Santa Maria della Scala is located in Siena, Italy. Now a museum, it was once an important civic hospital dedicated to caring for abandoned children, the poor, the sick, and pilgrims. Revenues were earned partially from bequests and donations from the citizens of Siena, particularly the wealthy. The head of the hospital was the rector who managed the lay brothers responsible for its operation.
Santa Maria della Scala was one of Europe's first hospitals and is one of the oldest hospitals still surviving in the world. It played a major cultural role and is considered one of Siena's 3 main artistic hubs.
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