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The Hospital was founded with a bull by Pope León X, upon the request of Martín Jerez and his wife in 1515, with the condition of it including two existing hospitals, Antigua and San Sebastián. Works were started in a plot adjacent to his house and the building was extended several times. In the late 17th century both the hospital and its church were rebuilt and re-arranged by don Bernardo Fau, a French merchant who had set up home in La Laguna and was prior of the institution by decision of La Laguna residents until his death.

It was then managed by altruist people until its decline in the 19th century.  First the Diputación Provincial, and the “Cabildo de Tenerife” later, took care of its management. It was managed by the Hermanas de San Vicente Paúl for years as an old people’s home.  At present, after being refurbished, it is the local public library.

The building has two sections, the hospital and the church, which has a single nave with a wooden ceiling. Artistically, its main feature is the doorway on calle San Agustín: bordered by paired columnellas on plinths carved with geometric motifs, which according to experts, indicate an American influence. Above, there is a parted pediment topped by a cross. This doorway was made by 17th century master builder Juan González Agalé.

The hospital is a two-storey building with a simple stonework doorway that used to be the entrance to the local Casa de Socorro (first-aid post). It is structured like the old Canarian convents: a square courtyard surrounded by a ground floor gallery that supports the upper gallery. This area has been converted to be used by the library.

On 12 February 1985 the process to designate Hospital e Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Dolores de La Laguna historical-artistic Monument was started.