Ospedale di Carrara [Carrara Hospital]
The ancient Hospital of Santi Giacomo e Cristoforo, which remained in service up to 1876, was founded prior to 1335 as a "xenodochio" on the road that led, through the Lunigiana and Garfagnana areas, to Emilia. After having abandoned its role of providing only relief during the 18th century, the hospital became mainly a place for studying and experimenting with medical-surgical techniques and the anatomical-clinical aspects of diseases. Its activity was aimed especially at treating the marble workers, frequently injured in accidents. The large number of case histories allowed surgeons such as Lorenzo Mori and Giuseppe Tenderini to develop numerous techniques in the field of orthopaedics, encouraging the hospital administration to purchase new instruments.
In 1806, the year of annexation to the Principality of Lucca, projects were drawn up for reforming the hospitals of the cities in the Apuan area. In the same year, the first decree making smallpox vaccination compulsory was issued, thanks also to the urging of the Carrara surgeon Andrea Vaccà.
The hospital’s surgeons were also responsible for teaching Pictorial Anatomy at the Carrara Academy of Fine Arts. For this purpose the surgeon Lorenzo Mori dissected cadavers in the hospital to teach anatomical drawing to young sculptors.
Texts by Antonella Gozzoli
English translation by Catherine Frost
Last update 04/feb/2008