Provincial Hospital (The Old Saint Mary Magdalene Royal Hospital)

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The Provincial Hospital is one of the oldest civil buildings preserved down to the present day. It was ordered to be built by the Bishop, Brother Diego Fernández de Villarán, between 1547 and 1557, with participation in the work by Juan de Orea. At the end of the 18thcentury, its administration, until then controlled by the Church, was taken over by a Government Board formed of ecclesiastical and civil authorities. To mark the creation of this Board, in 1777, important works on the building were performed. The courtyard, built in the 16th century, was reconstructed during the works carried out on the Hospital at the end of the 18th century.

The main façade, in Hospital Street, is outstanding. It possesses a neoclassical front whose door is framed by two large Ionic pilasters which support a cornice bearing the name of the hospital. It is crowned by a balcony over which we can see a curved pediment in whose centre is located the royal coat of arms. The overall effect shows an academic taste dating back to the transition from Baroque to Neoclassicism.

In the interior of the building, we find the Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene, an interesting work of one single nave covered by a barrel vault accompanied by a balcony which runs along both sides and an apsidal top piece. It bears the images of Jesus of the Sorrows and Our Lady of the Rosary of the Sea.