Provinciaal Ziekenhuis Santpoort
THE ABANDONED HOSPITAL IN THE NETHERLANDS
‘Provinciaal Ziekenhuis Santpoort’ is an old hospital in Bloemendaal. It was a psychiatric hospital that was set up and funded by the province.
In the early 1800s psychiatric patients were not treated, but locked away with thieves and incurable sick people. During the year 1841 a new law changed this. In 1849 the psychiatric hospital ‘Meer en Berg’ was opened to cure the mental sick. This hospital was the first one on the mainland of Europe, it was based upon the English “no restrain” methods where chains and other physical punishments were banned. The hospital was initially intended for 250 patients. Already one year after opening, the institute was struggling with a bed shortage. 315 people were nursed in January 1852. Expansion plans were made, aiming at increasing the number of beds up to 460.
Meer en Berg
In 1888 ‘Meer en Berg’ had 1217 patients. In 1918 the name ‘Meer en Berg’ changed to ‘Provinciaal Ziekenhuis Santpoort’. Since 1953 the number of patients has been 1518. In addition to the two main buildings of the hospital, intended for the nursing of patients, more buildings were built on the hospital grounds. A new wing was built in 1966.
During the 1960s and 70s, various renovations and modernizations took place. In 1971 the youth psychiatric clinic ‘Amstelland’ was opened on site. The hospital grew to a big institution. In 1986 it was decided to close the clinic and to accommodate patients in smaller institutions in Amsterdam. Separating patients from society was considered outdated.
In 2002 the buildings became abandoned. During my visit in 2007 some parts of the buildings are already demolished. The front entrance is a protected monument, it will not be demolished. The entrance buildings was renovated in 2017. While other buildings on the site have been partially demolished. Nice to see that this imposing building gets a new destination. These photos of the ‘Provinciaal Ziekenhuis Santepoort’ were taken in 2007.