The Old San Sebastian Hospital, which was built between 1512 and 1516, was altered, rebuilt and extended many times over the years before it was converted into the Cordoba Conference and Exhibition Centre in 1980. This historic complex covers almost 3,500 m² and is made up of:
Renovating the building
The building is located opposite the Cathedral-Mosque, next to the Episcopal Palace and close to the Seminary, the San Rafael Monument, the Triumphal Arch and the Roman Bridge, in one of Spain’s most important artistic settings.
The main nucleus of the complex is formed by the cloister, a unique example of Mudejar architecture, and the single-nave church. The church’s magnificent Gothic-style façade, a work of the master builder Hernán Ruiz, has many examples of ornate plateresque decoration. Other outstanding features of the building include the arches in the courtyard with their elegant bases and capitals, the octagonal brick pilasters and the well-balanced proportions of the two-storey construction in which each floor is a different height.
The hospital was designed along classical lines but due to the limited space available, the building has only two of the four arms which make up the traditional cruciform floor plan.
These buildings housed the two main infirmaries. One of the two has been conserved in its original form and the paintings which decorated the parameter walls, and are currently being restored, are still visible. The paintings showed scenes of the Passion, the life of San Sebastian and images of Jesus Christ and his disciples. The two infirmaries were situated around the main courtyard, which could be seen from both buildings. One of the infirmaries was next to the Arabic walls of the Ancient Caliphate Palace, which is today the Episcopal Palace. The other infirmary formed the west wing of the building and its rear façade overlooked an orchard.
Access to the hospital was through a door which still exists to the right of the church. This led to a hallway and the gatehouse, which housed the admissions office and the medicine store.