Hôtel Dieu St Jacques, Toulouse!

Ok so here I am in my endless walks of the pink city of Toulouse always looking for new places on each visit which as said been numerous here. As locals we come to concentrate in one area and one trip miss others, so we need to come back , lucky to live in my belle France.

This is one example of a place passed by and now paying more attention as what can be an off the beaten path site, the Hôtel Dieu St Jacques of Toulouse. In short , used to be a hospital and now has two museums and a recherche laboratory!

The Hôtel-Dieu Saint-Jacques is a former Toulouse hospital located at 2 rue Viguerie (by Port Viguerie). Already in operation from the 12C on the left bank of the Garonne river, it became the largest hospital in Toulouse following its numerous expansions in the 17-18C.


The first hospital in Toulouse, the Hôtel-Dieu Saint-Jacques was originally founded in 1120 as a religious establishment responsible for providing food and shelter for pilgrims, caring for the sick and helping the needy. The Sainte-Marie de la Daurade Hospital is soon to be doubled by the Nouvel Hospital, which come together to form the Saint-Jacques Hospital in Bout-du-Pont. Indeed, sending the ailing to the other side of the river in relation to the city was in fact a pragmatic asset in the event of an epidemic (plague, tuberculosis, leprosy) because it made it possible to easily establish a quarantine by closing the bridge!


And in fact, the only bridge that crossed the Garonne river until the construction of the Pont-Neuf ended at the Hôtel-Dieu. One can observe only one obvious trace of these successive works frequently washed away by water, that of the Pont-Vieux of which there remains today only a single pile forming a balcony in the center of the facade overlooking the river.


The main body of the building is also used as a dike to limit the floods which regularly ravage the Saint-Cyprien district. It should be noted that the Hôtel-Dieu is today one of the emblematic monuments of the city of Toulouse and an UNESCO World Heritage site since 1998 under the Camino de Santiago de Compostela (way of St James of Compostelle) from which it takes its name and its shell-shaped emblem.

In addition, it brings together two museums (Espace Jean Rudelle since 2003 and especially the Museum of the History of Medicine since 1996) as well as a mixed public / private laboratory dedicated to the study of the skin. Finally, it is currently the administrative center of the various care units of the CHU grouped under the generic name of Toulouse Hospitals.

Really a wonderful building and one that requires more time to see, so in my list to be back! This is again a lovely area for walks very quant and old. You will love it.  Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official CHU Toulouse hospital site on the Hotel Dieux

City of Toulouse on the Hotel Dieux

Tourist office of Toulouse on museum of medical instruments Hotel Dieu

Tourist office of Toulouse on museum on history of medicine Hotel Dieu

There you go a dandy place to see and visit. Hope you have enjoy this off the beaten path site in my lovely pink city of Toulouse.

And remember happy travels good health, and many cheers to all!!!




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