About the project
St. Louis Hospital was founded in the Christian Quarter of the Old City in 1851 and relocated to a massive, French Rennaisance style complex near the New Gate into the Old City in 1881. The hospital functioned as an all-purpose hospital for people from all religious communities until 1948, when it found itself located in no-man’s land between Israel and Jordan. It then reduced its services to caring for a small number of patients in advanced stages of cancer, and it has functioned as a hospice for people with advanced disease ever since. The hospital is operated as a charitable institution by the French Sisters of St. Joseph. As one visitor to the hospital described it, “St. Louis is a soulful place… with a dedicated staff of Jewish doctors, Jewish and Arab nurses and scores of volunteers from all three faiths. It is here that one can find a Moslem offering a Jew a cup of tea or an embrace as a gesture of comfort and compassion in the face of suffering and death.” The Jerusalem Foundation supported building renovations, including central heating installation and other basic improvements and equipment purchases for the hospital in 1985, and later, equipment purchases for the hospital’s AIDS ward.