Sheremetev Hospital

The Hospice House is an outdated designation for an almshouse, a hospital shelter for the poor. The best known under this name is the Sheremetev Hospital on Bolshaya Sukharevskaya Square in Moscow, based on which the Sklifosovsky Institute of Emergency Care was organized in 1923.

Count Nikolai Petrovich Sheremetev, one of the wealthiest people in Russia, conceived the construction of an almshouse in Moscow for 100 people of both sexes and a free hospital with 50 beds in the early 1790s.

The project of the Hospice House was commissioned by the Moscow architect Elizvoy Nazarov, who “assisted” his relative Vasily Bazhenov and learned many of his architectural techniques. The main courtyard is formed by two semicircular wings, extending far towards the Garden Ring and forming a horseshoe in plan. From the side, the building looks like a monumental noble estate, with the main building deepened towards the park – the Trinity Church, above which rises a semicircular belvedere.

Although private charitable institutions existed in Moscow for a long time (for example, the Kurakinsky almshouse), the monumental architecture and urban planning scope of Count Sheremetev’s project had no precedent.

Construction was conducted from 1792 to 1807 by serf architects P. I. Argunov, A. F. Mironov, and G. E. Dikushin.

For the institution’s maintenance, the count deposited 500 thousand rubles and income from his estates in the Tver province. The Sheremetevs continued to fund the hospital until the nationalization of their estates in 1917.

The memorial character of the project of the Hospice House was given by the master of classicism – Giacomo Quarenghi, who, as usual, completed the drawings “remotely” without leaving St. Petersburg.

In its final form, the project acquired sculptural accents from both facades (front and garden) and a figured lattice with central gates and corner gazebos. Marble and Ural stone of a light green hue were used to decorate the interiors. The artist D. Scotty painted the dome of the church. A sculptural allegory of Mercy was installed in the front colonnade.

Nearest metro: Sukharevskaya.

See also Architecture of MoscowPalaces and most historic buildings of Moscow.

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