It’s not every day you stumble upon the ruins of a 15th century hospital, but that’s exactly what happened to Apple in Spain, where it is building a store.
Apple’s basement construction of a new store in Madrid has reportedly unearthed the outer wall of a hospital built to treat plague victims more than half a millennium ago, according to El Pais.
The Buen Suceso hospital and a church of the same name were demolished in 1854 to make room for Madrid’s Puerta del Sol square, but parts of both buildings remained.
According to El Pais, ruins of the church were also discovered in 2009 when the city was building a light rail station, so it was expected that Apple might also run into old building remains during its construction.
“We’re not surprised to find these remains because we knew they could be there,” said Jaime Ignacio Muñoz, director of the Madrid heritage department, according to El Pais.
“The building is located on a historic site and is protected as an area of public cultural interest, so that any action on the ground has to have the approval of the heritage department,” Muñoz said.
Apple had considered preserving the hospital’s walls by placing glass panels on the floor of its store but it abandoned that idea because of the ruins’ lack of interesting visuals. Instead, the wall will remain protected, covered up and be symbolically traced. Muñoz also said his department has recommended placing an information panel beside the tracing.