Friday, September 2, 2011


This is the small original chapel area that was included when the hospital was first built, travelers would stop and worship at this chapel as they felt there were special blessings that came from doing so. It is very small I couldn´t get a very good shot with the camera because I could not get back far enough.

The alter in the newer chapel. Much more ornate the simplicity is lost.

Medical intruments, take a close look at that saw!

Pharmacy cabinet, don´t you love the old bottles. It would have been so interesting to explore and find the old medical items after the hospital was closed.

Display on Marianna de Jesus, patron saint of Ecuador.

Throughout the museum there is interesting art work. I found this picture particuallary interesting. Notice how on the Indian side the world is green and growing and on the Spanish side it is all dark and dead. The occupation of the Spanish was a very dark time for Ecuador and most of South America it seems.

The walls are extremly thick, that is probably how the building has been able to stand for so long. Sister Naylor by one of the interior arch doorways.

There are two courtyards, it is hard to give a sense of how large this building is.

Walkway along one side of the first courtyard, this is the ground floor.

This area is just being put together, there is some old hospital equipment, and in the alcoves there are displays showing newspaper articles about the hospital and other historical information.

These pictures will give you and idea of how the hospital would have looked. There was room under the bed for a bedpan, the patients personal belongings, and slippers. A small shelf in the wall held water, a candle or lamp and perhaps a book or other personal item.

I had read about a museum in Quito that was built in an old hospital. We had heard that it was a very good museum and if we had the chance we should go and see it. Then on one of our explorations of Old Town we happened to find it. When Sister Naylor and Sister Lopez wanted to go to Old Town we took the opportunity to go through this museum, indeed it was worth it. It is an old hospital and has a very interesting history. Most of the museum deals with Quito during Colonial times when the Spanish were here. There is one area where they have set up a room to show how the hospital would have looked. I found this the most interesting. Small alcoves were built into the walls and there was just enough room for one patient in each alcove, kind of a private space in a very large room. The hospital was in use for 409 years 5 months and 19 days without interruption, that is four centuries of hospital service. There was a short time that it was used as a Military Hospital. It was originally named Mercy Hospital of Our Lord Jesus Christ (Misericordia de Nuestro SeƱor Jesucristo), later the name was changed to Hospital San Juan de Dios, or Hospital Saint John of God. Between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries it as administered by the City Council and the Brotherhood of Charity and Mercy. During the eighteenth century it operated under the friars of the Bethleham order. During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries it was operated by local and national government and supported by the Sister of Charity.

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