The H˘pital de la Marine

Type CountryDateStatusRating

A Long Story Made Short

A calling.

The habitual daily routine has never concerned them. They preferred the Nation, or their ambitions, to a life spent stagnating in the same house. They chose to join up and sail off to fight.

At least against the winds and the tides.

Wishing to lighten the burden of those who had done their duty by it, the homeland has offered very high quality healthcare facilities since the seventeenth century.

Soldiers and sailors returned from exotic expeditions, as well as the artisans building the ships, were treated at the maritime hospital of Rochefort, with patient care that was described as second to none at the time.

Not only were the staff efficient, but the patients' convalescence was brightened as everything was planned to ease their days of pain.

The H˘pital de la Marine - Click to enlarge!
The Main Building

The architectural aesthetic, in a bungalow style, let in the sunlight. For the well-being of the patients. For those who no longer had any hope of recovery, the buildings included a parish church and two chapels. The fact that this establishment was home to the first school of military medicine in Europe, and the oldest school of naval medicine in the world, bears out its importance.

Just like the patients, the future doctors were well looked after: accommodation was provided, but they could also study in a library stocking ten thousands of works, and a vast lecture hall.

The hospice has been modernised over the years since 1788, but without losing its original beauty. Yet the hospital, no longer meeting modern hygiene standards, closed in 1983.

The building, with its solid foundations, found a purchaser who divided it into apartments. Unlisted, part of the complex has still to be taken over.

Let's hope that a good buyer will come to the rescue before it is too late...*


* Text and photos taken from the book "Forbidden Places: Exploring our abandoned heritage"

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