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.References:
The Palazzo Colonna is a palatial block of buildings built in part over ruins of an old Roman Serapeum, and has belonged to the prestigious Colonna family for over twenty generations.
The first part of the palace dates from the 13th century, and tradition holds that the building hosted Dante in his visit to Rome. The first documentary mention notes that the property hosted Cardinal Giovanni and Giacomo Colonna in the 13th century. It was also home to Cardinal Oddone Colonna before he ascended to the papacy as Martin V (1417–1431).
With his passing, the palace was sacked during feuds, and the main property passed into the hands of the Della Rovere family. It returned to the Colonna family when Marcantonio I Colonna married Lucrezia Gara Franciotti Della Rovere, the niece of pope Julius II. The Colonna"s alliance to the Habsburg power, likely protected the palace from looting during the Sack of Rome (1527).
Starting with Filippo Colonna (1578–1639) many changes have refurbished and create a unitary complex around a central garden. Architects including Girolamo Rainaldi and Paolo Marucelli labored on specific projects. Only in the 17th and 18th centuries were the main facades completed. Much of this design was completed by Antonio del Grande (including the grand gallery), and Girolamo Fontana (decoration of gallery). In the 18th century, the long low facade designed by Nicola Michetti with later additions by Paolo Posi with taller corner blocks (facing Piazza Apostoli) was constructed recalls earlier structures resembling a fortification.
The main gallery (completed 1703) and the masterful Colonna art collection was acquired after 1650 by both the cardinal Girolamo I Colonna and his nephew the Connestabile Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna and includes works by Lorenzo Monaco, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Palma the Elder, Salviati, Bronzino, Tintoretto, Pietro da Cortona, Annibale Carracci (painting of The Beaneater), Guercino, Francesco Albani, Muziano and Guido Reni. Ceiling frescoes by Filippo Gherardi, Giovanni Coli, Sebastiano Ricci, and Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari celebrate the role of Marcantonio II Colonna in the battle of Lepanto (1571). The gallery is open to the public on Saturday mornings.
The older wing of the complex known as the Princess Isabelle"s apartments, but once housing Martin V"s library and palace, contains frescoes by Pinturicchio, Antonio Tempesta, Crescenzio Onofri, Giacinto Gimignani, and Carlo Cesi. It contains a collection of landscapes and genre scenes by painters like Gaspard Dughet, Caspar Van Wittel (Vanvitelli), and Jan Brueghel the Elder.
Along with the possessions of the Doria-Pamphilij and Pallavacini-Rospigliosi families, this is one of the largest private art collections in Rome.