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L’hôpital en France, histoire et architecture


One usually needs to be forced to visit hospitals. This is a shame for they represent an extraordinary architectural and historic heritage, and this book required no less than 600 pages to give us a first glimpse! One looks with interest at the works of the 20th century, the birth of the bloc-hospital and the huge American style buildings such as the Beaujon hospital in Clichy, with its flights of metallic staircases, or the colossal hôpital Nord in Marseille. But it is the past that fascinates us: how many hôtels-Dieu, how many sick pavilions, leper houses, asylums, for the insane and other pavilions for quarantine were built! Some are true works of art from the Great Century or from the period of the Lumières, unknown to the public at large. The hôpital du Saint-Esprit in Provins, that of Notre-Dame des Fontenilles in Tonnerre, more beautiful than a cathedral, the hôpital de la Charité in Langres… The Hôpital de la Marine in Rochefort has an elegant chapel and the hôtel-Dieu in Lyon, with its façade reflected in the Rhône river, is coiffed with an unbelievable vault. A well-hidden treasure!

L’hôpital en France, histoire et architecture, Cahiers du patrimoine, éditions LieuxDits, 2012; 592 p., €44.

L’hôpital en France, histoire et architecture - Collective

Review published in the newsletter #294 - from 14 March 2013 to 20 March 2013

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