Map of Alva for Ospedale Maggiore (CaGrande) The Ospedale Maggiore, built by Francesco Sforza in the mid-fifteenth century, stands just behind the basilica of San Nazaro Maggiore. Used as a hospital until 1939, today the building houses the offices of the university hospital and several faculties. The Ospedale Maggiore united all Milan’s smaller hospitals and charitable institutions on one site, hence the name CaGrande, or Big House. Opened at the same time as the Lazaretto, the plague hospital established outside the walls near the current Porta Venezia, the huge Ospedale was an attempt to control the outbreaks of the deadly disease and improve the city’s health services. In a thoroughly modern design by the Florentine architect Filarete, a series of courtyards eight in all provided separate wings for men and women. Over the years, local architects adapted and altered Filarete’s original design, creating a mix of styles. The right side of the wide facade shows the original fifteenth-century brickwork with Lombard terracotta decorations, while to the left, the style is Neoclassical. Inside, in the main courtyard, Filarete’s Renaissance arcade survives, with the additions of a Baroque loggia and stone busts. All but razed to the ground by Allied bombs in World War II, the courtyards to the right were reconstructed using original plans and masonry, and now make a pleasant spot to rest. Map of Alva 2016.
Map of Alva Photo Gallery
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