Language variant : Hospital of the Innocents
Architect : Brunelleschi, Filippo (et al.)
Locality : Firenze
Country : Italy
Building style : Renaissance
Project on the map (green arrow)
The Ospedale degli Innocenti was originally a children’s orphanage. It was built and managed by the Silk Guild of Florence. That guild was one of the wealthiest in the city and, and like most guilds, took upon itself philanthropic duties. Children were sometimes abandoned in a basin, which was located at the front portico. However, this basin was removed in 1660 and replaced by a wheel for secret refuge. There was a door with a special rotating horizontal wheel that brought the baby into the building without the parent being seen. This allowed people to leave their babies, anonymously, to be cared for by the orphanage. This system was in operation until the hospital’s closure in 1875. Today the building houses a small museum of Renaissance art.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ospedale_degli_Innocenti (June 9, 2011).
Ed. Katriina Puputti