24 February 2019

24th February 1409 - Inspiration for the first mental hospital in the Spanish world

On 24th February 1409, Father Juan Galiberto Jofré was walking through Valencia in Spain when he came upon a commotion. Approaching nearer he found a crowd of youths surrounding a man, attacking him and taunting him with the cry 'al loco! al loco!'. Father Jofré intervened and took the victim to a safe place where he could be looked after. The following Sunday Father Jofré preached about the incident and said that Valencia had nowhere for those poor innocents who sometimes lost their reason. Members of his congregation took up the challenge and an asylum was built. The result was the Hospital de Nuestra Doña Santa Maria de los Inocentes, said by people in the Spanish speaking world to be the first dedicated Mental Hospital in the World. The Hospital is still in operation.

This is just a short summary, in my own words, of a much longer history of the hospital to be found in the pdf article The founding of the first psychiatric hospital in the World in Valencia

 Thankyou to Today in the History of Psychology for the date

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