The common pit of the Santa Creu hospital

The poor without family admitted to the Santa Creu hospital when they died were buried in the corralet or common grave.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
15 May 2024 Wednesday 04:52
6 Reads
The common pit of the Santa Creu hospital

The poor without family admitted to the Santa Creu hospital when they died were buried in the corralet or common grave. It was not surprising, since since its foundation in 1401 it became the first public hospital in Europe, and therefore welcomed everyone, foreigners and foreigners included.

The corralet was anchored in the space that became Doctor Fleming Square, where there is a fountain that goes unnoticed on the corner of Floristes de la Rambla street. It was evoked in 1783 with a tombstone and a long Latin inscription, illegible today. It is the only reference that remains, after the mausoleum located there has been eliminated.

A good part of those corpses had been used as an anatomy study at the service of professors and students. This cemetery was condemned to disappearance as soon as it was decided to expand it with the Sant Pau hospital, designed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner.

While the place where the new morgue was to be located was being decided, that deposit of skulls and bones was piled up and walled up. At the end of the 1920s and when the wall was demolished, this shocking image appeared that the photographer Jaume Ribera, convinced of its newsworthy nature, did not hesitate to capture.

The folklorist Joan Amades ventured without foundation that the name of the corralet arose under the influence of the Castilian, “corral de comedias”, which in this case alluded to the place where, with a concession from Philip II, a theatrical stage was installed so that the hospital could benefit from it. of the hypothetical income; That monopoly was maintained when the stage with the name Principal was moved to the Rambla until the Liceu was inaugurated. The word “corral” has the same validity in Catalan, and the diminutive fits with various secondary purposes.

A Picasso so refractory to death painted the corpse of the beloved Casagemas who had committed suicide in 1901 as an exorcism; Two years later he dared to accept that his doctor friend Cinto Reventós showed him the corralet, an impact that was also reflected as an exorcism in the portrait of the Dona morta; He donated this painting to the foundation of his son and also a doctor, now treasured in the museum.