Welcome to the history of medicine museum in the Hötel-Dieu de HAUTEFORT in Périgord.
Discover this unique museum in Aquitaine.
This museum explores medical history from the 17th century to the present through the realms of dentistry, medicine, surgery and pharmacy. Visitors are offered an exceptional collection of instruments, books and unusual objects associating the history of medicine with the history of man.
The Association de Muséographie Médicale de Hautefort was established in 1994 by a group of volunteers with the aim of restoring, developing, promoting and running this museum in order to promote the Hôtel-Dieu, a unique classified Historical Monument in France, founded in 1669 by the Marquis Jacques François de Hautefort to “bring the consolations of religion to the poor of the region”.
In accordance with its precise founding act, each of its three rooms were designed to receive 11 women, 11 men and 11 boys representing the 33 years of the life of Jesus Christ.
Come and discover this unique museum in this exceptional building, a souvenir of the history of Hautefort and medical science from the 17th century to the present day.
Enter the building by the room of the Holy Spirit (currently housing the tourist office) originally designed to house 11 women from which you can access the museum and the hospital ward.
The room of the ETERNAL FATHER or hospital ward
On the floor, an opening to a well fed by a source. It was possible to draw water for hydration and household use.
In between the beds are closets, one side for storage and an opening in the floor for the disposal of sanitary waste (toilets did not exist at the time).
At the far end of the room, a facsimile of a foundling wheel installed in the late 18th and early 19th century to receive abandoned children (1947 children were abandoned in fifty years). A registrar of the municipality was notified and recorded details of each child in a register including a piece of material from his/her clothing.
This register is still held at the Mairie.
In the central showcase can be seen useful medical instruments of the time.
The two models on show are sisters of the Congregation of Nevers who arrived in Hautefort in 1747 and worked for the local population until 1995.
Salle du Père Eternel: l'armoire d'apothicairerie et son exposition de verrerie biologique
The room of the Divine Word or South Room
On show are a set of liturgical vestments from the 19th century, true masterpieces of workmanship.
In the centre of the room can be seen six wheelchairs dating from the 17th to 20th century.
It is possible to admire the claustras, a type of window allowing the sick to participate in the religious services: matins and vespers (morning and evening) and compline (prayers).
A pall, used in 1847, to cover the coffin of the last member of the HAUTEFORT family, (Sigismonde, Laure, Charlotte), is on show at the far end of the room - a remarkable piece of history and high quality.
Chapel is the center of the building
The floor is “pisés”. The floor of the altar is characterised by a rotunda with 12 branches symbolising the 12 apostles, the wool shears, “les forces”, in between each point are the emblem of the Hautefort family. On the ceiling you can admire a 19th century masterpiece by Italian itinerant painters. Finally on the right is a listed mausoleum, built at the end of the 19TH century, in which lies the remains of the last member of the HAUTEFORT family, (Sigismonde Laure Charlotte) and the heart of her husband Baron Maxence de DAMAS whom she married in 1818.
Continue the visit upstairs – the staircase was restored and crafted by the “Compagnons de devoir”.
La salle Hippocrate: les ouvrages et les éléments en faïence
La gynécologie / obstétrique
Cette exposition s'intitule: de la conception à la naissance.
Also on show is sterilizing equipment - for laundry (CHAMBERLAND machines) and instruments (Poupinels).
Finally, a representation of PASTEUR evokes the emergence of modern medicine in the 19th century, the era of great discoveries.