The old Navy Hospital

Now we cross the road and head along Colón street to The old Navy Hospital.

Built between 1749 and 1751, and after having been a barracks for the Spanish Armada and a storeroom for polish, in 1792 it eventually became a hospital. Its official name was “Hospital de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores” (Our Lady of Sorrow Hospital). It had 13 adjoining rooms with a total capacity for 500 patients. It came to be considered one of the best hospitals in Europe. The main façade faced south and above the main entrance there was a remarkable royal coat of arms carved into the stone. The right hand section had a small chapel, there was a clock tower in the west and a cemetery in the north. The chapel was built in 1796 and access could only be gained through the hospital as there was no exterior entrance for the general public.

The cemetery was private as only those that died in the hospital were buried there. There was also an amphitheatre were anatomy classes were given. In 1891 a fire destroyed part of the hospital and in 1894 expansion works were begun overseen by the French engineer Tollet. The new hospital was inaugurated in 1902. From the 1940s onwards, there were more renovations and expansion work. In 1990 it ceased to be used as a hospital and ownership was transferred to the council. In 1992, the council made it available to the University of Coruña for use by the Ferrol University Campus.