Hospital of St. Blaise
Nothing is known about the origins of domus Sancti Blaxii, which was built near the walls of Porta Torre, near St. Francis’ cemetery: documented since 1295 it depended on the canons of Como cathedral, who nominated its minister, controlled the administration and periodically visited it.
In spite of some resistance by the cathedral clergy, the small hospital was joined to the new St. Anne’s hospital in 1483; as it ceased its assistance task, the building was demolished in 1508 during the fortification of the city.
What documents tell us…
From an inventory of the hospital assets, 1447
Inside the church you can find a pallium, two tablecloths and a broken tablecloth. On the first floor there is a padded mattress, a trunk, a sideboard for bread and flour, some pans, a few buckets, a yellow vestment, a red chasuble made of cloth and other vestments, a small psalter, an ancient missal and a smaller one.
In the hospital for poor people there are three beds with three mattresses, three sets of sheets and three straw mattresses.
A fireplace chain.
A small pot.
A big wooden table.
From the records of the town council, 1433
Since the podestà affirms that many pilgrims and other poor visitors complained that they received neither hospitality nor handouts both inside and outside the city, with great disgrace for nobles and citizens of Como, and since an appreciable number of hospitals, richly equipped by the inhabitants of Como, are set in the city in order to lodge and give donations to the needy, St. Blaise’s minister promises, in the presence of the Savi di provvisione (Wisest in the city council), he should prepare three beds ready and give assistance to the poor.
Main photo. The inventory of the hospital assets, 1447.
Lombard painter, St. Blaise, 16th century (Dongo, private house near St. Stephen’s church)
Como, Piazza Vittoria, 19th century