Hospital of St. Leonard

(15th century)

via Volta, 83

Recorded since the beginning of the 15th century, the hospital was sponsored by the noble family Lambertenghi, who nominated its rector; its specific activity was the assistance to the poor and prisoners. In 1488 it was aggregated with the hospital of St. Anne. Since 1535 its building housed for little time the male orphanage of Gerolamo Miani, then a School of Christian Doctrine and finally, since 1576, the Company of St. Ursula, who took part in the activities of the school. After the failure in 1772 of Austrian authorities to turn it again in a hospice for the poor, the hospital was suppressed in 1787.

What documents tell us…

From the records of town council, 1433

Since the podestà affirms (…) that a great number of pilgrims and other poor visitors complained that they had 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, Penetinus, St. Leonard’s minister promises, in the presence of the Savi di provvisione (Wisest in the city council) he should prepare one bed and give assistance to the poor.

From the rental act of the properties to Galeazzo Albricci, 1477

…and that Galeazzo Albricci and his sons, tenants of St. Leonard’s properties, (…) in addition to the rent of fifty florins a year, have, as usual, to get and give ordinary alms to the hospital; they have, besides, to bear the costs for prisoners detained in the town prisons, as to the custom observed so far for the part which is up to St. Leonardo’s, and they are bound to have usual yearly Masses celebrated in the church of the hospital.



Main photo. Lombard painter, Visiting the Imprisoned, 15th century (Mandello del Lario, St. George’s church)

Below. The hospital today