Tour by M. Choron: These photographs were taken during a tour of the 800 year old Dilon hospital kindly arranged for me by an anesthesiologist, Dr. André Juniot. The tour was conducted by the hospital's director of historical affairs, Monsieur Choron, and we were accompanied by André's mother, Mme. Juniot. It was a wonderful tour of a modern hospital created amongst spectacular relics from previous centuries.
The Original Hospital was one long high ward with beds each side. It was constructed beyond the river as a precaution against transmitting diseases into the city. Its size can be judged from the pictures of the chapel which were converted, later, from just one end of the ward by building a wall with an altar.
The Old Chapel (de Jerusalem) is a treasury of art and artifacts. It was built in 1454, before the construction of the long patient care ward. The stone carvings are exquisite and have been preserved in remarkable condition.
The River: The relationship between the river and the hospital is complex. The original building was surrounded by water. As the hospital extended westwards away from the city, parts of the river became enclosed by the hospital grounds, requiring a bridge to access the new buildings. The old bridge still exists, now part of a decorative garden. And, the river which was originally a barrier separating the hospital from the town is now the massive paved main road running up beside the railway.
The Old Apothecary's Room, a beautifully preserved museum, is also in use as a doctor's office. The remarkable collection of antique jars and pots line the walls. Much of the collection is made up of jugs: These are of interest in that each name is written beneath the handle, ensuring that the apothecary would be able to read the name as he dispensed the preparation.
Modern Conversion: Perhaps the most remarkable contrast was the glimpse that André gave me of part of the old the roof space above the original ward immediately followed by showing me the modern Recovery Room had been created in another part of the same roof space.
|Copyright © 2006
July 9th 2006