Curiosities and anecdotes
The Library, 100 years of history
The Biblioteca de Catalunya was created in 1907 and it opened to the public on May 28, 1914; at that time it was located in the Palau de la Generalitat; it was not until the year 1940 when it was installed in the building of the old Hospital which now occupies. The transfer was made between 1936 and 1939, during the Spanish civil war. The new facilities opened to the public on February 20, 1940, under the name of Biblioteca Central.
The Petita història de la Biblioteca de Catalunya, illustrated by Pilarín Bayés, makes a journey of 16 pages from its foundation to present time. You can read more about it consulting the title Biblioteca de Catalunya, 100 anys : 1907-2007. Two workers of the library have written both books, Reis Fontanals and Marga Losantos.
Awards for the remodeling of the building
Between years 1992 and 1998 the Gothic wings were reformed and the buildings of the 18th century of the Egipcíaques Street were demolished and replaced by a depository of books and internal working areas. This intervention won the FAD award of interior design in 1995 and the Premi Nacional de Patrimoni in 1998.
The depository placed at the Hospital Street has 50 linear km of shelving; if we put them one after another we would go from Barcelona to the village of Vilanova i la Geltrú.
The piano of Enric Granados
Grand piano placed at the end of the East Room of the library that comes from Enric Granados and that the composer's family gave to the Centre de Documentació Musical of the Generalitat of Catalonia. It was a gift from Mr. Ignaz Pleyel to Enric Granados in occasion of the concerts at the Salle Pleyel in Paris in April 1911. There is a handwritten note within the piano: "Avec admiration d'Ignaz Pleyel, 5 avril 1911, Enric Granados." The Pleyel pianos were noted for their outstanding quality, refinement and delicacy, and gained great prestige during the 19th century and until mid 20th century.
The player piano
A player piano (also known as pianola or autopiano) is a self-playing piano, that contains a pneumatic or electro-mechanical mechanism that allows to reproduce music on perforated paper rolls. It can be played as a normal piano as well. The player piano of the BC placed at the East Room, near the piano from Granados, comes from the family Arnús.
The stained glass window of the room Prat de la Riba
The stained glass window is a work make of watercolor and acrylic on glass by the artist Xavier Aballí; it is part of the process of remodeling in the 90s. The sheets are from a newspaper of the day when the remodeling was completed, on Sunday 16 December 1996.
The tapestry of the anteroom of Engravings
It is 500 cm long and 550 cm wide, made of silk and wool. The tapestry from 16th century “Mercury when sees Herse” is part of the series “Loves of Mercury and Herse”, distributed among various institutions. Specifically, four more tapestries of the series are in the room Prat de la Riba of the Institut d'Estudis Catalans. The one of the BC has been recently restored at the Centre de Documentació i Museu Textil de Terrassa.
The Civil War
The library did not close doors during the Spanish Civil War, although it worked at half speed. It remained opened until 24 January, 1939, some hours before the entrance of franquist troops at Barcelona.
The “red” user’s cards
During first years of Franco regime all the library user’s cards issued from July, 1936 to February, 1939 were retired, as indicated at the book of records “Los números señalados al margen con una línea de lápiz encarnado que son desde 26.423-26.667 han sido inutilizados por ser de época roja y las tarjetas retiradas y destruidas”.
It started in 1990 and by July 1991 the online catalog was available. There were 6 opac computers in the general reading room, those so big with black screen and green letters (the kind known as “dumb” terminals). At that time people talked of “mecanization” instead of computerization.
The first web was released in 1997. Since then there have been five different designs.
The 3 wings
The Gothic rooms of the library have a shape of “U” and names of winds: we enter through the West Wing, we follow by the Tramontana Wing and we arrive at the East Wing.
The original design was planned with four wings, but the one that had to close the “U” was never built.
Within this noble room are being conserved a large number of items of one of the best public collections worldwide specialized on Miguel de Cervantes' work, which currently consists of around 8.000 volumes.
It includes originals of all first editions (excepting La Galatea, of which there is a facsimile), the 6 first editions of the Quixote from 1605, bibliophile copies and publications of the cervantine work in more than 20 languages.
The initial collection (3.367 copies) belonged to Mr. Isidre Bonsoms, who gave it to the BC in 1915.
The room of Vía Crucis, the Marès Room, houses a sample of the bibliographic collection that the sculptor Frederic Marès donated in 1986. The showcases, locks and panels were designed by Marès himself. They are also exhibited in the room 14 medallions in low relief shaped by himself, on personalities of thought and Catalan literature. The model of all representations of the medallions is Frederic Mares, in one profile or another, and with different combinations of beards, mustaches and hats.
The sheaf catalog
The library keeps in the reading room 2.414 sheaf catalogs that constituted its old alphabetic catalog of authors and anonymous works. It contains around 800.000 cards of which the 55 % are handwritten. The oldest ones, carefully written by hand with black ink, date from 1914 when the catalog started and the last ones, already typewritten, are from 1990 when the catalog was closed and the computerization of the library began.
The transporter of books
It is known as “paternoster” by the staff and it connects the four floors of the underground storage with the general reading room through a system of electrified rails, where 10 wagons circulate and make a round trip of 200 meters in around 6 or 7 minutes. It was opened in 2000.
El Cançoner Gil
One of the more representative manuscript songbooks of the Provence was acquired thanks to the economic contributions of ten patrons from the city of Barcelona, who in 1908 collected the 20.000 pesetas it cost, a little fortune at that time; in this way it was avoided that the Cançoner Gil went to the national library of France.
The oldest document conserved in the library is the Acta de consagración de la Iglesia del Castillo de Tona (Osona) from 889.
Oldest documents in Catalan
The Homilies d’ Organyà has been considered the oldest literary text in Catalan since its discovery by historian Joaquim Miret i Sans, who stated it in 1905. They share honor and liveliness of language with other documents which also come from the village of Organyà such as the Greuges d’en Guitart Isarn, senyor de Caboet, dated from 1094.
The Homilies are an ensemble of six sermons written on parchment and bound on a booklet of eight leaves. They were written in 1204 for being preached by canons of the collegiate of Santa Maria d’Organyà during Lent. The author was an anonymous clergyman worried at communicating the word of God in a comprehensible manner.
Oldest sound record
It is entitled Morning on the farm, it is a flat disc only one face used, recorded in Washington and published by Berliner’s Gramophone. It consists of a set of imitations of sounds of farm animals by N.R. Wood.
It is a serial of manuscripts songbooks leather-bound on wood with metallic corners that comes from the campaigns of books rescue during the Spanish civil war. They are between 16th and 19th centuries and their sizes are 80 cm long and 50 cm wide!!
The library houses various editions called microscopic because of their size. Among them, the one that only sizes 6 mm long should be highlighted!. It is a paternoster in several languages published in Munich by Waldmann & Pitzner in the sixties of the last century. The paternoster
It is a document of the Marès collection entitled Biographie nouvelle des contemporains. It externally seems two books one next to another. Actually, they form a case containing a hiding place.
Letters and documentation of cinema
The library has documentation from diverse characters. Just as an example, it can be mention an acknowledgment letter from actress Elizabeth Taylor, “Burton” in the text, belonging to the collection of doctor Trueta. At the end of the letter says: “Please do not believe all that you read in the newspapers” (London, 21 May, 1969). It also belongs to the same collection a card-menu of a dinner offered by Baron of Rothschild, where doctor Trueta coincided with Greta Garbo (Paris, 6 November, 1969), or a greetings addressed to him by the already princess Grace of Monaco (before Grace Kelly): “Palais de Monaco. Her Serene Highness Princess Grace ...” [1967/1969].
The regime of Franco approved a set of rules to remove books deemed “pornographic, or literature socialist, communist, libertarian, and in general disintegrator”, with the goal of a “healthy culture”. The rules indicated in which cases these texts could remain in the library, in a retired space called inferno, in order they would be only consulted by readers with a “solid intellectual and spiritual preparation”. The Biblioteca de Catalunya had its Inferno as well, in a closed area of the stacks, even though it is not known in detail what books comprised. It was not until the early 80s, when the books were reincorporated to the depository and their cards –that had been conserved within the Direction-- to the catalog.
In 1714, the record of patients of the Hospital contains the admission and death of Rafael Casanova, hero of September 11. In fact, he died 29 years later, but this was a way to helping him to escape from Phillip the fifth.
On June 7, 1926, Antoni Gaudí was run over by a tram while he was walking along the Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes close the Tetuán square. He was moved to the Hospital de la Santa Creu, where he was not recognized because he looked like a beggar; when he was identified as the great architect, people suggested him to go to a private hospital, but he answered “My place is here, among the poor”. He died in the Hospital on June 10.
William Frederick Cody, known as Buffalo Bill, came to Barcelona with his circus of cowboys in December 1889. During his stay of five weeks, two Indians working on the show became ill with smallpox and were taken to the Hospital, where there is recorded the admission and discharge; they were two Sioux: Black Hawk and Charging Crow.
The construction began in 1401 during the reign of King Martí the Humane, who gave the Montjuic stone that had granted him the Consell de Cent to build a palace.
A public hospital consortium
In 1401 the Consell de Cent decided the creation of the Hospital de la Santa Creu to gather under a unique administration –called MIA (Molt Il·lustre Administració) - several civil and religious hospitals that existed in Barcelona at the end of the 14th century: the old hospitals of citizens of Guitard (10th century), of Marcús (built in 1150), of Lepers (founded the 12th century by bishop Guillem of Torroja), of Colom (founded in 1219), of Maternity (or of Sant Matíes) and the Almoina, both founded in 14th century. It worked as hospital until 1911 when its services were gradually moved to the present Hospital de Sant Pau i la Santa Creu.
At the same time that the Hospital it was created the Estudi General d’Arts i Medicina, governed by the ministers of the city and the Church. King Martí arranges that it has two executed bodies (which are not from Barcelona) per year for dissections.
In 1638 the West Wing caught fire, and was completely destroyed. The reconstruction was done in less than one year thanks to the extraordinary collaboration of people with their donations. There is a plaque to commemorate it at the entrance of the library.
In 16th century, the administrators of the Hospital de la Santa Creu wanted to exploit a house owned by the Hospital at the Rambla for building a public theatre, which give revenues to Hospital maintenance. To making incomes higher, the theatre had exclusivity of performances. This was a privilege gave to the Hospital by Felip II in 1568, and renewed in 1587.
The work began in 1597. The theatre, called, Casa de les Comèdies, was inaugurated on August, 2 of that year. It was the predecessor of the Teatre Principal.
1401: Foundation of the Hospital de la Santa Creu. Creation of the Estudi General d’Arts i Medicina, governed by the ministers of the city and the Church. King Martí arranges that it has two executed bodies (which are not from Barcelona) per year for dissections.
- Castellví, Cristòfor (d. 1543). He was the first physician with full-time dedication at the Hospital de la Santa Creu de Barcelona.
- Coll, Pere de. Master in Arts and Medicine, he was confirmed as a professor by King Martí in 1401, October. He was physician to Ferran I and Alfons V and worked at the Hospital de la Santa Creu between 1410 and 1414.
- Degany, Ramon (ca. 1417). He was a surgeon who works at the Hospital de la Santa Creu between 1409 and 1416.
- Garbí, Pere. He was the first surgeon at the Hospital de la Santa Creu. He worked there between 1409 and 1416.
- Ripoll, Pere (14th-15th). In 1410 he was a surgeon at the Hospital. In 1416 he was accused of incompetence for practicing a drain when it was astrologically forbidden but he was acquitted for lack of evidence.
- Rossell, Joan Francesc (Barcelona, d. 1641). Doctorate in Arts and Medicine in 1579, he was professor at the Estudi General and a physician at the Hospital de la Santa Creu. He combined his dedication to medicine with politics; he was a counselor in the Barcelona city council (years 1599, 1609, 1623 and 1638) and the chief counselor in the Consell de Cent (1623 and 1638). He was commissioned to visit some plague-infected villages.
1675: The anatomic amphitheater was built.
1714: Abolition of the Estudi General. The teaching of medicine was moved to Cervera, but it remained inside the walls of the Hospital de la Santa Creu.
1760: Creation of the Col·legi de Cirurgia promoted by physician Pere Virgili i Bellver, who was the director. The training was higher there than at Cervera, where it was basically theoretical. The surgeons of the Hospital taught at the Col·legi. They made dissections and they practiced with patients.
- Agulló, Francesc (d. 1731). He was an apprentice since 1689, then, in 1708, second surgeon and main surgeon in 1712. He retired on June 22, 1731, and he died the day after doing it.
- Argila, Joan. Doctor in Arts and Medicine who worked as a physician at the Hospital de la Santa Creu during the second half of 17th century. He was the chief counselor in the city in 1637 and 1644.
- Aromir, Francesc (d. 1747). He was a physician at the Hospital de la Santa Creu from 1708 to 1738, when he retired.
- Balaguer, Gaspar (d. 1800). He was second physician at the Hospital in 1756, where he worked until 1763. He was professor at the university of Cervera and dean at the Facultat de Medicina de Barcelona. He was commissioned by the Government to report on the state of health at the Urgell; about this experience he wrote with Vicenç Grasset the Noticia de la epidemia de tercianas que se padeció en varios pueblos del Urgel y otros parajes del Principado de Cataluña en el año 1785 (1786). He also wrote on price of drugs, Tarifa o regulación de los precios a que deben arreglarse en la venta de los medicamentos simples y compuestos los boticarios del Principado de Cataluña (1795).
- Balmes, Pau (Torelló, 18th century). He graduated in medicine in 1762 and was appointed internal physician at the Hospital de la Santa Creu in 1768. He was one of the founders of the Acadèmia de Ciències i Arts de Barcelona and promoted the Conferències Acadèmiques per a Metges (1770). In addition, he devoted himself to botany and meteorology. In 1769 he presented the communication Reflexiones sobre la aurora boreal at the Conferència Física, where described the Aurora Borealis held in Barcelona on 24 October, 1769.
- Bartomeu,Vicenç. He was a physician at the Hospital de la Santa Creu, where he was the oldest one in 1639 (dean); he retired in 1646. He also was a counselor in the city of Barcelona (1642).
- Bonafós, Manuel (second half of 18th century). After being a medical assistant at the Hospital de Tarragona, he moved to Barcelona in 1775 and worked as a medical assistant of surgery at the Hospital de la Santa Creu; afterwards he was appointed surgeon major. He also was professor at the Col·legi de Cirurgia de Barcelona and holder at the Colegio de Cirugía de San Carlos of Madrid.
- Bonells, Jaume (Barcelona, 18th century). He won the post of second medical assistant at the Hospital de la Santa Creu en 1755, worked in Barcelona and Madrid and was physician to Duke of Alba. He promoted the creation of the Conferència Matemàtica Experimental (1764) and published with Ignasi Lacaba, the Curso completo de anatomía del cuerpo humano (1796-1800); this work, in five volumes, was used in teaching for more than 40 years.
- Capdevila i Alvià, Josep Antoni (Barcelona,?-Madrid, 1846). In 1775 he entered the Hospital de la Santa Creu as a substitute of surgeon major, two years later was appointed surgeon major. At the end of 17th century was professor and deputy director at the Col·legi de Cirurgia de Barcelona, and afterwards at the Colegio de San Carlos de Madrid. He was royal surgeon and director at the Junta Superior Governativa dels Reials Col·legis de Cirurgia Mèdica. He was author of many works on medicine, mathematics, botany, history and archeology among others.
- Capdevila i Alvià, Manuel. In 1765 he was surgeon major at the Hospital de la Santa Creu.
- Cartà, Jaume (d. 1689). In 1672 he was barber surgeon at the Hospital de la Santa Creu and then, surgeon major officer.
- Figueres, Onofre (17th-18th centuries). He was medical assistant at the Hospital de la Santa Creu between 1692 y 1695, then, when physician Jaume Solà retired, he became external physician at the Hospital until 3 June, 1708.
- Folch, Francesc (17th-18th centuries). In 1682 he was surgeon major officer at the Hospital de la Santa Creu, seven years later was appointed external surgeon at the Hospital. He retired on May, 1700.
- Fornells, Francesc (d. 1733). He was second physician at the Hospital de la Santa Creu in 1697 and dean in 1708; he retired in 1730. He was also professor of medicine, but when the university moved to Cervera he stayed in Barcelona. He is author of Medicina fisiológica (1698).
- Fraga i Busquet, Francesc de (first half of 18th century). He was physician of the Hospital de la Santa Creu and the first professor of anatomy of the Universitat de Cervera (1725).
- Gimbernat i Arboç, Antoni (Cambrils, 1734-Madrid, 1816). He began to study surgery in 1756 at the Real Colegio de Cádiz, being pupil of Pere Virgili. In 1762 he
was appointed professor of anatomy at the Col·legi de Cirurgia de Barcelona and shortly thereafter he assumed its direction; in 1766 he got a job at the Hospital de la Santa Creu, where he also was director. The Gimbernat’s method was adopted in London (named ever since Gimbernat operation) for femoral hernia repair, and Gimbernat’s ligament was added to anatomic terminology (fibrous fold in femoral canal discovered by the same surgeon). In 1790 he was commissioned to reorganize the Col·legi de Cirurgia de Barcelona; he wrote a new education plan and achieved the unification of Medicine and Surgery in 1799. He left a great number of handwritten clinical observations and reports about organization of surgery study, and he perfected and created many surgical instruments.
- Ginesta i Segòvia, Agustí (Piera, 1756-Madrid, 1815). In 1773 he substituted for Josep Queraltó as a medical assistant major, until 1777. After a period of absence, in 1783 he got back to the Hospital, where became surgeon major. In 1788 was appointed professor of the Col·legi de Cirurgia de Barcelona and three years later, royal surgeon to king. He is author of many handbooks on parturition.
- Grassot i Bellsolell, Carles (d. 1777). He was appointed surgeon major of the Hospital de la Santa Creu in 1775, he also was professor of the Reial Col·legi de Cirurgia de Barcelona. He defended primacy of surgery on medicine.
- Mateu, Francesc. Nephew of physician Vicenç Bartomeu, he substituted his uncle at the Hospital de la Santa Creu, of which he was administrator too. There is an inventory of this library estimated of 100 sterling pounds. In 1651 he was a counselor in the city of Barcelona.
- Menós i de Llena, Jaume (Barcelona, 18th century). He entered the Hospital de la Santa Creu as a second medical assistant in 1755, ten years after he took over cots and foundlings room of hospital. In 1777 he went to viceroyalty of La Plata and was the first physician of the royal Army at Argiels. He published several controversial works and was a member of the Acadèmia Catalana de Medicina.
- Milans, Bonaventura (Barcelona, ca. 1700-?, 18th century). Formed at Montpellier, he was appointed professor of Anatomy at Cervera in 1739. In 1740 he was supernumerary physician and in 1747 he became main physician of the Hospital. He published De dysenteria castrensi and, wrote with his colleague Carles Vicent Rossell, a Synopsis formularum medicarum... He was accused by the Administration of the Hospital together with Carles Vicenç Rossell. He also was physician adviser of the Italian Army.
- Païssa, Josep (?, 1700-Barcelona, 1766). He was surgeon major of the Hospital (February, 1759) and professor of the Col·legi de Cirurgia. He was one of the founders of the Conferència Fisicomatemàtica de Barcelona (1764), precursor of the Acadèmia de Ciències i Arts.
- Prats, Josep (d. 1747). He was appointed main surgeon of the Hospital de la Santa Creu in 1731, when Francesc Agulló died. He published the Enchiridion chirurgicum xenodochii generalis Barcinonensis [...] (1742), together with Carles Serra.
- Pruna (o Bruna), Agustí. He is documented as a physician of the Hospital de la Santa Creu between 1613 and 1634, the year when he was the physician dean. He made testament in 1637.
- Puig i Parea, Francesc (Barcelona, 1720-1791). He entered the Col·legi de Cirurgia de Barcelona in 1749 and got the qualification as a master on Surgery, afterwards he was its vice-president. He was surgeon major of the Hospital de la Santa Creu between 1756 and 1778, and he organized meetings among surgeons and physicians between 1753 and 1758 to promote the studies of Surgery. In 1753 he was appointed surgeon by the city council of Barcelona and, in 1776, surgeon major of the Army at Argiels and America. In 1784, once retired, he was surgeon major of the Hospital Militar at the city of Mallorca, where he founded the Col·legi de Cirurgia de Mallorca. He directed the Biblioteca Periódica, considered the first medical journal of Països Catalans.
- Queraltó, Josep (Sant Martí Sarroca, 1750-Madrid, 1805). He was pupil of Pere Virgili. He worked as a medical assistant major at the Hospital until 1775, and one year after, he went to viceroy of Rio de la Plata where he was designed director of the Hospital Militar de la isla de Santa Catalina. In 1793 he directed the hospitals at Navarra and Guipúzcoa and, in 1800 he was commissioned to study the epidemic of yellow fever spread across Andalucía. He was known for his ability to heal war injuries.
- Riera i Refard, Josep (d. 1821). He was physician of the Hospital de la Santa Creu since 1795. He died of yellow fever.
- Roig, Francesc (d. 1677). He was surgeon major officer of the Hospital de la Santa Creu in 1655, and he became external surgeon major. When he died, he was succeeded by his son, with the same name.
- Roig, Francesc (d. 1731). Son of Francesc Roig, he was appointed surgeon of the Hospital de la Santa Creu in 1677, when his father died; some years after, in 1711, he was master-surgeon major at the Hospital. He retired in 1729.
- Roig, Joan Francesc. Grandson of Francesc Roig, in 1711 he was appointed substitute of surgeon major at the Hospital de la Santa Creu and, in 1729, he was surgeon major substituting his father.
- Rossell, Carles Vicenç. He was born in Girona. In 1747 he was second physician at the Hospital. He published medical works together with Bonaventura Milans.
- Sabater, Pau (d. 1697). He was physician “fora casa” (physicians from the town who tended the Hospital sick without any formal appointment) and dean at the Hospital de la Santa Creu (1680).
- Salvà i Pontich, Jeroni. Doctor in Medicine born at the Alt Empordà, he was supernumerary physician in 1747 and third main physician in 1760. He was Francesc Salvà i Campillo’s father.
- Sandaran i Romera, Andreu (second half of 18th century). He entered the Hospital de la Santa Creu as a medical assistant in 1755; he also worked at the Vall d’Aran. He published the Tratado de Viruelas y su inoculación (1775).
- Santpons i Alsina, Josep (Barcelona, 18th century). He was supernumerary second physician in 1730 at the Hospital de la Santa Creu.
- Solà, Josep (?- Sevilla, 1800). He was household physician of the Hospital de la Santa Creu in 1792; six years later he was fired for disobedience, later, the Government posted him at Sevilla to study an epidemic. In 1795 he joined the Acadèmia de Medicina de Barcelona.
- Solà, Jaume (la Roca del Vallès, 1634-Caldes de Montbui, 1714). He was first physician at the Hospital de la Santa Creu (1671-1714) and professor at the Facultat de Medicina de Barcelona (1670-1695). He defended Harvey’s theory of the circulation of the blood and promoted intravenous injections, blood transfusion and cardiovascular anatomy. He collaborated with the city authorities on public health matters. He was killed by the troops of Felipe V in 1714.
- Tomàs, Antoni. He was second medical assistant of the Hospital de la Santa Creu in 1729, and became first medical assistant one year later; en 1738 he already was main physician. He published the Synopsis formularum medicarum, quibus utuntur Medici in Generali Barcinonensi Nosocomio [...] (1742) together with Carles Rossell and Bonaventura Milans.
- Vidal, Francesc. He got a post of physician at the Hospital de la Santa Creu in 1695.
- Vidal, Josep. He was physician at the Hospital de la Santa Creu (18th century).
1801: Creation of the Escola de Medicina Clínica en Barcelona, practical training was made at the Hospital.
1843: The University came back to Barcelona. The Col·legi de Cirurgia is transformed in Facultat de Medicina, located near the Hospital de la Santa Creu
- Barraquer i Roviralta, Josep Antoni (Barcelona, 1852-Barcelona, 1924). Ophthalmologist. He created an ophthalmology service at the Hospital de la Santa Creu en
1880 and directed it until 1910. Afterwards he worked at the Hospital Clínic until he retired (1921). He was the first one to occupy the chair of ophthalmology at the Facultat de Medicina de Barcelona (1914) and he was one of the founders of the Acadèmia de Ciències Mèdiques de Catalunya. He dedicated himself to ocular histology and pathological anatomy, he created one the worldwide best collections about ocular pathologies.
- Barraquer i Roviralta, Lluís (Barcelona, 1855- Sant Climent de Llobregat, 1928). Neurologist. He was founder and director of the Department of nervous diseases at
the Hospital (1882). He took part in the Congressos de Metges de Llengua Catalana and joined the Reial Acadèmia de Medicina de Barcelona in 1922. He studied the progressive cephalothoracic lipodystrophy syndrome (known as “Barraquer-Simons disease”) and collaborated with many medical journals.
- Bofill i Pichot, Josep Maria (Barcelona, 1860-Sant Julià de Vilatorta, 1938). He was physician and entomologist. He worked as a physician at the Hospital de leprosos de Sant Llàtzer, which depended on the Hospital de la Santa Creu. He was pupil and collaborator of Santiago Ramon y Cajal from 1888 to 1890. As an entomologist he joined the Institució Catalana d'Història Natural, of the Acadèmia de Ciències i Arts de Barcelona and the sciences section of the Institut d'Estudis Catalans, being his president from 1916 to 1931. He wrote the Catàleg d'insectes de Catalunya. Hymenòpters with Pere Antiga i Sunyer.
- Comas i Llaberia, Cèsar (Barcelona, 1874-Barcelona, 1956). Pioneer of radiology at Spanish State, he has it first X-ray in a public event on February 1896 at Barcelona. He opened the first office of Roentgenology together with his cousin Agustí Prió and, in 1908 he was appointed radiologist at the Facultat de Medicina. He fell ill and died because of his work as a radiologist. He published many works on radiology.
- Casals i d’Echauz, Bonaventura (Barcelona, 1791- ?, 1863). He was physician at the Hospital since roughly 1820. That same year he was a member of the Junta Superior de Sanitat del Principat de Catalunya i de les Illes Balears and general inspector of villages infected by plague at Mallorca. In 1824 he emigrated to America, due to his relationship with liberalism, and he settled in Peru, where he practiced homeopathy. In 1863 he returned to Barcelona. He invented several medical equipments.
Corachan i Garcia, Manuel (Xiva de Bunyol, 1881-Barcelona, 1942). He specialized in surgery with physician Enric Ribas i Ribas. He was appointed director of
surgery service at the Hospital in 1921, substituting Àlvar Esquerdo, who had died and, in 1925 he joined the Reial Acadèmia. He was director of the Acadèmia i Laboratori de Ciències Mèdiques between 1932 and 1934, and was a public health counselor in the Generalitat de Catalunya for a brief period of time. Firm defender of the Catalan language, he directed the Diccionari de Medicina (medical terminology in Catalan) and he took active part in the Congressos de Metges de Llengua Catalana.
- Duran i Obiols, Raimon (Barcelona, 1792-Barcelona, 1858). Doctor in medicine and surgery. He entered the Hospital de la Santa Creu in 1819 and some years later he became physician major. He was royal physician to Fernando VII (1832), author of many articles and a member of the Reial Acadèmia de Medicina.
Esquerdo i Esquerdo, Àlvar (Vila Joiosa, 1853-Barcelona, 1921). He was the chief of surgery at the Hospital de la Santa Creu (1879) and surgeon at the Hospital
del Sagrat Cor and the Casa Provincial de la Caritat (1886). He founded a gynecological service at the Hospital de la Santa Creu and published many works on surgery, gynecology, orthopedics and traumatology.
- Esquerdo i Esquerdo, Pere (Vila Joiosa, 1852-Vila Joiosa, 1922). He was brother of Àlvar Esquerdo. He was physician at the Hospital de la Santa Creu since 1882.
In 1883 was appointed professor at the Facultat de Medicina de Barcelona and joined the Reial Acadèmia de Medicina i Cirugía de Barcelona.
- Fargas i Roca, Miquel Àngel (Castellterçol, 1858-Barcelona, 1916). He specialized in gynecology, he founded one of first private clinic in the country in 1889; in 1893
he got the chair of obstetrics and gynecology at the Facultat de Medicina. He presided the 1st Congrés de Metges de Llengua Catalana (1913) and was the president of the Acadèmia de Medicina, of the science section of the Institut d’Estudis Catalans and the Acadèmia i Laboratori de Ciències Mèdiques. From politics side, he was one of the founders of the Unió Regionalista (1900) and the first vice-president of the Lliga Regionalista.
- Freixas i Freixas, Joan (Barcelona, 1860-Barcelona, 1933). In 1886 he won a post of physician assistant at the Hospital by competitive examination, where he worked for physician Àlvar Esquerdo. He was one of the founders of the Lliga Regionalista and organized the Congressos de Metges de Llengua Catalana. He was president of the Acadèmia de Ciències Mèdiques (1930-1932) and the Associació de Metges de Llengua Catalana; he published medical works and participated in the Diccionari de Medicina by physician Corachan.
- Gallart i Monés, Francesc (Prat de Llobregat, 1880-Barcelona, 1960). He entered the Hospital de la Santa Creu in 1906 and founded the Escola de Patologia
Digestiva in 1913. In 1919 he won a post as a numerary physician at the same Hospital, and two years later he joined the Reial Acadèmia de Medicina. He founded the Sociedad Española de Patología Digestiva (1935) and was president of the Societat Internacional de Gastroenterologia (1945). He took part in all the Congressos de Metges de Llengua Catalana.
- Marsillach i Parera, Joan (Barcelona, 1821-?, 1896). In 1853 he founded the Institut Català de Vacunació together with Adolf Geli. In 1855 he entered the Hospital de la Santa Creu as a physician by competitive examination and he specialized in urinary tract diseases. He published medical works. He was Adolf Marsillach's father.
- Moragas i Gràcia, Ricard (Badalona, 1883-Barcelona, 1966). He directed the laboratories of bacteriology and serology at the Hospital de la Santa Creu and he founded a blood transfusions service at the same hospital (1936). He published many specialized works and took part in the Congressos de Metges de Llengua Catalana.
- Pedro i Pons, Agustí (Barcelona, 1898-Barcelona, 1971). He worked at the Hospital between 1922 and 1924, where he directed a course of clinical diagnosis and
therapeutics. He was appointed professor of the Facultat de Medicina de Barcelona in 1927, he presided the Acadèmia de Ciències Mèdiques between 1939 and 1958 and, later, the Acadèmia de Medicina de Barcelona (1957-1971). He bequeathed a collection of 2.453 volumes to the Biblioteca de Catalunya. Col·lecció Pedro Pons
- Pi i Molist, Emili (Barcelona, 1824- Barcelona, 1892). He entered the Hospital in 1855 as a physician major. He specialized in psychiatry, later he founded and
directed an institution for mentally ill at Sant Andreu de Palomar, which depended of the Hospital de la Santa Creu. He was a member of the Acadèmia de Bones Lletres de Barcelona and the Acadèmia de Medicina de Barcelona, among other Catalan scientific societies.
- Pi i Sunyer, Jaume (Roses, 1851-Roses, 1897). Brother of Francesc Pi i Sunyer. He was physician of the Hospital de la Santa Creu and professor of general pathology since 1883. In 1885 he was appointed as a member of the Acadèmia de Medicina de Barcelona and collaborated in many medical journals. He died of tuberculosis.
- Pla i Janini, Josep Maria (Santa Cruz de Tenerife, 1888-Barcelona, 1981). He studied chemistry in Switzerland and medicine in Barcelona. He specialized in ophthalmology and worked with Ignasi Barraquer.
- Prió i Llaberia, Agustí (Barcelona, 1873-Barcelona 1929). He opened the first Office of Roentnology at Barcelona together with his cousin Cèsar Comas Llaberia. He worked as a physician assistant at the Hospital de la Santa Creu and as a radiologist at the Hospital del Sagrat Cor (1903) and the Hospital de la Santa Creu (1912). He fell ill and died by radiations effect.
- Puig i Sais, Ermenegild (Albons, 1860-?, 1941). He was physician assistant at the Hospital in 1892. He entered the Hospital del Sagrat Cor in 1900 and specialized in infectious diseases. He was President of the Acadèmia i Laboratori de Ciències Mèdiques (1914-16) and the 8th Congrés de Metges de Llengua Catalana (1934), he also was vice-president of the Associació General de Metges de Llengua Catalana. He was a founder member of the Sindicat de Metges de Catalunya (1920).
- Raventós i Aviñó, Antoni (Barcelona, 1869-Barcelona, 1919). He worked with August Pi i Sunyer and Àlvar Esquerdo. He introduced rubber gloves into surgical interventions. He took part in the Congressos de Metges de Llengua Catalana and in the journal Annals de Medicina.
Ribas i Ribas, Enric (Vigo, 1870-Masnou, 1935). Surgeon. He entered the Hospital de la Santa Creu in 1897 and became the chief of the surgery service in 1906.
He was academician and the MIA financed him a travel for knowing other European hospitals. He presided the Acadèmia de Ciències Mèdiques (1922-1924) and the 7th Congrés de Metges de Llengua Catalana (Mallorca, 1932).
- Roca i Heras, Josep Maria (Barcelona, 1863- Barcelona, 1930). He was dermatologist and specialist on syphilis. He was physician assistant at the Hospital de la Santa Creu between 1890 and 1896. He was a member of the Unió Catalanista and the Acadèmia de les Bones Lletres de Barcelona, he also was one of the founders of the Acadèmia de Ciències Mèdiques de Catalunya where he gave a presentation for first time in Catalan. (La sífilis a l’edat mitjana). He published several works on medicine history.
- Robert i Yarzábal, Bartomeu (Mèxic, 1842-Barcelona, 1902). He entered the Acadèmia de Medicina de Barcelona in 1867, of which he was president between years
1883 and 1890, and he was appointed holder physician at the Hospital de la Santa Creu in 1869. Some years later, in 1875 when he won the chair of internal pathology at the Facultat de Barcelona, he left the Hospital. He took part in transfer the Facultat de Medicina and in foundation of the Hospital de Sant Pau. He was advisor of the city council of Barcelona from 1884 to 1890 and was elected mayor in 1899. He was academician and published several studies.
- Sanllehy i Metges, Joan (Barcelona, 1821-Barcelona, 1900). In 1842 he won the post as an assistant of surgery at the Hospital de la Santa Creu. After having
dedicated himself on surgery he guided his career to homeopathy and he introduced C.F.S. Hahnemann's theories, founder of the homeopathy, at Barcelona.
- Segalà i Estalella, Manuel (Barcelona, 1868-Barcelona, 1932). He was physician at the Hospital de la Santa Creu and general secretary of the Acadèmia d’Higiene de Barcelona. He published several medical works in specialized journals.
- Soler i Buscallà, Joan (Olvan, 1835-Barcelona, 1895). He was medical assistant at the Hospital de la Santa Creu between years 1854 and 1860, four years later, he was appointed relief coroner and later, in 1872, he became physician by competitive examination. He was a founder member of the Acadèmia de Ciències Mèdiques and codirector of journal Revista de Ciencias Médicas.
- Torent i Torrabadella, Ramon (Granollers, 1826-Barcelona, 1882). Doctor in Medicine and Surgery. He was physician at the Casa de la Maternitat and became physician dean of the Hospital de la Santa Creu in 1869.
- Trueta i Raspall, Josep. (Barcelona, 1897-Barcelona, 1977). He worked at the Hospital de la Santa Creu under Manuel Corachan teaching between 1920 and 1928; it
was in that period when he attended to an injured Antoni Gaudí. In 1935 he was appointed as a chief of surgery service at the Hospital de Sant Pau and, in 1939, he went into exile and settled in Oxford, invited by defense service of Great Britain. His treatment of war wounds was adopted by the Allied army, he worked at the Radcliffe Hospital (directing accidents service) and he was appointed Doctor honoris by the University of Oxford in 1943. In 1967 he definitely returned to Catalunya.
- Xercavins i Rius, Francesc de Paula (Sabadell, 1855-Barcelona, 1937). He practiced medicine at the Hospital de la Santa Creu as a neurology and psychiatry specialist. He was director at the Institut Mental de la Santa Creu, of Sant Andreu de Palomar, he was a founder member of the Casa de Salut de Nostra Senyora del Pilar and a member of the Acadèmia de Medicina de Barcelona. He published many works related to psychiatry.
The Jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia)
There is a magnificent jacaranda in the garden that flowers twice a year: the months of May-June, just when it comes into leaf, and in late winter, when it has not leaves. It is recognized because its spectacular foliage with light green leaves that resemble the fronds of ferns and their blue violet flowers, slightly perfumed.
These trees were introduced in the gardens of Barcelona, between 1915 and 1923, by the great French gardener Jean-Claude-Nicolas Forestier, who created the gardens of Montjuïc.
The well of the garden was built in 1537.
The cats of the Library
On the courtyard of the library live three cats that are cared for by some volunteers of the Fundació Altarriba. This foundation controls stable colonies through the program Colònies de gats al carrer, started on May 1999, and it guarantees feed and veterinary treatments to the animals.
In 2007, while doing some works in the garden, several skeletons were found buried. They were dated from 13th century by the archeologists who analyzed them. They probably were from patients who asked for being buried at the Hospital in their wills.
Ghosts in the cloister?
On November 1, 2010, El Periódico published an article which mentioned some lights, shadows, and strange silhouettes in the garden when it gets dark.