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Ospedale La Senavra

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Ospedale La Senavra (1781 - 1865)

Location: Corso XXII Marzo, Milan, Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia

Ospedale La Senavra

In 1781 a building constructed in 1548 and used for a time as a Jesuit monastery became the home of the Ospedale la Senavra. The previous year, the Austrian Empress Maria Theresa had decided that it should be put to use as a madhouse, and on the night of 15 September 1781, a procession of patients -confused and screaming men, and wide-eyed women with shaven heads - were led through the streets of Milan to their new home. Many - over one hundred - came from the Ospedale dei Pazzi di San Vicenze at Prato. Some were mentally ill, others were deaf and dumb, deformed or simply orphans or abandoned children. Moral management arrived at Senevra, as it did elsewhere, during the nineteenth century, resulting in the grouping of patients according to symptoms. In 1865, all of Milan’s psychiatric patients were transferred to a new hospital, the Ospedale Provinciale Mombello, in the municipality of Limbiate outside Milan. The building of this Ospedale is still standing, and in use as an agrarian institute.