civil architecture of the 15th and 16th centuries, as well as of the charitable institutions of the Middle Ages. This monument, declared an Architectural-Artistic Monument in 1920, currently houses the Institute of Lérida Studies. Its square structure includes an inner courtyard with a fountain known as the Fountain of the Dwarfs. It is notable for its thick walls on the first floor, while an overhanging gallery with pointed arches on the second floor offers an impressive view. Although in the 20th century its relocation was considered to preserve the view of the New Cathedral, its demolition was avoided as its historical and artistic value was recognized.

The construction of the Hospital de Santa Maria dates back to 1459, under the auspices of Queen Maria of Aragon and with the papal authorization of Eugenio IV. The building went through three stages of construction, facing economic challenges and conflicts during its execution. Finally, it was completed under the direction of masters such as Andreu Pi, Antoni Godanyes and Jaume Borell. Since its inauguration, the hospital has been a place of charity that welcomed the poor, the sick and other underprivileged, fulfilling a vital function in medieval society. Its history is intertwined with that of illustrious figures such as Saint Ignatius of Loyola, who probably stayed there during his pilgrimage in 1522. Today, the former Hospital of Santa Maria is part of the Ignatian Way, recalling its historical legacy and its importance in the social assistance and culture of Lérida.


  • Address
    Plaça de la Catedral, Lleida
  • Web
  • Visiting Hours
  • What to see
    Gothic building

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