The Ospedale degli Innocenti (English: Hospital of the Innocents) is a building in Florence.
Designed by Filippo Brunelleschi and opened in 1445, the Ospedale degli Innocenti was an orphanage for unwanted babies. Apparently, the Florentines were a feisty bunch, since it was the first of its kind in Europe.
Babies were typically abandoned in a basin in the front, although later transactions were facilitated by the introduction of a rotating horizontal wheel which moved infants into the building without the parents being seen.
Some parents weren't just ejecting their love child, they were making money off them. Many a mother abandoned her baby in order to be hired by the Ospedale as a wet nurse, so she could be paid to feed her own child.
Boys were tutored in various professions by the Ospedale's staff, while girls were usually trained to become nuns or wives.
Bonfire of the Vanities
- A glyph is located on the building.