City Hospital Batavia


Inner City Hospital, Batavia,

Inner City Hospital, Batavia

The Binnenhospitaal (Inner City Hospital) of Batavia was founded on the first of August of the year  1639, when Governor General Antonio van Diemen laid its cornerstone. The hospital opened its doors in 1641. The hospital was situated between the Nieuwpoortstraat and the river (West and Eastside) and the Inner City canal (south) and the Kerkstraat (north). The hospital was designed for approximately 300 patients, who had 10 square meters space available on average in a building of 875 square roeden (3,282 square meters). The ground floor, usually the least airy part of a building, was designated for the patients, who were accomodated in 80 beds or more, alongside the walls. More than a century later , in 1769, the appearance of the hospital had changed fundamentally. The extensions had a dimension of 1,500 square meters altogether. The old and new  buildings of the Binnenhospitaal could lodge 1,050 impotenten (patients). Van der Brug summarizes the qualities  of this notorious hospital , in which tens of thousands Company servants died: “It was a morose,damp and badly ventilated building in an unhealthy environment. It served more than one and a half century and was nicknamed the Murder Pithole.” (P.H. van der Brug, Malaria and Malaise, 47-48.

The Binnenhospitaal was closed by Governor General Daendels  in 1808.

See also :S. Zondervan, Patients of the Colonial State, the rise of a hospital system in the Netherlands Indies,1890-1940 (32-34).