The Capilla del Hospital del Niño Jesús of Madrid!!

Another dandy in my beloved Madrid that I passed by many times and visited with my dear late mother Gladys. The rest of the family eventually came on too and it is a memorable spot for me when in Madrid that thanksfully is very frequent . The fact that it is facing the marvelous Retiro park is a must to visit across the Menendez Pelayo street. Let me tell you a bit more on this off the beaten path monument of my Madrid, the Capilla del Hospital del Niño Jesús or the Chapel of the Hospital of the Child Jesus !!

The Capilla del Hospital del Niño Jesús or Chapel of the Hospital of the Child Jesus stands in the center of the hospital complex, on Calle Menéndez Pelayo,65, in front of the Retiro Park. It was built during the 19C, beginning the works on November 6, 1879 and finished at the beginning of December 1881, just when it was inaugurated. It was the first hospital in Spain dedicated exclusively to children. The Duchess of Santoña, Doña María Hernández y Espinosa, was the one who promoted the creation of it, a woman who made many trips abroad and had seen similar hospitals. After obtaining authorization and obtaining funds through donations on January 14, 1877, the first children’s hospital located in Calle Los Laureles was founded. In 1881 they moved to Calle Menéndez Pelayo, Its construction is in the Neo-Mudejar style, obtaining several gold medals in European exhibitions. The infirmary and the quartermaster of the center were put by the Duchess in the hands of the Daughters of Charity of San Vicente de Paúl, an institution present in Madrid since September 3 1800.

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It is to be noted the fact that it was the headquarters of the Parish Church of San Vicente Ferrer from the 50s to the last quarter of the 20C, from then on, due to the poor condition of the building, the temple had to be closed and its parochiality transferred to the chapel. of the Gregorio Marañón Hospital, remaining closed for twenty years until it was reopened in 1997.

The Chapel of the Hosptial Child Jesus is located in the center of the hospital building, with a rectangular layout and is made up of a single nave. On the sides of the chapel there are two lateral towers for bell towers and in its center, there is a third that supports the chime of the electric clock that at the time gave the time of the entire hospital. In the upper part of the façade there are three niches. The central one, longer than it is wide, crowned by a rose window, has an image of the Child Jesus. Other two on the sides of the entrance door, one with an image of Saint Vincent de Paul with an infant and another with the Miraculous Virgin with a child in her hands. There is also a double staircase that facilitates the entrance to the temple that saves the height difference with the street separated by a fence. There are ten stained glass windows in the building, five on each side that give the interior a pleasant colorful light, made by the Casa Mayer, the artistic value of these windows deserved a public exhibition in January 1882 at the Real Academia de San Fernando. Its neo-Gothic interior in a single nave, has the choir on the upper floor, and communicates with the ground floor by a beautiful spiral staircase made of iron. This is connected by two galleries to the dependencies of the Community of the Sisters of the Daughters of Charity, where they used to stay.

In the center of the lower body, under a portal with a semicircular arch, is the main entrance flanked by two niches. The one on the left corresponds to the Miraculous Virgin and the one on the right, to Saint Vincent de Paul (founder of the Sisters of Charity) with an infant. In the upper body, there are three other niches, highlighting the central one with the figure of the Child Jesus. Above the latter and under the gabled roof, a glazed rose window appears which, together with the ten stained-glass windows in the building, five per side, gives its interior a pleasant color, especially on sunny days. Two bell towers on the sides and a central tower with an electric clock around which the hours of the hospital were adjusted, serve as the culmination of this unique façade. The High Altar is presided over by the Virgen de la Victoria, to whom the chapel is consecrated, with a background of golden lily flowers. The High Altar and the candelabra, both those arranged on both sides of the Virgin, and those on the foot, are made of gold-carved metal with floral motifs. Then there is a first marble balustrade, and a second one made of iron, like that of the upper corridors and the choir separating the Altar from the faithful. The pulpit, also neo-Gothic, is carved in wood and has a parapet with its horn. On the parapet there are paintings made on metal plates embedded in the wood where the four Latin Fathers of the Church appear. In the turntable, the central pinnacle stands out.

Very easy to find as across from the Retiro park on Calle Menendez Pelayo, 65. The metro line 6 stop Sainz de Baranda (my stop when on business trips); and the bus line 26  stop Hospital Niño Jesus.

The Comunidad de Madrid regional govt webpage on the hospital : https://www.comunidad.madrid/hospital/ninojesus/nosotros/historia

There you go folks a dandy beautiful chapel in a wonderful spot in my Madrid. Hope you enjoy the post and do visit it, worth the detour. The Capilla del Hospital del Niño Jesús is one more reason , Madrid is to heaven and a hole in the sky to look down on it everyday!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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