Ospitale

XVI-century monumental complex; it was built to give shelter to wayfarers and pilgrims along the via Emilia near the ford formed by the Secchia river.

Address and contacts

Via Fontana, 2 - 42048 Rubiera
+39 0522 622238 - Ufficio Cultura
+39 0522 622201 - Centralino Comune Rubiera
cultura@comune.rubiera.re.it
La Corte Ospitale

Opening times

The visit is possibile for group of at least 20 people, upon previous arrangement with the contacts above indicated.

How to get there

See the indication to reach Rubiera

Historical notes

One of the most important pilgrims’ hospitals between Secchia and Enza, along the Via Emilia, was the one at Rubiera. At the intersection of the road and the river, the hospital looked out onto the constant coming and going of pilgrims and travellers along the Via Emilia but also along the other important road that followed the course of the river, leading to Sassuolo and Frassinoro, then on to Lucca and Rome.
The oldest hospital, administered by the Benedictines, already existed in 1179 but, after the attack from Duke Alfonso I d’Este in 1523, the original structure was destroyed. The noble Sacrati family, appointed as caretakers of the hospital, oversaw its reconstruction on their territory, near the river and at a point where navigation was easier. In 1531 construction began on the grand Renaissance complex and in 1535 the great painter Benvenuto Tisi “il Garofalo”, one of the most famous artists of the court of Ferrara, was commissioned to decorate the church of St. Mary with frescoes. The hospital offered shelter to pilgrims and travellers, contained an infirmary and dispensed alms. The possibility to cross the river was of utmost importance: the hospital, in fact, held the rights to the “Secchia pass”, in operation night and day and free of charge for the poor, pilgrims and holy orders. Everything came to an end, however, in 1765, when the Grand Duke of Modena, Francesco III, suppressed the operation of all the hospitals in his realm. Thus began the decline of the “court” of Rubiera, transformed into an agricultural estate and passed down from one generation to the next until, on the occasion of the Jubilee in 2000, it was restored by the City and given back to the people of Rubiera, travellers and religious pilgrims, as a meeting place and cultural landmark.