Chair from the Hotel Dieu in Paris, 15th century
Made of walnut, this chair is believed to date from the 1400s and to have come from the Hôtel Dieu in Paris, France. Hôtel Dieu translates from the French as ‘Hostel of God’ and was the name given to the main hospital in France – and later to hospitals in other French speaking countries. Like many European hospitals, the Parisian Hôtel Dieu was originally run by a religious order of nuns.
In the 1800s, the hospital became one of the centres for innovative medical teaching and new approaches to hospital-based care.