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Hospital Real (Patio de los Mármoles)

Cuesta del Hospicio s/n

Originally for the mad and the «simple», it became a university where musical traditions sound in its transept.

Outside the city, beyond the gate of Elvira, the Catholic Monarchs ordered a hospital to be built for the poor and for pilgrims. Work did not begin until 1511 under the aegis of King Ferdinand and the project was given a further impulse by the Emperor Charles; it was during this period when the building was also used to house the mad and the “simple”. A variety of charitable institutions took refuge within its walls until well into the 20th century. It could be said that its dedication to health, charity and understanding left an imprint which was taken up by the University of Granada. In 1980 the University installed in this historic building its main offices, with the Vice-Chancellery and the Main Library, where those original aspirations are perhaps given continuity in the shape of knowledge and world maps, cartography of the human spirit and its convolutions which all libraries can contain. The Festival has also taken works of the spirit to the impressive transept of this Royal Hospital, which has kept its original name, and has occasionally used the Patio de los Mármoles as a venue for some of its recitals.

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