Juliusspital in Würzburg

Archiv und Bibliothek des Bistums Würzburg


The Juliusspital in Würzburg reflects the social and charitable efforts of Prince-Bishop Julius Echter (1573-1617). Growing poverty and grievances in the existing hospital system prompted him to build a large four-wing complex in the north of the city outside the old city walls in 1576. The foundation was intended to accommodate destitute old people, the sick and orphans only. Income from abandoned monasteries and considerable private funds were to finance the construction and operation. Wealthier citizens were encouraged to make additional donations. Echter had destroyed the Jewish cemetery for the building site. The plans for the hospital complex were drawn up by the Flemish architect Georg Robin (1522-1592) based on models of modern Italian and French hospitals. The north wing was rebuilt after a fire in 1699 by Antonio Petrini (1631-1701) and Joseph Greissing (1664-1721). The hospital comprised three departments: hospital, retirement home and orphanage. The medical care integrated into the hospital and closely linked to the medical faculty of the university was considered to be progressive. The pastoral care of the hospital inmates was provided by separate hospital parish. Julius Echter always remained closely connected to his foundation. He did not just make sure that his name was associated with the foundation. He regularly supervised personal briefings. The hospital also served him as a representative city residence. Receptions, music and theatre performances were also held here. The older part of the modern Juliusspital's foundation walls and entire complex are still based on the Echter period building and it dominates the Juliuspromenade, named after the founder of the hospital later.

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