The small, ancient Capella de Sant Llàtzer (Saint Lazarus) was originally the chapel of the now-demolished leper’s hospital of Santa Maria dels Malalts (Our Lady of the Sick), and was built sometime between 1144-1171. At the time of its construction in the Raval district, the hospital was well outside the city walls (given the rudimentary understanding of leprosy at the time), but now the site lies within the modern downtown. The hospital continued in this location until 1906, when it was moved into the far NE corner of the city, and the old structures began to be demolished. The chapel continued to serve as a parish for the neighborhood, although it was always too small to serve the local needs.
In 1913 the chapel was de-consecrated by the diocese, and eventually fell into disrepair. Some attempt at preservation was made in the 1950’s, followed by a recent restoration by the City Council in the 1990’s. Stylistically, its exterior is related to other remaining Romanesque-era churches in Barcelona, including En Marcus, Santa Llucia, and Sant Pau del Camp. Recently, the chapel again came back to life with the arrival of the Sant Egidio Community, which not only holds mass and special events in the chapel, but also works with the poor in the area with assistance from both the Caritas division of the Archdiocese and the relevant city social services departments.