Musée de l'Histoire de la Médecine (Museum of the History of Medicine) – Toulouse, France - Atlas Obscura

Musée de l'Histoire de la Médecine (Museum of the History of Medicine)

Toulouse, France

A journey through the history of medicine throughout the centuries.  

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Dedicated to the history of medicine and its transmission in the city of Toulouse, this museum houses a collection of instruments, paintings, and documents covering seven centuries of local and global history. With the Museum of Medical Devices, it shares a wing of the Hôtel Saint Jacques, a former hospital active since the 1100s with impressive architecture overlooking the river Garonne.

The museum was founded in 1983 by Pr. Jean-Charles Auvergnat, who wanted to give the public an overview of the historical, scientific, technical, and artistic sides of medicine. The basement is dedicated to the history of the faculty of Toulouse, and how it was taught to students through the years. At the same time, the upper level showcases a former pharmacy with beautiful woodwork from the 19th century. The alliance of majestic architecture and high ceilings with old-fashioned museography gives a certain charm to the museum.

There are several rare and surprising pieces, such as face moldings showcasing skin diseases, an 18th-century oil painting of a patient suffering from a gigantic hernia, and an abortion table from the Napoleonic era. 

Know Before You Go

The museum is open on Thursdays, Fridays, and Sundays from 11 am to 5 pm; the visit is free.

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June 27, 2023

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