The Hospital San Nicolás de Bari is a preserved hospital ruin, and it was recognized by the UNESCO for being the oldest hospital built in the Americas. Construction began in 1503 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, at the behest of governor (and namesake of the hospital) Nicolás de Ovando. This grand project was in keeping with the desire to emulate European princely courts, and looked to Renaissance Italy for inspiration. At the time of its completion, the wards could accommodate up to 70 patients, comparable to the most advanced churches of Rome. It is likely that the model for the Hospital de San Nicolás was the large Ospedale di Santo Spirito in Sassia in Rome. The complex forms part of the Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo World Heritage Site.
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