you should really round off any historical trek through the Ancient City with a stop at the Spanish Military Hospital. The building itself is just a reconstruction of the hospital of Our Lady Of Guadalupe that stood on the site during the second Spanish colonial period — but the presentation is first-rate. I was the only visitor that afternoon, and I had the docent (a hippy-looking guy with with a Brooklyn accent and a long gray ponytail) all to myself. Well it was just fabulous! We chatted for nearly an hour, more informally and way longer than a normal tour. This man knew literally everything there was to know about colonial-era medicine. He proudly showed off implements for pulling teeth and drilling holes in a skull that was suffering from too much inter-cranial pressure. He talked about amputations done without anesthesia and the exquisitely sweet smell of burning meat that comes off of a newly-cauterized stump. He even talked about the “doctrine of signatures,” whereby herbs that resemble organs were used to treat ailments of that body part — and showed me the little red dried cochineal insects that the Spanish thought cured blood diseases (because when you pinched it between your fingers, it pulverized into a red powder which looked like dried blood.) Turns out their patients were just eating bugs — at least they were getting a little extra protein.
What A great article from a visitor to the Spanish Military Hospital.
We Thank you from everyone here!!
- 2:38 PM EDT on September 21, 2017
- 12:00 AM EDT on September 23, 2017