The “Pananeio” Municipal Hospital was built with the financing of Pananos and Athena Theodoulaki to operate as a hospital. It was named after its founder.
According to the marble inscriptions which are walled-up at the entrance of the building, the foundation stone of this hospital was laid on May 28th. The revolution of 1896 interrupted the construction works, which started again in November of the same year and stopped again in 1897. After the establishment of the Cretan State the works started again in December 1900. Soon the work was completed and the official inauguration was celebrated on 10-2-1902, at St. Panteleimon’s Church in the large yard of the building complex. Then its founders ceded it to the Holy Church of St. Minas and one year later the church committee gave it to the Municipality of Heraklion with a notary’s deed.
The site were the building complex was constructed was chosen as, according to a study, it was the healthiest place within the walls of the city. The building is stone-built with a wooden tiled roof. As the plot on which it was built had a strong inclination from east to west, its western part appears to be ground – floor while the eastern part is two – stored. The arrangement of the rooms and the form of the facades followed the neoclassical style of the time, marvelously combined with the simplicity dictated by the use purposes of the building.
Its architectural form is very interesting. The central part is rectangular, with a large yard in its center. The church of St. Panteleimon dominates the yard. The wings of the building, where the rooms of the patients were located, were on the eastern and the western side of the yard. The western part had two more sections, one of which extended to the north and one to the south. All the rooms of the hospital had an eastern or western orientation.
The facades are symmetric. The corners of the building were highlighted with chiselled stone masonry, while the facades were decorated with pilasters. The main entrance was in the central part of the western facade of the complex. There was a corridor leading to it, covered with a roof decorated with finely carved wood.
(Author: Chrisoula Tzombanaki, architect – archaeologist)