Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Oldest Hospital In Paris -HÔTEL-DIEU - near the Cathedral Notre Dame

The Oldest Hospital In Paris -HÔTEL-DIEU -

The Hôtel-Dieu was founded in 651. It remains the oldest hospital in Paris. It represents both charity and hospitality and is today situated in front of the cathedral Notre-Dame.

Originally, a rather small building, it was constructed between the VIIth and the XVIIth centuries on the left bank of the "Ile de la Cité". Numerous fires, last one of which occurred in 1772 when major reconstructions became necessary, destroyed it.
It became, under the Second Empire, what it is now; the little public garden where one can admire the statue of Charlemagne now replaces the oldest buildings, which stretched then along the river Seine.

Until 1908, when the new regulations entitled the Church and the State to be treated separately, medical care was given by the Augustine Sisters of the Hotel-Dieu.

The Hotel-Dieu owes its reputation to the efficiency of its masters specialized in medicine and surgery who healed and taught. Among the famous ones, one can name Bichat, Dupuytren, Trousseau and Claude Bernard.

The old pavilion architecture was replaced by symmetrical structures. The inner yards of walking ways and vegetable gardens became surgery wards, general medical care rooms, shops and parking lots.

The main courtyard was redecorated in 1975 in the style of French garden. The main entrance was turned out in welcome hallways.

The wards with high ceilings were rebuilt on two different levels and given a new medical infrastructure. The Hôtel-Dieu has today 349 beds 224 of which are meant to be for medicine patients, 96 for surgery patients, 17 for the psychiatric wards and 12 to be orientated to emergency services.

The Hotel-Dieu remains today the first center to house emergency casualties in Paris. 32 beds welcome patients for day hospitalization.

The Hôtel-Dieu, both university and local hospital, is open to the public. It remains with the Collégiale (5th arr.), the Dental Surgery, Garancière (6th arr.) and Jean Délibéros (9th arr.), which are, linked together, the only hospital of the 9th first districts of Paris.

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