We will try to answer one of the common questions that visitors to the cemetery area of San Juan del Hospital.
South of the church the old quarter of San Juan del Hospital in Valencia, the medieval cemetery is s. XIII. In what would be the center of this, small funeral chapel tradition known as Capilla del Rey Don Jaime stands,
El Conquistador King, Friend of the first prior of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem in Valencia, Hugo de Folcalquier, I would have heard Mass in the chapel, Built in the early days after the conquest by another sanjuanistas knights who participated in this, Arnau Rosemary.
It was attached to a small apse, closed and simple construction of low wall. Available a well and balseta with water outlet pipe. A pickup location where the bodies were deposited and prepared for funeral ceremonies.
The deceased then went to the chapel in his coffin, or carefully wrapped in shrouds, or the poorest straw, then are buried well under arc-solio, if they belonged to a family or guild that it had any, or on the ground of the cemetery.
The fact burying the dead was, besides one of the works of Christian mercy, an obligation to the Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem, He is attending sick pilgrims, destitute and even had to bury the unclaimed executed. Thus in Figure Consueta (the statutes) established from the s. XIII, just at the time that San Juan del Hospital is built in Valencia.
A painting of another small funeral chapel, Memling the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem in Bruges, Holland, We illustrate this care.
These two representations, made in the s. XVII, show Memling hospital complex with its tradicioneles features, including the funerary chapel in the center of a landscaped space; attached to your head you can see a small enclosure under whose utility was grooming and preparing the bodies before celebrating the obsequies.
The hospital complexes were established near streams: streams, or weirs ditches, or wells or cisterns were dug to provide clean water. This monumental group of Holland stands next to a river flow considerably as shown in the engraving.
Set in San Juan del Hospital Valencia they have been found in the cemetery area of s. XIII, all testimonials: irrigation ditches, wells, azucatch, funerary vessels and numerous remains of metal: fittings, cloves, hinges ... etc. that belonged to the caskets.
But more interesting are the remains of the buildings attached to the apse of the chapel. Masonry walls are of the same period of the original building. Low rise and a well (located under the wall (¿) that separated from the entire enclosure from the s.XVIII – XIX). Those are the crumbling remains to be seen in the cemeterial area next to the Capuilla del Rey D. Jaime. The well is covered by dangerousness.
The attached map can be seen areas of archaeological surveys and what was found, indicated and located the well and water balseta.
Margarita Ordeig Corsini
Technical Director of the Museum of the Hospital San Juan de el Hospital de Valencia set