Chapel of Els Sants Metges (Doctor Saints)

The chapel belonged to Lloret’s old welfare hospital, which was founded in 1445 by Narcís Oliveres, Canon of Girona Cathedral and Administrator of the Provostship of the Month of November and, as such, Lord of the Territory of Lloret. When the new hospital was built, this annex chapel was put up for sale by the town council and purchased on 21 June by the canon, Dr Narcís Domènech i Parés, who immediately transferred it to the parish.

The sale process was as follows: on 10 November 1880 Lloret Town Council held a meeting with the Bishop of Girona to request the sale of the chapel of the old hospital, given that in accordance with the canons it was its sole owner. The money obtained from the sale would help the council complete the works of the new hospital. The Bishop of Girona gave his consent on the condition that the buyer immediately transferred the chapel to the church, although reserving the right to claim it if the state at any time attempted to gain ownership of it. The agreed price of sale was one thousand one hundred and forty-five pesetas, paid by the buyer in the form of gold and silver coins, handed over to Eduard Martínez i Dalmau, a pharmacist who served as the custodian of Lloret Town Council. The contract was signed on behalf of the council by its mayor, Agustí Font i Surís, and its trustee, Esteve Pi i Parera.

Restoration of the chapel

In 1912 the restoration of the chapel began on the initiative of Dr Agustí Vilà, under the artistic direction of Bonaventura Conill i Montobbio, an architect from Lloret who later began the construction of the modernist section of Lloret parish church, along with some of the family vaults of the new municipal cemetery. The restoration work included the installation in the chapel of ribbed tile vaulting, typical of Catalan modernism. Both the Girona and Barcelona press reported on the restoration, focusing in particular on the sculpture of Sant Cosme and Sant Damià, exhibited by the artists Segundo Vaucells and L. Alculiol in Barcelona’s Plaça de Santa Anna, commissioned for the chapel in Lloret. This sculpture group, in which one of the saints is standing and the other is kneeling, was a work of merit, according to the press. Following the restoration, the Chapel of the Doctor Saints was officially opened on 16 July 1912. As a consequence of the events of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), the hospital complex was destroyed. The only element to be preserved was its chapel, which thanks to the devotion of Lloret’s townsfolk for the Doctor Saints (Cosme and Damià) was reconstructed once the war was over. More recently, its upkeep was taken on by individuals and organisations such as Xino-Xano, which among other works equipped it with a new bell called Marina. The Confraternity of Sant Elm, patron saint of navigators and sailors, has recently been entrusted with its upkeep and maintenance. Following the interior and exterior refurbishment of the chapel, giving it a seafaring look, it has become the confraternity’s headquarters. It has been given a cultural boost that has turned it into venue for exhibitions, concerts and conferences, etc., while maintaining its religious use. To commemorate the centenary of its restoration by the architect Bonaventura Conill (16 July 2012), the Confraternity of Sant Elm intends to begin the restoration of its roof, which is in a very bad state of repair.

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