Sunday, August 9, 2015



Schola Saxonum built for Ina king of the Saxons in 727 to assist his compatriots the English pilgrims of Wessex, the south-west of England

Though not yet then a hospital in the modern sense, it is considered the first hospital in Europe

In 1050 resided here as an illustrious pilgrim King Macbeth of Scotland, later immortalized by Shakespeare's play

After the Battle of Hastings in 1066 and the Norman occupation of England pilgrims dwindled drastically and the structure declined

Rebuilt in 1198 maybe, according to Vasari, by Marchionne Aretino at the behest of Innocent III of the Counts of Segni (1198/1216) and formalized in a Papal Bull in 1204

It was given to Guy of Montpellier, who had established the HOSPITALLER ORDER OF THE HOLY GHOST for the care of abandoned children, orphans and illegitimate

Rebuilt after being destroyed by fire and extended in the years 1473/78 for the Jubilee of 1475 maybe by Baccio Pontelli (about 1450/92) for Sixtus IV Della Rovere (1471/84) according to Giorgio Vasari
Vasari, however, seems to be contradicted by evidence documenting the presence of Baccio Pontelli in Rome shortly in 1477 and longer only after 1482

Expanded in the years 1665/67 with the SALA ALESSANDRINA (Alexandrine Hall) for Alexander VII Chigi (1655/67) parallel to the Sistine Ward and now used for conferences

The hospital enjoyed the proceeds of the Banco di S. Spirito (Bank of the Holy Spirit) founded in 1605 by Pope Paul V Borghese


1664 by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598/1680) that contains the portal of the end of 1400s maybe by Bregno Andrea (1418/1503)

To the left ARCH OF THE EXPOSED with spinning wheel where the unwanted children were left
From that moment they became children of the institute and were registered as matris ignotae. The contraction m. ignota generated the Italian word mignotta (bitch), certainly not a very nice way to describe a woman

It is believed that this custom began here in 1198 even if there is evidence only since the sixteenth century. In 1866 there were 1179 wheels all over Italy and they were abolished only after 1870

FAƇADE FACING THE RIVER rebuilt in the years 1926/28 by Luigi Lepri
To build the levees the 1744 extension of Ferdinando Fuga (1699/1782) was destroyed. Only the PORTAL maybe by Andrea Bregno and few items are original



On the altar of S. Job “Canopy” about 1546 maybe by Andrea Palladio (1508/80), altarpiece by Carlo Maratta (1625/1713)


1473/78 maybe by Baccio Pontelli 120 m long (400 feet) and the two wings BAGLIVI HALL on the left and LANCISI HALL on the right

1,000 m² (10,800 square feet) of frescoes “Stories of Sixtus IV” of the fifteenth century by various artists of the Umbrian school

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