Gotischer Saal - Kirche St. Blasius
Nestled up against the face of the Mönchsberg, St. Blaise's Church is located next to the Civic Hospital at the end of Getreidegasse. The locals also refer to the church as the Civic Hospital Church or Church of the Holy Spirit. It houses the Gothic Hall which is largely separated from the church. Today the hall with its cross-rib vaulting is often used as a concert hall, e.g. for Advent serenades and other concerts. The hall has a maximum of 180 seats.
Salzburg's Civic Hospital
In 1185 Admont monks built a chapel near the Gstätten Gate in honor of their patron saint, St. Blaise. In 1327Archbishop Friedrich III of Leitnitz built a care facility for the sick and ailing known as the Civic Hospital. Its designation as a "hospital" gives the false impression that the building once served as an infirmary, although it only provided shelter and care for the poor who were disabled or too old to work.
The Gothic Hall was also known as the Communal Room, Women's Communal Room or Large Hall, referring to its original purpose: the community's destitute ailing lived together in large halls in the civic hospitals. They were also referred to as ailing rooms. The Gothic Hall accommodated the women and, in contrast to many of the other rooms, was heated. Life in the civic hospitals was everything but comfortable according to records dating from 1795: unheated dimly-lit rooms, "defatted" soup, compulsory church attendance and the drunken cook.
History of the Gothic Hall
After World War II the Gothic Hall was used as a storage room. Extensive renovations commenced in 1969, uncovering the Gothic groin ribs in the vault and the window niches. By moving the wall to the church, the hall was enlarged to 209 square meters. In 1972 the Gothic Hall served as a particularly dignified setting for the exhibition "Gothic painting in Salzburg ."