17th Century ward

This 17th Century ward has been reconstructed inside the hospital-museum Notre Dame à la Rose in Lessines. It contained a dozen alcove-beds, with heavy curtains due to the harsh winters of Belgium; two sick people usually lay in the same bed (during epidemics, there could be more of them). The beds were turned towards the chapel of the hospital.

"The dozen beds had to accommodate at the most thirty patients. In principle, the fittest ones were at the back of the alcoves and the sickest ones were at the edge of the bed. The isolated bed in the middle of the ward - a bastard bed, as it was called - is the forerunner of intensive care: it was occupied by the most ill patient, who required a lot of treatment, continuous supervision and easy and quick access. At the foot of the bed, on a small portable altar, everything needed is ready to administer the sacrament of extreme unction"1. Also a portable confessional was always close by.

  • Photos by Luca Borghi ti.supmacinu|ihgrob.l# | (August 2009), courtesy of Raphaël Debruyn and Marc Vuidar.


- R.Debruyn (ed.), Hôpital Notre-Dame à la Rose: de l'hôpital séculaire au musée du 3ème millénaire, Hôpital Notre-Dame à la Rose, Lessines 2008, pp. 57-62.

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