Point of interest 5/6
Albox Town Hall, Old Convent and Hospital for the Poor
Audioguide in text
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This historic three-story building has about 1000 square meters. Throughout history it has been used for various purposes. It was built in 1892 by the pharmacist Jose Sanchez Navarro, a very wealthy and recognized throughout the region, with a placid life dedicated to his trade on the first floor of the previous building. It was in the year 1891 when his life took a turn like that of many Almerians in various parts of the province, because on September 11 a terrible flood left extensive material damage and fatalities.
The flood devastated the town of Albox.
It was then when José Sánchez Navarro would lose his house, the newspaper the voice of the people remembers how immense was the flood indicating, that the muddy waters covered that day the domes and the skylight of the house.
As we can see, it is very close to the retaining walls built years later to prevent this.
At that time Juan Sanchez erected his new home on the same site, his vicissitudes continued and a year later he lost his wife, making momentous changes in his life and in the building. After dedicating himself for a time to the contemplative life, at the end of the 19th century he discovered his religiosity and founded in this building a Hospital for the poor called “San Juan de Dios”, which was what we know today as a residence for the elderly. In November 1896, the function of this building was expanded with the arrival of the “Daughters of Charity”, an association founded by Vincent de Paul in 1633, who inaugurated the nursery and senior classes. A chapel was placed inside the building, the inauguration of which coincided with the beginning of the new century. The type of teaching that was given was gradual and mainly moral and religious. For the admission of the students it was necessary that they were accompanied by an adult, presenting the faith of baptism and their vaccination card. The hospital function was maintained until after the civil war.
In about 1950, the labor institute was inaugurated only for men, as some residents of the municipality remember, and later the Daughters of Charity installed a higher cycle so that girls could study the same as boys. The EGB was also established in its first courses, in addition to teaching solfeggio, piano, chorus and rondallas. In 1996 the building was abandoned by the Company and, as dictated in the priest’s deed, it was donated to the bishopric. In recent years and thanks to the insistence of the municipal corporation chaired by the mayor Don Francisco Torrecillas, an agreement was reached with the bishopric and the government team rehabilitated the building before it fell down and recovered it for the town by converting it into a town hall.
And we are reaching the end of this great tour through some of the streets of Albox and some of its most emblematic places. Now we will tell our last story and we will talk about the walls of the rambla.