Hospital St. Louis, where Fernando Pessoa died
Where did Fernando Pessoa, the portuguese poet known for his heteronyms, die? Do you know? Right, it was in a small hospital in Bairro Alto, on the street Luz Soriano, a former luxurious palace, the Hospital St. Louis, belonging to Societé Française de Bienfaisance.
Back then this hospital was administered by Filles de la Charité, a French order of nuns. It had been initially built to host French sailors and residents but, throughout the years, the hospital welcomed a series of Portuguese personalities.
One of them was poet Fernando Pessoa who, on the 29th of november 1935, was received in a hospital room. The poet had been suffering from the consequences of his alcoholism for some time now.
Before being accommodated in St Louis, he called a doctor to see him at his place who recommended him to be hospitalized. At first, Pessoa rejected the idea, but he would eventually give in, not without going first for a shave at his old friend and barber Manassés.
Pessoa welcomed many visits on the day he came to the hospital, and it was probably in the evening that he wrote in a sheet of paper the date “29-10-1935” and one single sentence: “I know what tomorrow will bring”.
Pessoa would die the next day, accompanied by Dr. Jaime Neves, a second doctor, a nurse and friends Francisco Gouveia and Victor da Silva Carvalho. Moitinho de Almeida, a textile importer with whom Pessoa worked as a letter writer and the inspiration for Senhor Vasques, the owner from The Book of Disquiet, was the one who paid the hospital bill.
To this day, the memory of Pessoa and his heteronyms lives in this hospital, with a panel on the first floor, where you can read some of his poems.