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Santo António Hospital in Porto marks 250 years and announces the renewal of the building facade
15-07-2020
Two hundred and fifty years after the first brick was laid, the Hospital of Santo António, will have its facade renovated by the Santa Casa da Misericórdia do Porto, with the support of Porto City Hall. 

The cleansing of the hospital's facade is estimated at a half million euros and the Municipality of Porto will help support the endeavour, as a patron.

The formal announcement of the endeavour was made this morning during the ceremony to celebrate the 250 years of the hospital, which was attended by Mayor Rui Moreira and other personalities of the city.

The Santa Casa da Misericórdia do Porto (SCMP) will invest 500 thousand euros to rehabilitate the building facade, classified as a National Monument in 1910. The work will rely on the patronage of Porto City Hal, as affirmed by Rui Moreira on occasion of the formal sitting held today.

António Tavares, Purveyor of Santa Casa da Misericórdia do Porto, this rehabilitation of the facade "will enable to restore the splendour of such building; to say that it is there, it is an institution of the city, it was built by the people of the city and that it is a hospital of the city", he emphasised, cited by Lusa.

The building, which was designed by the English architect John Carr, now has its facade quite blackened as in its long standing in the city, it never saw na in-depth cealing of its exterior. The process is expected to be concluded in 2021.

The endeavour, which is estimated to be concluded within one year, will be the responsibility of the centuries-old Cooperativa dos Pedreiros do Porto (Stonemasons Collective of Porto), which was the entity in charge of designing the building of Porto City Hall, the Palácio dos Correios and the Monument to the Heroes of the Peninsular War, in the Boavista Roundabout.

This official ceremony to commemorate the 250 years of the Santo António Hospital was organised by the Misericórdia do Porto and by the University Hospital Centre of Porto. The celebration features a formal sitting and a concert by the Portuguese Symphonic Band, in the Gardens of the building and also as a tribute to the health workers in the frontline of the fight to Covid-19.

The iconic hospital in the city started to be built in 1770 and it was inaugurated in 1824. This work was commissioned by the Santa Casa da Misericórdia, owner of the building since its Foundation.

Once the façade's rehabilitation works are completed, the building will be lightened at night to better display the building's grandeur.

The building is inspired by the architecture of British hospitals and has overcome wars, revolutions and other pandemics. The Santa Casa is the owner of the building and of its artistic and cultural assets, even though the Portuguese State assumed management following the Coup d'état in 1974.

The hospital owns cultural heritage that features circa 1020 pieces, from painting, to sculpture, decorative arts, furnishing and pottery, which are on display in the building.