|One of Europe's Oldest Surviving Hospitals|
ONE OF WORLD'S OLDEST SURVIVING HOSPITALS - Santa Maria della Scala (Siena) now a museum, was once an important civic hospital dedicated to caring for abandoned children, the poor, the sick, and pilgrims.
It was one of Europe's first hospitals and is one of the oldest hospitals still surviving in the world. From at least as far back as 1193 up to the 18th century, the Hospital took on many philanthropic endeavors:
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE HOSPITAL'S ABANDONED CHILDREN? -Babies were often left at the hospital. Meticulous records were kept of the details relating to each child, in order that the original parents may later be able to find them. Infants were given to wet nurses then later weaned and educated. At age 8, they were taught a trade and any profits they made were kept for them. When they reached 18, the children had the option of leaving. Those that chose to leave were given all their saved earnings, plus more, a set of clothing, and furnishings for a house. Girls were given an additional 50 lire as a dowry.
A COOL MEDIEVAL FOUNTAIN - While walking around the city with our tour guide Maryellen, we came across a 13th century fountain. The fountain, which was carved out of the side of a hill was the end of underground channels that brought fresh water into the city. It was carved out and constructed in the 1240s. Water was still coming out of the fountain (although we were cautioned not to drink it!).
If you look at the photo we took (left) you'll see 2 pools of water in the fountain. High above the archway and the wall above led to the street above. In order to get to this fountain, there is a 45 degree angle-sloped street that runs to the right of it and comes to the fountain base.
|The Psychiatric hospital|
NEXT: In Siena Part 4: You'll learn about the "Sign of the Wolf" and Rob's mom's maiden name's meaning revealed!