Manicomio di Racconigi,
Ospedale Neuropsichiatrico Provinciale
The Ospedale Neuropsichiatrico Provinciale at Racconigi has been closed and slowly decaying since 1981.
It originally opened in 1871 in the former Racconigi Military College and served as a psychiatric hospital until it closed under the auspices of 'Law 180'.
Between 1981 and 1991, three hundred former patients left the hospital's accommodation to live in the community. On 9th February 2004, the hospital's last patient left moving into her own apartment in the Racconigi are.
This structure was dedicated to Chiarugi (famous Tuscan psychiatrist of the 18th century) and his construction started in 1786 and finished in 1829. The initial project was to found a hospital of charity and charities, but it was abandoned to make the building a boarding school for the children of ex-soldiers. In 1871 it was used as an asylum thanks to its central position, a rather unusual element given that structures of this kind were usually located in the suburbs, as the sick were only an element of shame.
Structure of the asylum of Racconigi The Chiarugi has 3 floors, two internal courtyards and the covered area extends over 10,000 m2. Its area starts from the city center and ends in the suburbs with a large park. The pavillions were used as follows:
– CHIARUGI PAVILION: divided into men's and women's departments;
– MARRO PAVILION for quiet men;
– TAMBURINI PAVILION for quiet women;
– PAGILONE MORSELLI with containment cells for acute patients.
It was also a city within a city: about 500 people worked there and there was a bakery, an agricultural colony for occupational therapy, a clinical research laboratory, a pathological anatomy laboratory, one for radiology, one for electrotherapy, an operating room for operations on the nervous system e the house of the nuns who served within the structure.
Patient numbers peaked during the two World Wars whereby the numbers of patients exceeded a thousand, and in the 1960s & 1970s numbers reached 1400. In the 1960s, the Racconigi Asylum was given the sarcastic name of Fabbrica delle Idee to underline the difference between the workers' production of material goods and the visionary production of crazy ideas.