Hôtel-Dieu de Lyon

Lyon, France

Hôtel-Dieu de Lyon was a hospital. First erected in medieval times, the building originally served as a pontifical meeting-place and refuge for both traveling and local members of the clergy (est. 1184). However, when the first doctor Maître Martin Conras was hired in 1454, Hôtel-Dieu became a fully functional hospital, one of the most important in France. As Lyon was a city known for its trade and seasonal fairs, many of the early patients were weary travelers of foreign descent.

In 1532, Hôtel-Dieu appointed former Franciscan/Benedictine monk-turned-doctor and great Humanist François Rabelais, who would write his Gargantua and Pantagruel during his tenure here. Renaissance poet Louise Labé lived just beyond the western limits of the building.

Massive expansion projects in the 17th century by Ducellet (under Louis XIII and Richelieu) and in the 18th century by Soufflot (under Louis XIV and Colbert) replaced the original building with the grandiose wings and courts we know today. In fact, at its greatest point, the hospital extended from its present position beyond Bellecour to engulf the area now occupied by the central post office.

'Hôtel-Dieu' houses the Musée des Hospices Civils a permanent exhibit tracing the history and practice of medicine from the Middle Ages to modern time and includes a fine collection of apothecary vases amongst other objects.

In May 2015, it was announced that the building, which ceased to function as a hospital in 2010, will be converted to a luxury hotel, the InterContinental Lyon, opening in 2018.

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    Founded: 17th century
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    4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

    User Reviews

    Codruta P (2 years ago)
    Interesting brands. Nice place to eat
    Jaime KL (2 years ago)
    Great cozy place for a drink or a bite when it's closed everywhere else. Awesome & beautifully preserved decor as the building is a historical monument. This venue deserves to be ranked as one of the world's majestic hotels!!
    Jan Wansink (2 years ago)
    What kind of tree is this?
    Philippe Saubier (2 years ago)
    Fantastic restauration of this middle age building into a mall and intercontinental hotel ...
    Anna F (3 years ago)
    Must visit! A renovated hospital with great museums, restaurants and shops all over the building. The garden in the middle is very lovely .
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