The Colţea Hospital

The founder of the Colţea church and hospital is the Spatar Mihail Cantacuzino (holder of the princely sword and bludgeon), son of the Stolnic (Seneschal) Constantin Cantacuzino and brother of the Voivode Şerban Cantacuzino (1678-1688), who also left us the Sinaia Monastery and the jewel known as the “Fundenii Doamnei” Church in Bucharest. Inside the monastery, raised between 1695 and 1697, starting with the latter year, Mihai Cantacuzino added a hospital with 24 beds, following the model of the old Venetian hospital „Santo Lazzaro e Medicanti“, a pharmacy with “all sorts of cures and healing plants”, a house for the surgeon, a school, rooms for the teachers and other outhouses, all these being completed around 1714-1715, when his nephew Ştefan surrounded them with a wall. Around 1746 the eight trustees of the Colţea Monastery felt that it would be good to increase the settlement’s income by building an inn that was, as the plan of Major Borroczyn designed between 1847 and 1852 indicates, roughly where Doamnei Street currently is, on the left side as we look from the boulevard, encompassing the St. Ilie Church (currently the Bulgarian Church) in its courtyard. The inn’s golden days did not last for long, after 1785 (when it was one of the leading inns in Bucharest), due to numerous foreign occupations, earthquakes, fires, but also the indifference of a few lazy clerics, the inn is demolished after exactly 100 years since its construction. The church and hospital were damaged by a fire in 1739, but were rebuilt. The earthquake of 1802, along with the lack of implication from some of the trustees, led to the ruin of the old hospital, that was rebuilt in 1836 by architects Conrad Schwink and Faiser, and was finished in 1842. This building did not last either, as it was demolished and replaced in 1887 with the one we see today. The hospital is currently in renovation.

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