Formerly the St Vincent of Paul Church and Hospital. 12 de April and Solano Avenue.
For over seven decades, these buildings accommodated the St Vincent of Paul Hospital, the city’s first health institution run by Social Welfare. It is accessed via a long exterior corridor that generates a slow approach, providing users with the time to admire the beautiful architectural features of the complex. Of handsome proportions, the church was designed by the German Redemptorist monk Juan B. Stiehle in the late 1890’s and was financed by Social Welfare with funds collected from donations and bequests.
Above the pediment,serving as the crest, is a statue of St Vincent of Paul.
An underground crypt contains 30 funeral vaults, in keeping with the old tradition of burying the dead in churches.
The complex was restored in 1986 by the architects Patricio Muñoz Vega and Gustavo Lloret Orellana, with funding from the Central Bank of Ecuador. Now it accommodates the Medicine Museum, and the church has been adapted to serve as the museum auditorium.
There are botanical gardens in the grounds and the complex is also one of the venues used for the Cuenca International Biennial.
The hospital facilities were organized in large wards around interior courtyards.
The church emerged as a consequence of the presence of the Sisters of Charity religious order, which attended the sick, and the need to keep vigil over those who died in the hospital.
Thick adobe walls with deep set windows