Hôtel-Dieu de Paris

The Hôtel-Dieu of Paris (1 place du Parvis Notre-Dame) is regarded as the oldest hospital of the French capital because its earliest records date back to the mid-seventh century1. Its architectural, social and medical history is very complex but unfortunately nothing remains of the original and oldest buildings in front of Notre-Dame Cathedral, which were more or less where are now the trees and the statue of Charlemagne as you can see in the following picture…


At the mid-nineteenth century it was clear that the old buildings were no longer suitable and sufficient for the needs of the modern city. So, it was decided that a new hospital had to be built in the northern part of the Île de la Cité, overlooking the same square of the Cathedral, while the old buildings were progressively abandoned and demolished. The new hospital was inaugurated on July 30, 1877, at the presence of Marshal Patrice de MacMahon, first President of the Third French Republic2.

Nowadays the Hôtel-Dieu continues living its troubled but important life, as can be noticed by some details of the following pictures, taken in July 2014 during the protests about the possible closure of the emergency service of the hospital.

  • Photos by Luca Borghi ti.supmacinu|ihgrob.l#| (July 2014)

Related items:


- Charles Coury, L'Hôtel-Dieu de Paris. Treize siècles de soins, d'enseignement et de recherche, L'Expansion, Paris 1969, pp. 179
- Raymond Escholier, Hôtel-Dieu, Laboratoires Ciba, Lyon 1938, pp. 44
- Marcel Fosseyeux, L'Hôtel-Dieu de Paris au XVIIe et au XVIIIe siècle, Berger-Levrauly et Cie, Paris-Nancy 1912, pp. 437

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