"Hospital museum" Hotel de Miramion - Musee de l'Assistance Publique Tip by kokoryko

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On the left bank of the Seine, not far from Notre Dame is the almost unnoticeable ?Hotel de Miramion? which hosts the oldest and richest hospital museum of France and a visit there will give you a good idea of medicine and hospital history. There are of course many tools, scale models, paintings, old books, posters and other documents which really take you in a short voyage in history, but also funny items strange displays which just make the visit in this museum so interesting. On the two levels of this former convent, in vast rooms you can follow in historical chronological order, or for some, for a special subject, the history of (mainly Parisian) hospitals shows how medicine has changed since six centuries, and how hospital medicine was dedicated to the poor and helpless at that time.
Funny and moving, in the same time is the scale model of a ?tour d?abandon? (abandonment tower, picture 2), a small tower where the helpless parents (or not wanting a child!) left their baby in a turning niche and when the baby began to cry, a nun, on the other side (in a convent), turned the niche and ?collected? the baby, and the baby was raised like an orphan. This was the way the helpless abandoned their babies, totally anonymously.
You will see lots of old medical instruments (picture 3). Before the 19th century it was essentially the religious orders who ran hospitals and many religious paintings (and even music books) are displayed in the museum, and posters explain the important role of the religious at that time, not only helping souls, but also bodies. . . . and on picture 4 you see Sainte Genevieve (holy patroness of Paris) giving her protection to the sick. A small room with a beautifully painted ceiling displays pharmaceutical containers (picture 5) which are truly works of art; amazing to think of these beautiful objects were used for everyday?s purposes.
I was of course very impressed by some tool boxes, like the one on the main picture , thinking of the people being cut, sawn, stretched, sewed. . . . with ?may be- only a glass of brandy as anaesthetic. . . . (Cheers!) , and thinking of the surgeons of the last century, having probably a very impressive character strength for well doing their job. . . .
AP-HP (Assistance Publique-Hopitaux de Paris) , the University hospital of Paris runs this museum since 1934%c*

Entry: 4 Euros (reduced: 2 Euros, under 13, free); free every first Sunday of the month.
Tuesday-Sunday, 10 am ? 6 pm, closed in August.

Address: Hotel de Miramion 47 quai de la Tournelle, 75005 P
Directions: Metro : Maubert-Mutualité, Cité, St Michel ;
othercontact: http://www.museums-of-paris.com/
Phone: 01 40 27 46 48
Website: http://www.aphp.fr/site/histoire/enjeux_musee.htm

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Nov 11, 2008
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