Ospedale L'Albergo Reale dei Poveri, Naples, Italy | CruiseBe
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Ospedale L'Albergo Reale dei Poveri, Naples

History and museums
palace, sightseeing, walking, history, culture

The Bourbon Hospice for the Poor (Italian Albergo Reale dei Poveri), also called il Reclusorio, is a former public hospital/almshouse in Naples, southern Italy. It was designed by the architect Ferdinando Fuga, and construction was started in 1751. It is five storeys tall and about 354 m (1,161 ft) long. It was popularly known as "Palazzo Fuga". King Charles III of the House of Bourbon meant the facility to house the destitute and ill, as well as to provide a self-sufficient community where the poor would live, learn trades, and work. The massive structure at one time housed over 5000 persons, men and women, in separate wings The building was originally designed with five courtyards and a church in the centre, entered through the central arch, but only the three innermost courtyards were built, and plans to complete the building according to the original design were finally abandoned in 1819. The building is the centre of Naples, which is included in UNESCO World Heritage List.

It is no longer a hospital, and despite the impressive facade, it has suffered much from neglect and earthquakes. The centre behind the entrance is used for exhibitions, conferences, and concerts. Recently (2006) the façade has undergone restoration as part of an as yet ill-defined plan to incorporate the facility into the working infrastructure of public buildings in Naples.

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