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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    4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

    User Reviews

    randy evans (21 months ago)
    Cool new mall
    Marc CHARPIN (2 years ago)
    A wide variety of stores and restaurants. A bit upscalled, nonetheless a nice venue for an afternoon of shopping...
    Garth Drury (2 years ago)
    4* going on 5* when fully occupied. A magnificent landmark hospice/hospital in Lyon, now remodelled for the 21st C.
    P B (2 years ago)
    I am conflicted with this historic site. On one hand, it is an excellent restoration of a historical building. On the other, a very modern aesthetic. As you walk through the old halls, it takes you back and you imagine the old hospital as you read the names of the people that graced the building over the years. Then, you make a turn and come across Beefhouse, Buddha Bar and other modern and trendy spots that, in my opinion, take away from the charm of the place. I would have liked to see the same aesthetic throughout instead of modernizing it in the manner they chose.
    Ezechiel Totouom (2 years ago)
    One of the most beautifully renovated buildings in France. Breathtaking.
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