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Santa Maria Maddalena nello Spedale de' Pazzi

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Santa Maria Maddalena nello Spedale de' Pazzi was a hospital chapel, now demolished, which was attached to the city's 18th century mental hospital now under the route of the Via della Lungara.

HistoryEdit

Before the major road-building projects here in the late 19th century, the Via della Lungara ran in a straight line to the Porta Santo Spirito. In 1725 Pope Benedict XIII founded a mental hospital on the east side of the road, just south of the gate. The original institution was in a premises off the Piazza Colonna; the chapel there, dedicated to Santa Maria della Pietà, was the forerunner of the present Santi Bartolomeo ed Alessandro dei Bergamaschi.

The new complex was extremely good provision for insane people at the time, and was perhaps one of the best in Europe. There were two wings facing the road, the north for women and the south for men. Behind these were two identical arcaded courtyards on a square plan, just like monastery cloisters, next to each other but separated by a dividing wall without any door. The hospital wings continued on the north side of the northern one, and the south side of the southern one. To the east there were no buildings, but a garden leading down to the river. The chapel was here, a small square stand-alone building with two separate entrances, one from each cloister. Hence, men and women patients could enter separately, and were presumably kept apart within the chapel by some sort of wall or screen.

The complex was demolished in the late 19th century, before 1890 when the Lungotevere Gianicolense was finished here.

LocationEdit

The site of the chapel lies under the large road junction at the west end of the Ponte Principe Amedeo, just to the west of the line of the underpass.

External linksEdit

Nolli map (look for 1232)

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