Medieval Memoria Online

Description - Hospital

St. Catherinagasthuis in Leiden, Zuid-Holland, NL

MeMO institution ID and name
MeMO institution ID 377
Name (Dutch) St. Catherinagasthuis
Name (English) St Catherine's Hospital
Patron saint(s)
  • Catherine of Alexandria
Additional remarks Originally the hospital is mentioned as 'het gasthuys te Leyden' of het gasthuys in Sinte Pieters prochie'. First time mentioned as St Catharine's hospital in 1370. It is likely that St Catharine was the patron saint from the beginning onwards.
Location (according to current geography)
Province Zuid-Holland, NL - Netherlands
Settlement Leiden
Coordinates 94/464
Diocese before 1559 Utrecht
Diocese after 1559 Utrecht
Parish Leiden - Sint Pieter
Date of foundation <1276
Founder(s) or main benefactor(s)
Hospital or orphanage > Character of the institution
  • wanderers
  • sick women
  • poor women
  • plague
  • sick men
  • poor men
  • laymen
  • laywomen
Phases in the institutional history 1276: The hospital was first mentioned in two charters from 1276, which concerned the consecration of the chapel. One or two founders were still alive at the time, which makes it likely that the hospital was founded shortly before 1276. The founders were not named in the charters. <1500: In the late fourteenth and entire fifteenth century, the hospital gradually expanded with separate rooms for plague and syphilis patients, and a brewery. 1526: The hospital opened a second location in the former convent Lopsen outside the city walls, which had gone bankrupt. Here also a facility for psychiatric patients was opened. 1570: The annex in Lopsen was abandoned. 1580: An annex was opened in the former St Cecilia's Monastery. It would function as a separate institution for plague and psychiatric patients after 1600, while the main location of the Catherine's hospital continued to care for the 'ordinary' sick. 1600: The chapel became a Protestant church, in 1638 a Walloon church. 1799: Dissolution of the hospital. St Caecilia's hospital would continue as the University hospital.
Date of dissolution/transition to secular management 1575
Additional remarks The governors of the hospital ('gasthuysmeesters') were chosen by and from the Leiden magistrate. There were originally two, after 1435 three or four, and after 1532/33 five gasthuysmeesters. After 1351, they were required to have been burghers of the city for at least seven years.
Extant memorial objects and/or texts concerning memoria
Memorial objects
Text carriers
Type of extant material institution archive/archival material
Storage in one place
Short description of the material Inventory 0504: Inventaris van de archieven van de Gasthuizen, 1311-1873. Section I: Inventaris van het Sint Catharinagasthuis.
Holding institution(s)
Name Erfgoed Leiden en Omstreken (formerly known as: Regionaal Archief Leiden)
Settlement Leiden, Zuid-Holland, NL
Additional remarks
  • Ladan, Rudolph, Gezondheidszorg in Leiden in de late middeleeuwen (Hilversum 2012)
  • Ligtenberg, C., De armezorg te Leiden tot aan het einde van de 16e eeuw (The Hague 1908), 19-84

Building history

General date of construction <1300
Church or chapel(s)
Name Leiden, Hospital of St Catherine
Date of foundation <1276
Date of consecration 1276
Short history of the building stages <1300: The Gothic chapel originally dates from the thirteenth century. <1400: Construction of a new ward in the fourteenth century. 1454-1458: Expansion of the wards, construction of a brewery. 1635: a side aisle was added to the chapel. 1737: The side aisle was separated from the church and rebuilt as a verger's house. The facade was reconstructed and a small tower constructed. 1826: The left wing of the complex was reconstructed as a concert hall. It was completely demolished to make place for a new concert hall in 1872. 1890: Reconstruction of the facade of the chapel. 1982-1984: Restoration.
Additional remarks
Name Leiden, Monastery Hiƫronymusdal (Lopsen)
Date of foundation <1404
Date of consecration
Short history of the building stages ca.1400: The monastery complex was probably built after 1400. 1526: Reconstruction to serve as plague and syphilis hospital. 1572: Demolition.
Additional remarks
Burial ground
Date of consecration
Date of clearance
Extant building remnants Chapel (now Walloon church)
Demolition 1826-1872
Additional remarks
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