Friar Pedro de Salazar was not only a prime example of the hierarchical society of the 18th century but he was also a good example of everything the Church meant to Cordoba and elsewhere in the 1700s. He was involved in a wide range of projects and campaigns, although his most lasting achievement was building the Agudos Hospital.
Cardinal Salazar’s initial idea was to found a school where poor children could be taken in and taught to sing and play instruments, thus providing the Cathedral with a choir. He bought a large house for this purpose in front of the convent of San Pedro de Alcántara and the building work began in 1701.
The Ecclesiastical Chapter, along with the city representatives and Fray Francisco de Posadas, were busy at this time moving the San Jacinto Hospital to larger premises, and they begged Salazar to found a general hospital there instead, where patients who were seriously ill could be catered for – as there was not enough space in the existing city hospitals.
Cardinal Salazar agreed to this suggestion, and authorised the hospital building. However, it proved impossible to join the existing hospitals into one, and Salazar changed his mind and decided to build a new hospital instead, adapting the original project accordingly.
On 15th October 1704, he signed the title deeds in the presence of a notary, and as the first house he had bought was too small for such a large undertaking he bought the next house along and joined it up with the first. Two years later he died, too early to see his project completed.
In his will, he named Father Posadas as his executor, and as the administrator of the new hospital, his nephew Pedro de Salazar y Góngora, who successfully managed to see the project through which his uncle had started.