Diorama showing the Santa Cruz Hospital of Toledo in the 1500s, Europe, 1901-1970

1901-1970 in England

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Diorama "Hospitals and the Care of the Sick", showing Santa Cruz Hospital of Toledo in the sixteenth century, English, 1901-1970

The high roof and the altar of the interior of the Santa Cruz Hospital of Toledo, Spain, give it the appearance of a church. Hospitals in the 1500s were usually run by religious orders and in this diorama nuns provide the nursing care. Patients have comfortable beds where they could draw the curtains for privacy and were kept well fed, clean and warm – although much of the treatment at the time involved purging and bloodletting.

Hospitals run by religious orders were often the only source of medical care for the poor, who could not afford to pay a physician.


Nursing & Hospital Furnishings
Object Number:
metal, paint, plaster, wood
overall (viewing aperture): 590 mm x 806 mm x 757 mm,
overall (with structure): 1005 mm x 880 mm x 761 mm, 65.5 kg
  • visual and verbal communication
Wellcome Museum Workshops
Loan: Wellcome Trust

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