Hospital or Spital (since the 4th century from the Latin hospitalis 'hospitable, belonging to the innkeeper' , derived from hospes 'guest friend, innkeeper; guest' ) is a term for nursing homes and old people's homes . Originally, since the 4th century it referred to the mostly Christian-run pilgrim hostels and poor houses , and since the end of the 18th century it has also been used as a place of treatment for sick people in the sense of hospital . In addition, terms such as Seelhaus , Bruderhaus , Prestenhaus , Infirmary , Sondersiechenhaus, Leprosenhaus , Pesthaus or Blatternhaus occur in a similar sense . In some areas of Germany and occasionally in Austria hospital is still used today , but in Austria it is preferred and in Switzerland almost exclusively hospital is used as a synonym for hospital.
The forerunners of the hospitals were the Eastern Roman Xenodochia , which also appeared in Gaul and Italy around the 4th century . These were shaped by Christianity and offered refuge to strangers, guests, pilgrims, those in need, the sick, the poor, the infirm, widows and orphans. The monastic hospitals that developed in the 6th century were based above all on the rule of Benedict of Nursia , which in the Middle Ages offered help to the poor, pilgrims and the sick in addition to episcopal or charitable hospitals. In the year 816 the Aachen Synod decided that every monastery or collegiate foundation should have the establishment of a hospital . Since a decree by Pope Clement V from 1312, the hospitals no longer necessarily had to be church property in the narrower sense of property and power of disposal. As charitable institutions, they continued to have a church character. Everyone could now establish a hospital for the sake of their soul and operate it on their own account, but had to obtain the bishop's permission if he wanted to incorporate a hospital church , chapel , altar or cemetery and to employ a hospital clergyman.
Many hospitals were set up in the form of foundations , the hospital foundations , and run for non-profit purposes. Most remained in the legal form of the foundation. Few were converted to clubs. An example of an early hospital in Germany, which was founded by a family out of their fortune and was also run by the family until the death of the founder, was the hospital of Johann Twente and his wife. It was built in the year 1339 at the gates of the city of Osnabrück and in the middle of the 16th century it was moved to the former Twente property in the old town.
Among the oldest still existing hospitals in Germany are the Hospital for the Holy Spirit in Frankfurt am Main, first mentioned in 1267 , and the Citizens Hospital for the Holy Spirit in Würzburg , founded in 1316 .
The tasks of the hospitals were varied and based on the works of mercy : feeding, receiving and clothing the poor, sheltering the strangers, caring for the elderly and the sick and burying the dead. Communalization, mortgages (that is, inmates bought themselves in with the acquisition of benefices ) and specialization were the trends that dominated urban hospitals from the 14th century. Certain facilities were established as the High Hospital .
In this tradition, the social institutions of the two large churches in Germany, the Protestant Diakonie and the Catholic Caritas as well as their affiliated church sponsors, still run many care, elderly and disabled facilities, such as the Evangelical Home Foundation in Baden-Württemberg with more than 6000 home places and 5500 employees.
According to the definition of the historian Claudia Tiggemann-Klein , health care, benevolence and piety are the three cornerstones of the hospital system. The facilities, for example, are examples of early hospitals that are no longer used as such today
- Holy Spirit Hospital (Lübeck)
- Heiliggeistspital (Freising)
- Hospital Foundation for the Holy Spirit (Kaufbeuren)
- Hospital of the Holy Spirit (Hamburg)
- Citizens Hospital of the Holy Spirit ( Würzburg )
- Cottage Hospital
- Hospital Church
- Holy Spirit Hospital
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- Nikolaus Bernau : What actually is a hospital? - Deutschlandfunk .de, March 26, 2020
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