Saturday, 21 July 2012

Musee de l'Assistance Publique- Hopitaux de Paris

I do love the more obscure museums of Paris. Sure the Louvre, the Musee d'Orsay and the Orangerie are all fantastic. But I tend to prefer the smaller, special interest museums. Musee Victor Hugo. Musee Rodin. So fascinating.

Another specialist museum that I was lucky enough to visit in 2010 was the badly titled Musee de l'Assistance Publique- Hopitaux de Paris (Museum of Public Assistance- Paris Hospitals). Even though it's near the epicentre of Paris on the left bank of the Seine in the 5th there were only a handful of other visitors with me on the afternoon of my visit. This is one of the many museums covered by the absolutely essential Paris Museum Pass.


Many of the hospitals were established to help children
and particularly orphans and malnourished children. 

What, you don't have an opium cannister?

A drawing from 1432 showing the 39 sites suitable for blood letting


Kidney dish in English. Haricot en Francais. 

An amputation kit

Guillaime Dupuytren's surgical instruments

Rene Laennec's stethoscope from ~1820

Jean-Martin Charcot teaching at Saltpetriere

The courtyard has a beautiful garden of medicinal plants


I know a visit here isn't for everyone but it's well worth seeking out if you're so inclined.

Update 2013. Sadly it appears that this museum has closed, at least in this format. There is a reopening due at Hotel Dieu in 2016.

Saturday Snapshot, is a wonderful weekly meme from at home with books


Paris in July is cohosted by Karen at BookBath and Tamara
 at Thyme for Tea 

30 comments:

Cipriano said...

Wow!
That is almost exactly identical to my OWN opium canister!
I keep it right next to my fire-extinguisher/blood-letting gear!

Christine Harding said...

Fascinating, if a little macabre! My Snapshot is here http://goo.gl/ha45K

skiourophile said...

That looks wonderful - I love quirky museums!

Mazz Nixon said...

Wow that amputation kit looks gruesome!

Melissa @ Melissa's Bookshelf said...

Wow, those are interesting pictures -- not sure that museum would be for me, but it doesn't make for an interesting Snapshot post!

Here's my Snapshot post.

Trish said...

How fascinating! That sculpture of the baby is so amazingly lifelike.

gautami tripathy said...

I am totally impressed! That baby looks SO real....

Looking at the photographs was like a journey for me!

Here is my Saturday Snapshot post!

Jackie/Jake said...

Great photos!!

Leslie (Under My Apple Tree) said...

A bit creepy but just the kind of museum I like to visit. I can see the normal stuff any time!

Irene said...

Really fascinating I'm sure, if I ever get there. I wonder if my sister and her nursing roomies went there.

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

I adore smaller places, too; they seem so cozy and unique.

Love that opium canister!

Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

Kailana said...

I have to agree the name is terrible, but I wouldn't mind visiting!

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

These are so great - I love that second picture.

bermudaonion said...

That is an obscure museum! I don't think it's for me, though - I'm squeamish.

edgar said...

Interesting displays of medical history. I would love to visit that museum. I've never been to Paris.

BookPlease said...

Fascinating! I'm always glad I didn't live in centuries gone by - medical science has improved things so much!

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

How about the primitive amputation kit?? ouch.., but then the opium bottle must help:)

Natalie~Coffee and a Book Chick said...

Wow! This is one heck of a museum. It's the kind I'd love to visit, since there is a little bit of creepy to that as well! Medical history is equal parts fascinating and scary!

Alyce said...

That looks like such a fascinating place to visit! Of course the first thing I thought of was the hospital that Claire worked at in France in one of the Outlander books(by Diana Gabaldon). :)

Bev Hankins said...

Only 39 suitable sites for blood-letting on the body? Who knew. What an interesting place.

Here's my Snapshot.

Ellie Warren said...

I love exploring the small, unnoticed museums when I visit a city.

rippleeffects said...

This is an interesting museum. You're right in that we need to explore more instead of going to the popular tourist destinations. When I was in Paris in 2010, down the lane from our little boutique hotel is the Medieval Museum. But for some crazy reasons, I didn't go in there. It carries the famous tapestry The Lady and the Unicorn. Now I'll have to wait till next time, whenever it is. Thanks for stopping by Ripple Effects. ;)

rippleeffects said...

This is an interesting museum. You're right in that we need to explore more instead of going to the popular tourist destinations. When I was in Paris in 2010, down the lane from our little boutique hotel is the Medieval Museum. But for some crazy reasons, I didn't go in there. It carries the famous tapestry The Lady and the Unicorn. Now I'll have to wait till next time, whenever it is. Thanks for stopping by Ripple Effects. ;)

Lisa said...

This looks like an amazing place to visit! Thanks for sharing the pictures.

My Snapshot

srivalli said...

Interesting pictures! I would love to visit this museum! Thanks for stopping by!

Joy said...

A great series of photos. The amputation kit gave me the heebie jeebies.

Joy's Book Blog

Lisa@ButteryBooks said...

What a cool museum, especially the courtyard.

Barbara said...

Love this quirky museum. As a nurse and an herbalist it's right up my ally! If ever I'm in Paris again.......

Cayce said...

Wow, this museum looks scary!
Great post! :)

Jeanie said...

This is a spot I wish i had discovered on my travels -- it's really my thing! Thanks for the intro!