Apple’s Latest Discovery: A 15th Century Spanish Ruin

Construction workers breaking ground on Madrid's new Apple Store unearthed the ruins of a medieval hospital

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2011 Getty Images

Apple has been called “groundbreaking” for its innovative phones and user-friendly computers, but the word took on a much more literal meaning this week when a construction crew in Madrid broke ground for a new Apple Store and discovered the remnants of a 15th century hospital.

The hospital was used to treat victims of the plague that swept through Europe in the 1400s.  It was demolished in 1854 and sealed beneath the paving stones of a public square.

(MORE: With Roman Ruins Under Threat, Libya’s Ancient Past Presses Against Its Present)

The discovery did not come as a complete surprise, according to Fox News Latino.  Four years ago, construction workers at a neighboring site unearthed the ruins of a church that used to adjoin the hospital.  Construction halted for 10 months as local officials negotiated a way to preserve the ruin without canceling the planned light-rail station for the site.  Their solution was to open a window onto the ruin so commuters could see the medieval church as they rushed through the station.

El Pais reports that Apple would not have to incorporate the ruins into its sleek, glass-box store design, but officials at the local heritage department did ask for the store’s footprint to “symbolically” trace the walls of the ruin.  That may suit Apple just fine, as it would have been a jolt to Apple store customers, if they stumbled onto a window into a plague-ridden past while browsing through the latest models of i-gadgets.

(MORE: Wall of Ancient Pompeii Collapses…Again)

9 comments
PaulVSale
PaulVSale

The Madrid Apple Store should hire people that work at A & F since they look like they have the plague and would complement the ruins.

jefnvk
jefnvk

Actually, I think it would be quite cool if they were to incorporate some sort of glass floor to see the ruins under you.

KennethKnerr
KennethKnerr

That hospital was sealed for a reason.  I would not want to go in there, plague virus could still be there inactive until it finds a host.  Or, a host finds it.

PRajaram
PRajaram

@KennethKnerr Not for a century and a half.  Virus can probably survive outside of a host for days but not for this length of period.  Further, for a hospital to be "sealed" for the reason you are thinking, just demolishing it wouldn't help.

SuperDave
SuperDave

In a surprise announcement, Apple has patented then name "iPlague".

obelix
obelix

Does Apple have a good enough Anti-Virus to deal with the bug which caused the 15th Century plague?

AlanHall
AlanHall

Apple is doing excavation work now? The new iDig?

DanMarinescu
DanMarinescu

nothing else to talk about (no innovation what so ever, hardware company, what did you expect?!?)

extra cash, purchasing ANY news what so ever, why not...

if you were an investor, would you give money to folks without a compass, who almost wen bankrupt before (in very SIMILAR situation) and who have money they don't even know how to invest and what to do with (about 250 billions from their market capitalization are way over their wildest imagination to do the right thing, because the right thing requires vision and that doesn't seem to grow in alabama trees...)