Ribandar, Goa, India
Equipment and Infrastructures
The hospital of Goa’s Misericórdia charity institution was situated by the river on the road to the old city of Goa, between Ribandar and São Pedro. It was also known as the Hospital of All Saints and Our Lady of Pity, a name that arose from the 1705 merger of the All Saints Hospital founded by the Misericórdia in 1547 and the Hospital of Our Lady of Pity established by the Goa Senate and handed over to the charity institution in 1681. Its building is nowadays occupied by the Goa Institute of Management. The same site also had a private house where the hospital functioned from 1849 on. Some construction work was done at that time, but without making any radical changes. No other reforms are known to have been implemented from then until the early 20th century. The building that exists nowadays was inaugurated in 1905, when the hospital was thoroughly redone; there are no vestiges of the earlier construction, which is only known via the drawings of Lopes Mendes. The designer of the new building, adjacent chapel and presumably the also adjacent pharmacy was Augusto Lobato Faria, an engineer on the Public Works staff. It is not known whether previous walls or foundations were used, though the building and chapel did maintain approximately the same footprint as their predecessors. The tripartite main façade is classically inspired, with iron arcades sustaining the veranda that opens onto the river and joins the three more closed bodies with full-length windows. The façade is symmetric vis- à-vis the entrance; the building presumably was as well. The construction is raised above the road which provides the main access, thus resolving the difference of levels with the back part. The central part originally had two floors and the side bodies, one. It is also possible to see the cornice that met the roof and which currently separates the two existing floors. The date of this alteration is unknown but is before the 1950s. The building’s interior is organised along a corridor that crosses it lengthwise. The vertical accesses are made in the entrance zone. The back elevation, with running verandas, has several annexes which make it hard to discern the original appearance. It is possible that the two existing volumes in the central area date to the same period as the building, or soon thereafter. Besides the main building, another structure stands on the east side, also raised slightly from the road. It had a veranda, now much changed, on the river side. Other constructions are also situated behind the building, arranged at various levels on the slope. It is known from written sources that in 1903 a shelter was built in one of the main building’s annexes, with capacity for 12 people of both sexes. A ward for Hindus and an Analysis Institute were added later, in 1911-12. In 1917-18 a building was erected for the printing press. They most likely correspond to the two-level volume on the west side, perpendicular to the main building and the group of single-storey structures, arranged around a garden on a first level. Other constructions are located on the upper levels, but seem more recent. The complete transformation of the Misericórdia Hospital follows the options taken by the Public Works Department in the late 19th century, as this type of intervention was common. The careful approach to its design is worthy of note.