The construction of the present-day building was commissioned in 1501 by the Catholic Monarchs in order to take care of the sick and the pilgrims of the divine Xacobe, according to the Latin inscription along the façade's upper frieze. Nevertheless, its construction had already been decided in 1492, coinciding with the discovery of America.
The building was designed by the royal architect Enrique Egás. In front of the façade there is a strong chain from the 16th century, supported by meticulously carved pillars delimiting the Hospital's property, which originated due to the property disputes between the City Council and the Hospital authorities. It has a beautiful plateresque façade designed by the French masters Martín de Blas and Gullén de Colás. The façade pilasters depict, from bottom to top, the figures of Adam, St. Catherine and St. John the Baptist on the left and those of Eve, St. Lucy and Mary Magdalene on the right. The figures of the twelve apostles are aligned along the frieze of the doorway, structured like a Roman triumphal arch. On the scallops above the arch we can see the medallions with the busts of the monarchs Isabella and Ferdinand. Above the frieze, in the upper section, there is the window of the Royal Chamber, reserved to accommodate the monarchs during their visits to Compostela and bordered by the images of Christ, the Virgin, St. James, St. John the Evangelist, St. Peter and St. Paul. Two large shields bearing the coat of arms of Castile likewise border the façade. All along the front of the building we can see the balconies designed by Fray Tomás Alonso, supported by very elaborate corbels representing fantastic figures. The cornice is decorated with a detailed chain in which grotesque and obscene gargoyles stand out.
The interior area is structured according to a rectangular ground plan with four courtyards. The most artistic of these courtyards is the one on the left on entering; its most outstanding feature is the door leading to the former San Luis room. The Hostal houses a beautiful ogival chapel, declared a National Monument in 1912. The most interesting part of this Latin-cross chapel, located at the centre of the four courtyards, is the transept, which is accessed via beautifully crafted iron railings, made by the French locksmith Guillén. The transept vault, made of lithographic stone from Coimbra, consists of wonderful filigree.