Hospital Palace of Tavera

Calle Duque de Lerma 2, 45003 Toledo

Cultural Visit

The Hospital de San Juan Bautista, better known as Hospital Tavera, was built in the 16th century with a double function: a charitable one for being a hospital “for those afflicted by different illnesses” and a sepulchral one, for being a mausoleum for its founder, Cardinal Juan Pardo Tavera, Archbishop of Toledo, Inquisitor General, Governor of Castilla and Governor of the Kingdom in the absence of the Emperor.

Its palatial appearance is due to its first architect Alonso de Covarrubias, Senior Master of the Main Cathedral and Royal Architect who in order to come up with a new concept for a hospital modelled it on the large Roman private double patio house described by Vitruvio.

Its construction, started in 1540, the architectural and urban renewal program that the humanist circles in the Court of Emperor Charles V designed in order to match the image of Toledo with its status as Imperial capital city. This was depicted years later by El Greco in his famous "View of Toledo" in which this Hospital is reversely situated in the foreground, floating on a cloud, this way the painter helped in the furnishing of the building.

The outlandish sum of half a million ducats that had already been spent in 1599, according to the Hospital administrator, Pedro Salazar de Mendoza, when there was still much of the church to build makes it one of the most splendid constructions of the period, perhaps only comparable, according to the art historian, Fernando Marias, to the monastery of San Lorenzo del Escorial.

Recommended Services


Opening times from Monday to Saturday: 10-14:30 and 15-18:30. Sundays: 10-14.30h

The visit to the Museum and Pharmacy will be in groups and will last around 45 minutes according this timetable: 

  • 10:15 - 11:00 - 11.45 - 12:30 - 13:30 - 15:15 - 16:00- 16:45 - 17:30



  • Duque de Lerma St., 2, 45003 Toledo
How to get there:

The Hospital Palace de Tavera, also known as “Hospital de Afuera”, for being located outside the walls of the city, in front of the Bisagra Gate, it is today at the entrance of the historical centre coming from Madrid, very closet o the train station  which connects Toledo with the Spanish capital in scarcely 30 minutes. 

From Madrid:

  • A-42 highway: 71,9 km., approx. 53 minutes
  • AP-41 highway: 87,1 km., approx. 56 minutes. 
  • A-4 highway: 86,5 km., approx. 1 hour

After 12 minutes walking from the Zocodover Square, through Cristo de la Luz street.