Built on the site of an ancient Roman temple, it has been a major part of the city for centuries. Located near Notre Dame de la Garde, Hôtel Dieu offers visitors a unique insight into the rich history of this port city.
The hospital was founded in 1253 by King Louis IX as part of his efforts to improve public health care throughout France. It was initially built outside the walls of Marseille, but eventually moved within them due to overcrowding and its proximity to other important sites such as Notre Dame de la Garde. Over five hundred years later, Hôtel Dieu remains an integral part of life in Marseille, with many locals relying on its services every day.
In recent years, Hôtel Dieu has become something more than just a hospital; it’s now also home to several museums showcasing different aspects of medical practice over time. Visitors can explore fascinating exhibits detailing everything from traditional medicine practices used during medieval times to modern-day treatments and technologies used today. The museum also houses some incredible artefacts from various periods including surgical instruments, anatomical models and even mummies.
Aside from being medically significant, Hôtel Dieu is also architecturally impressive with its grand facade featuring intricate carvings that depict scenes from Greek mythology such as Apollo slaying a Python or Orpheus playing his lyre for Hades’ daughter Persephone – truly breathtaking sights that are sure to leave you spellbound. Inside, there are beautiful courtyards filled with lush gardens where you can take some time out away from the hustle and bustle outside while admiring stunning views across Marseille’s rooftops towards Notre Dame de la Garde basilica at sunset – simply magical moments that will stay with you forever.
For those who want more than just sightseeing, however, there are plenty of activities available too – guided tours around both old and new sections of the building offer insights into how things have changed over time while workshops aimed at children allow them to learn about medical science through fun interactive games like treasure hunts or dressing up as doctors/nurses.