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THE GLORY OF FRANCE
Published on September 13, 2019
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Episodes from the Life of a Bishop Saint by Master Of Saint Gilles ARCHITECTURE AND THE FRENCH HOSPITAL

Eric Breitbart

Until I left England to work in France, it had never occurred to me that the architecture of a hospital was intimately linked to geography and that its cultural history was literally written on its walls. Walking around Parisian hospitals, usually with a hospital plan in my hand in a desperate attempt to find a specific department, aroused my curiosity. French architectural styles seemed quite exotic and their ground plans quixotic. I began to wonder why.

Parisian hospitals, like those in many European capitals, are the results of years of accretion. Hôtel-Dieu, the oldest Parisian hospital, was founded by Saint Landry in 651 and was the only hospital in Paris until the Renaissance. The 7th century saw the founding of many hôtels-dieu across France: establishments attached to religious foundations, whose purpose was to house pilgrims but also to care for those whose illness made it impossible to continue their travels. Over time the hôtels-dieu focused on treating the sick, although the Hôtel-Dieu in the center of Paris remained open to all who sought care: the sick, travellers, pregnant women, the old, and the indigent. Following the motto of Saint Landry medicus et hospes (host and doctor), the staff even admitted lepers.

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LA MAISON: A PALLIATIVE CARE
CENTER IN FRANCE

Courtyard, photography by Eric Breitbart

Eric Breitbart

THE HOTEL-DIEU DE BEAUNE

K. E. Shipman &
S. Ramachandran

THE GENERAL HOSPITAL-
ALL ARE WELCOME

Jan W.P.F. Kardaun

 

 

CHARCOT & HIS “GRANDES
HYSTERIQUES”

George Dunea

EDGAR DEGAS’ LIGHT
SENSITIVITY

Zeynel Karcioglu

GERICAULT’S ART OF
INSANITY

Caitlin Meyer

 

 

ILLNESS OR INTOXICATION?
DIAGNOSING A FRENCH CLOWN

Sally Metzler

MONET & HIS
CATARACTS

Peter Kopplin

HENRI DE TOULOUS-
LAUTREC & MEDICINE

Caitlin Meyer

 

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